Sunday, January 29, 2012

Live in the place where you are: London, England

Yes I did it, much to my best girlfriends’ disappointment, I returned to English boy. He is always so happy to see me whenever we reunite, he hugs me like he actually cares and declares how much he has missed me. That gives me something to hold onto but then the novelty of me yet again wears off quite quickly and I can sense his thoughts, “right, now how do I say this to her without sounding like an arsehole? I really wish she would just leave”.

I didn’t go back to him right away though I stayed a night in a hostel in Central London. He invited me to stay at his before I headed up to Scotland so I did, I caved. Why was I so weak when normally I am so strong? I am independent, I am a woman of the world, I thrive on being on my own and going off the beaten traveller path but place me in a room with English boy and all that goes out the window. I didn’t really care for him that much when I first met him so why now and why when I was in Canada living in my parents basement? I suppose because I wasn’t off conquering the world, I was on his territory and not on neutral ground and he was winning, he was in control, even though I pretended to be, I knew I wasn’t.

I took off on my own while he worked and visited the non-touristic regions that one can do and really enjoy when they have been to a city a number of times. I went to the neighborhood of Shoreditch to find the Brick Lane clothing exchange which promised to be vintage shopper’s paradise. I didn’t end up finding the massive store but spent many hours going from one vintage shop to the next on the yellow brick road of alternative clothes and unique cafes. Big oversized knitted sweaters, altered jean shorts, woolly winter skirts and polyester soon blended together into one mesh of retro inhibiting me from distinguishing one from another. I did however score an amazing pair of orange heels that will come in handy with my birthday approaching.

Also in the spirit of my birthday I took myself to a West End Theatre production. I only discovered my love for theatre and Musicals in the recent years when I saw Mama Mia and Dirty Dancing in Toronto but to see a production in one of the famous West End London Theatres, now that is the cream of the crop! I have no problem dining, going to the cinema or theatre alone but when I was pulled on stage during Priscilla Queen of the desert it really made me wish I had a friend there to share the experience with me. The thing is if you want to do something but you have no one to go with or your friends can’t afford it, that shouldn’t stand in your way and it never stands in mine. I know my career as a West End theatre performer started that night so no one else needs to justify that.

Exploring and enjoying everything London has to offer from the high street and vintage shops, landmarks, tourist attractions, parks and night life got me thinking; English boy has always done what I have done, scrimp and save to travel, leave for years on end only to come back and do it again, always despising the place where we are from but not really enjoying where we are because we are too focused on getting away to see the world.

I feel like if you know where I am from, if you have been to my city you would say, “Well fair enough Tracy, I COMPLETELY understand why you would want to get the feck out of there.” English boy on the other hand has no excuse; he is from in my opinion one of the most vibrant cities in the world with so much to offer. He has the fortunate advantage that he was born there. He really does need to fully take advantage of what London has to offer. He needs to indulge, devour and explore what is in his own backyard. He needs to live in the place where he is. I think he has come to this realization, although this was always part of his “plan,” enjoy his twenties, get a good job in his thirties and then settle down. I hope he does and wish him all the best in the future but the fact that he has a “plan” like that makes me less attracted to him. It’s nice to have goals we all should but life is crazy, unplanned and chaotic. Things sometimes all are about timing but usually it’s never on our watch fate ticks that tock.

I was confidently leaving English boy and the “what if” had been answered with some confusion a lot of hot and cold but in the end a “NO”. I was slightly disappointed but I was on my way to Scotland to see family, the homeland of my late Grandmother and a certain backup boy.

That’s right I had another one in my back pocket; did you think I would come all this way just to get rejected by some English guy? A girl does need a few men in waiting now doesn’t she?

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