ALONE IN A BIG CITY: MY CURRENT SELF-REFLECTIONS




Top: Atika Jeans and Belt: New Look Purse: Lady Arkenstone Vintage Shoes: L'Intervalle


In my last post, I shared some big news and also wrote about my struggles with being alone in a new country. 

To catch you up, I moved to London, England, just over one month ago. It's been a lifelong dream and goal of mine that has finally been brought to fruition. One of my biggest over-arching challenges has been constantly trying to silence the self-doubting voices and maintain a level of self-confidence needed to do the things I need ~and want~ to do. 



I've been spending a lot of time alone. Not necessarily by choice. I knew this would be inevitable — living in a new city — and I knew it would be my biggest challenge and teacher.

Just a few years ago and even sometimes now, I would fill my days with a lot of stuff. All good stuff, mind you, but it was a lot. Being always in a state of "so busy" meant I never had to be alone with myself and my thoughts. This worked for me until it didn't. And then I had to find some sort of solution. I owe a lot to Kundalini Yoga and daily meditation practice. But that's another post (or def one I've already done). 



One of the reasons I wanted to move somewhere I don't have many friends and zero family was to see what it feels like to be alone. Like really alone. I wanted to feel what that feels like in an authentic way. Back when I would fill my life with so many events, work, meetings, and hang outs, I sort of lost touch with who I was as an individual. 


I wanted to know what happens when I don't have all my comforts — people, places, things — at my disposal. Who am I without those things? How do strangers perceive me? How do I react? 




I've now spent a month in self-reflection mode and am working on taking responsibility for my feelings, emotions and actions. 



I'll explain it like this. I try to give everyone I meet — new friends, cashiers, salespeople, waiters, bank tellers, and librarians — a blank slate. 

Here's a story. I have been frequenting my local library to work on my laptop. I have this newfound appreciation for libraries and the way they hold space for all — without expecting anything in return. Especially as a newbie to the city, it's a place I can always depend on.

During a recent visit, I decided to check out some books and picked two out. I brought them to the desk and *tried* to check them out. I got rejected because my account doesn't have that type of access just yet. Longgg story short: I need to provide proof of address which I still don't have because I am waiting for various documents in the mail. When the librarian rejected my request to check out books, I wanted to freak out. 

Why? 

She doesn't know this but this is probably the sixth time I've received this type of rejection. Mostly from banks. The admin of setting up life in a new country is a major headache and this one at the library was the straw that broke the camel's back

I really felt like snapping with major attitude. But I reminded myself that this librarian is simply relaying a message surrounding a policy she specifically has nothing to do with. She also doesn't know the rejections I've faced. And it doesn't matter. I took a few seconds before reacting in a way I'd regret. I took responsibility for my emotions and reacted with a simple "Ok, thank you."



I've become hyper-aware of reactions that derive from a deep place. This has helped me understand where other people's reactions are coming from. I think a lot of conflict hardly ever comes from a surface-level place. It's often a few layers deep. This is why I try my best to be compassionate to everyone I meet. We don't know the layers they're carrying. And we don't need to involved them in our layers. 


photography: Leanne Dixon

I'm trying my best to embrace being alone and all the lessons it brings. I know it won't be long before my schedule begins to fill and I'll have the pleasure of being in the company of others. Until then, I'm going to embrace this period of self-reflection and enjoy my own company. Cause it's pretty awesome.  


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