London, in a nose-hole
During my first four months in London, I only had work for five weeks. And since London ranks among the most expensive cities on the planet, if you do the math, whatever else you do, don't share your findings with me. If that burning turmoil in my torso is agitated any further I might just auction a few organs before they're ruined.
Anyway after a month-long respite in Canada – where I did things other than stress about money, my career, and finding reasons to get out of my (borrowed) bed in the morning – I'm back in London, recharged and ready for Round 2.
And I'm hopeful, because this time I have an advantage. Now I usually remember that pedestrians do not have the right of way and it's in my best interest to look left before crossing the street. And I know how to count quid and pence and queue for groceries without making people think I'm stealing their PIN.
This time around, I won't work for a super-achieving life coach and compare my accomplishments with his. Nor will I work for someone with a Jesus complex. I won't bother trying to get a bank account without specifying whether I am a Miss or Mrs. I'll accept the fact that authority figures and strangers will address me with diminutives, like 'sweetheart' and 'honey'. I'll ignore the ubiquitous tabloids objectifying young women and the celebrity-obsessed culture.
And dammit, I will find a job I love.
People told me London wouldn't be easy, but that it's the sort of city that gets inside you, and once it does, it's always got a place in your heart. Maybe I'm ready to admit that I feel like I'm finally getting closer to that day.
I just hope that when it comes, The Big Smoke will stop trying to 'get inside me' via my nose.
This is both what I find in my nostrils every day that I ride the London Underground, and the reason I'd never raise kids here.