Recently, I was thinking back on my time in London, and I came across some writing in a journal I had kept whilst I was there. It had a lot to do with self discovery and a bit of reflection on how my time there had changed my outlook on life. Self discovery can be a difficult topic – in my opinion, you can never be done discovering new things about yourself. However, there can be some pivotal moments where an idea really resonates with you, and it’s something that has the power to stick with you for a lifetime. I decided, after much contemplation, that I wanted to share this small piece of my journal, in hopes that it may resonate with some of you.
“Everyone has points in their life where they feel as though they’re in a rut, or maybe there’s something more that they haven’t been able to attain just yet. I’ve just came out of one of these ruts, and it took one (rather aggressive) conversation to bring me out of it.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at one of my favourite coffee shops in London. It’s on a busy street with people walking by and red buses zipping past me. Whilst one may see chaos, this is the calmest and the happiest I’ve been in quite some time. Now that’s not to say that I haven’t been happy already, but this morning I felt more elevated than ever. Maybe it’s just the espresso talking, because if you know me, I’m always in the best spirits after a latte in the morning. But getting back to it, in this moment I realized something. These past few days have seen a peak in my creativity, and I’ve been noticing one specific word throughout this city. On nearly every sign, or people posing for a photo with their hands shaped as a heart. Seeing this, I saw again just how much I love life in London, and my life overall. A lot of reflection has been done in this little nook, honestly I’m surprised that there isn’t a replica of the thinker nearby. Although, the closest one isn’t too far away.
Living near London for these past months has opened my eyes to what I really want from my life. It’s allowed me to realize new goals, shown me and reinforced the idea of the company I like to keep, and it’s given me a new sense of accomplishment and independence – being that while certain tasks may not be easy, it’s often the difficult things that are the most rewarding. Already independent, being in this city has only reinforced this character trait. Being an independent individual is never a bad thing, often it gives you the most incredible stories to tell; whether it’s the odd looks you get from dining by yourself in Paris on a Saturday night, getting up to dance with a band in Montmartre, or getting lost in the tube; a lot. They all make up experiences unique to you that you may not have had otherwise. The empowering feeling of independence is one to truly cherish.
Leaving London will break my heart. But, with that being said – knowing this much about myself and my life now, I’ll be excited to see what I can do not only for myself, but for others upon returning home. Who would’ve thought that my path to real self-discovery would come from moving across an ocean?”
In my case, moving to a city where I knew less than five people was an incredibly empowering experience. It shaped my perspective, not only on myself – but on how I’d like to lead my life in the future. Taking chances is one of the most rewarding things in life, and taking the chance on moving to London is one that I will never regret. Some of the most life-changing moments I’ve ever experienced have been in this city, and my time here is always something that I look back at with a smile on my face.
What are your opinions on self discovery? Do you think it’s something that is continuously done, or only a few times in your life? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments, and I’d love to learn from each of you all’s perspective too. Until next, xoxo.
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Photography by Julia Michael