Friday marked the first time I got a taxi home after a night out. As I began chatting with the driver, he asked me how long I’d been in London.
“Two years” I replied.
“Did you move to London for work?”
“Yes. Although when I first moved here I had no job. Or anywhere to live! Now I’ve had two jobs since then” I laughed.
“Did you end up waiting tables?”
And with more thankfulness than I’d almost ever had, I could say “no”.
Years ago, I first saw the film ‘Coyote Ugly’. Yeah, we all know it’s not the best film ever made, but the last time I saw it, I remember, I was moving to London and it struck a chord. No pun intended.
I was deeply into Will at the time, and would imagine making a life in the city with him. I would imagine us walking through Covent Garden holding hands, visiting the markets and falling in love. Recently, I made the decision to sever all contact. We don’t even follow each other on Twitter anymore.
Sometimes, dreams just don’t happen. It’s a hard lesson which a city like London teaches. Often multiple times. The phrase “the big bad city” is justified for a good reason.
Coming to London with no family, no close friends and no firm job, and then looking back nearly two years later and seeing what I have made of it, really counts for something. Maybe to no-one else, but do dreams ever really count for anyone else?
They are one of the few things in this world we never need to justify to anyone but ourselves. They can live in the most secret compartments of our mind, and we don’t need to share them with a single soul if we don’t want. There’s something magical in that.
And coming to London to be a social media editor/writer? Well, it may not be everyone’s dream, but in my own way I know I’ve made it work. To look back on that makes me very proud, and I like to think, even though there have been ups and downs (and I’m sure there will be more) I’ve played my hand well.
Moving to the big city to pursue dreams, whether dreams of companions or careers, is a cliche, no question. But sometimes the dream isn’t to be an actor or singer or songwriter.
Sometimes it’s just not to wait tables.