I’ve come under a lot of pressure lately from people I know, and people I don’t, to relocate to London permanently. While the thought has crossed my mind on numerous occasions, when I think about it, there’s more pulling me back to South Africa than there is keeping me in London.
Truth be told, I can’t wait to go home. To hug my family, to snuggle my pets, to be silly with my friends… While I am loving (almost) every minute here, home really is where the heart is.
I worry every day that I am being selfish in not wanting to forget everything and stay. My husband loves it here (actually, I think ‘love’ isn’t a strong enough word), and while I acknowledge that there probably are better opportunities for the both of us, I’m just not getting excited about the prospects. For hubby, London is the obvious choice: his line of work is more accepted and mainstream; he has access to virtually any artist and is learning amazing things from them; and everything he wants, whether it be a new machine or fancy inks, is in reach for him – both physically and financially. It’s no longer just a pipe dream.
Granted, I could probably say the same for myself. I probably COULD get a fantastic job; I probably COULD get some awesome experience; I probably COULD earn a half-decent salary, but I couldn’t be bothered to go out and look for it. Perhaps I’m too scared that something good will come along and then I won’t WANT to leave – that terrifies me.
Being in London for three months, I have missed two friends’ weddings, another friend’s pregnancy and, most importantly, my nephew growing up, my brother’s first real girlfriend and the most exciting time of my sister’s life. I am petrified that something should happen to someone close to me in SA while I am here, and I won’t be able to say that I spent their last few months with them or that I was there to experience something thrilling in their lives. While this is something I could probably overlook until early next year when we are due to come home, it’s not something I could live with permanently. I don’t want to miss out on the important things.
Yes, the transport here is super-efficient, but I miss my car and not having to rely on bus schedules. Yes, it’s great not having to worry about crime, but I’m still convinced it’s a false sense of security. Yes, there is a ton of cool stuff to do and places to go, but I miss not having my best friends around to share it with. Yes, anything is accessible, whether it be a fancy flatscreen or the latest iPhone, but I miss good old family time minus the material bullshit.
I want to live a life where my sister is just a phone call away, I can pop over to my folks’ whenever I want to, and have a handful of close friends over for some good laughs. I don’t care about free medical, once-a-year insurance and super-fast trains.
That's not important to me. Family is and I don’t want to miss a thing.