Thursday, 27 August 2015

Bravery vs Idiocy

It's a fine line, isn't it? Between bravery and idiocy?

Every now and then we make a choice. 

To some people- that choice would be brave. Jumping off a bridge, tied to a bungee cord, is brave, according to some people. 

That same thing would be idiotic to someone else.
What if the rope breaks? What if you fall?

Is it as simple as that though? 

Surely there's a grey area? An area where you can do foolish, foolish things, and not think about them?

I'm 25. I am brave- I moved to London, I jump on planes alone, I met A's family and didn't cry.  

I'm also idiotic. In my time, I've kissed inappropriate men. I've been for drinks with random men, I've walked home alone at night (in heels), I've drunk dialed.
(But couldn't you say that all of those things are brave too?)

And there's the grey area, where I've stood and said no to opportunities some would say are too good to miss, I've quit, I've STARTED, I've been "too" drunk and alone. I've been exhilarated by my options, and terrified by my choices.

It seems to me that there's also a line between contentment and complacency. And i'm happy with the former, but scared by the latter. 

So here I am. Standing on the bridge. Ready to jump. Decisions to make.

What if I fall?

But what if I fly?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Year In London

It's quite hard to believe that I've lived in this city of ours for a year already. 

It feels like just weeks ago that mon pere dropped me off at my flat, helping me lug bags and suitcases and boxes up the stairs; that I arrived at my new job an hour early; that I got dragged out for supper by friends on my first night; that I spent the first bank holiday weekend sobbing on my bedroom floor because I felt so lonely.

So much has changed since then. And in some ways, nothing has changed at all. 

London is huge. It's easy and difficult and friendly and frightening and hot and rainy and exciting and expensive and boring and just like everywhere else and like nowhere else at all, all at the exact same time.

And so much has happened since I've been here. There have been drunken, inappropriate kisses, and sagas stretching on from there. There have been endless meals out, pub quizzes, drinks in beer gardens. There have been museum trips, and coffees in Soho, trips to Borough Market and a stand-out supper in the Shard. Pancake parties, and work drinks; bruised arms, and bruised hearts; new friends, and old friends.

And A. 

A came back into my life at New Year, and he is one of the absolute best things that has ever happened to me. If nothing else comes of my spell in London, I will forever hold this time in my heart warmly because this is where our adventure began. Tangled together in bed in his tiny room. Stretched out on my sofa. Dancing in my living room. Sobbing in his arms.

I'm happier here than I have been anywhere other than home. But it's a lonely city. I have my most wonderful, wonderful friends here- girls I've met through blogging, school friends I've reconnected with, university friends who just can't shake me, work friends (one of whom causes more trouble than perhaps they are worth). But without A, I'd be lost in this big old city of ours.

I adore living here. Part of me can't imagine living anywhere else. The other part can't wait for the day I can escape, back to fresh air and fields. 

What will the next year bring? Who knows. New jobs, potentially. New houses, potentially. New friends, potentially. I think my favourite and least favourite part of this city is how unpredictable it can be. 

So here's to the next 12 months. London, you're stuck with me for a while yet.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Breathing and Cheese

I feel like I can finally breathe again.

I'm on the other side of a massive, huge, enormous work task. Months of planning, preparation, tears, and work came to its conclusion recently, and I finally have time to just be.

Everyone has noticed. A spent a lot of last weekend laughing at me, remembering that I sing a lot when I'm happy. G has stopped looking at me with a perpetually worried look in his eyes, and happily told me that it's good to have Usual Alice back. D bought me bubbles, P sent me flowers. It's over, it's done.

And I finally have chance to catch up with my loves. On Friday night, A and I went to the National Theatre to see Everyman- which is quite possibly the best thing I've seen on stage since War Horse. And Saturday night was spent behaving badly with A, B, C, D, and E. (Yes, we have abcedarian names. No, it's not deliberate).

And last Wednesday, Emily and Ellie and I caught up over pizza, dip, and all the cheese I could carry. 

We watched The Other Woman and agreed that Barber's cheddar is quite possibly the best cheddar we've ever tried. In fact, we ate more of that than we did of the comté or brie. And that's saying quite a lot, coming from someone whose life more or less revolves around the next opportunity she has to eat cheese. But it really is just that tasty- just how a cheddar should be.

And other than that? I've been pottering along. Trying to remember which day of the week it is, an d that I can go home at a normal time again. It's a most peculiar feeling.

So tell me. What have you been up to?

Barber's very kindly sent me a rather large amount of cheese to try. While the cheese was free, my opinions are, of course, all my own.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Morning Thoughts

It's early. I was at my desk by 7:45- not unheard of at the moment, and not painful because of my morning person tendencies- but still, frustrating. 

I carried my handbag, full of fruit and a pot of yoghurt for a desk-breakfast. And my running kit, as I'd promised I would. We'd agreed we'd run together. I'm not sure why I agreed- perhaps a strange kind of emotional masochism?

I sat opposite a woman I'd seen before. Painfully thin, she gets off at my stop, and I've seen her around the building. I have no idea who she is, or what she does, but we've sat opposite each other on a number of occasions. 

And today, a new face. A good looking guy in cycling clothes (on the tube?), who I spot sneaking glances at me. We get off at the same stop and he follows me down the street. I don't notice when he turns off, but I suddenly notice he's no longer behind me, and wonder. 

I get to the office. Doors unlocked, swipe access only. I was the last out last night, but G returned to lock up. I'm the second in this morning, and revel in the silence. Just me, my PC, and the clock noisily ticking away, reminding me that half of my team are likely to still be in bed. 

I breathe. Log in. And prepare.