Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Traversing Zone 3 on a Raft of Optimism/Stupidity

I'm moving to London in three weeks. Well, Four. Okay, 26 days.

After a month or two of total life upheaval, resignations from jobs and relationships, the creeping sensation of becoming a Young Professional instead of a Graduate, the decision has been made and I've been forced out of my comfy little period property in the depths of leafy suburban Leeds (yes, such a thing exists you cheeky bastards) by necessity and fear. Not 'bad' fear - although until recently I was only aware fear could be such a thing - but fear in another capacity. The type of fear that makes people want to jump off cliffs just to see what living to tell the tale feels like. The type of fear that forces sensible adults to buy 1200cc superbikes or go scuba diving in underwater crevasses. I haven't got a death wish though, I just want to move to London. There's a difference.

This notion of city living has been swimming about in my brain like a little wriggly tadpole for years now, occasionally getting itself stuck between gaps of long-term commitments and the idea of living in Leeds well into my thirties. Until recently it was a far-off dream, something that I could wistfully call upon while looking out of a misty bus window on a wet Tuesday morning. My idea of London has never been romanticised or exaggerated; I always assumed it would rain 70% of the time, that my flat would be the size of an egg carton, that my job would be unrewarding and I'd find it hard to afford anything more nourishing than soba noodles. However things have (luckily) taken an uncharacteristic turn for the positive, and it would appear that I may actually be able to afford to leave the egg carton for the odd evening with friends, and my job might actually be something I enjoy. I'd still be poor, but I'd be mostly happy. Which is nice, isn't it?

In a job interview recently, I was asked "why do you want to move to London?" I thought it a peculiar question to ask a northerner who desperately wants to work in social media and someday have a book published all the while somehow running some sort of successful record company with very little effort or money expended. Not only are the career prospects semi-existent in the capital, how about that there public transport, huh? How about all the live music and nightclubs, eh? My friends who live scattered around zones two and three in previously inaccessible studio flats? "Why do you want to move to London?" My answer? Because up until recently, I couldn't. Because now, I can.

Bedsits like this don't really exist.

Househunting has been the huge churning ache in my stomach that I assumed jobhunting would be. People have dogs when they said they wouldn't; people won't allow chicken in the house (it was all I could do not to turn and storm out right then and there). Some people, would you believe, think they can advertise a house filled with rabbits as "cat friendly". It sure is, but it certainly isn't rabbit friendly. I have spoken to a number of lovely, friendly, funny people in my search for a house, but I have fallen short in some way for all of them so far. I don't like dogs very much, I have a cat who is also a dickhead, I eat meat, I like listening to music and coughing from time to time (how "quiet" does "quiet" have to be anyway? There should be a standardised measurement to see if I fit their strict stipulations), I don't want to sit at the table and eat dinner every night, sometimes I'm late home, sometimes I don't come home, sometimes I lie on the sofa all day and watch Futurama. I didn't realise that all of these things constitute a terrible housemate in one way or the other. My one bonus point is that I do not smoke - however living with non-smokers could be a nightmare anyway, because if they don't smoke, what else don't they approve of? Caffeine? Alcohol? Dairy products? Rigorously-tested pharmaceuticals?

So yes, I'm moving to London in three weeks. Four weeks. 26 days. I haven't nailed down a job or a house yet, I haven't started packing and so far my closest call to getting some accommodation is some flirty text messages with a friendly housemate called "Luke" (Hello "Luke", I hope you're not reading this and finding out what a judgemental bitch I am). The weirdest part of the whole ordeal is that I'm not frightened, no matter how many times I get asked "Oh, aren't you frightened?" Nope. Not even a little. I won't have to get the megabus home from Cable at 8am ever again. That's got to be a step in a positive life direction.


Spevin Casey said...

Nice piece - and therefore London welcomes you!! Good luck with the jobs and the flats n stuff. x Spev.

Anonymous said...

Good luck in the big smoke!

Anonymous said...

Good luck!

Laura. said...

I keep thinking I need to bite the bullet... I dunno though - not sure if I feel ready to do it.
That and commitments up here. I would do it if the right job came along though. You know when Vogue come a knockin' hahahah

Katie said...

Thanks everybody! Laura - get down there, you're only in your early twenties once! Bring your commitments (Rory) with you! haha

Katie said...

have only just noticed the tadpole/sperm connotation. Freudian whoops.

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