On Leaving London

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been writing here, and I dare say quite a bit has happened.

After a month of summer break spent at home, I decided that I would drop out of my Psychology course in London, and remain in Singapore to enter law school. The details about my course change are tedious, and perhaps I will get down to talking about them slowly, over the next few weeks. While I do not regret my decision, there are moments where I miss London quite a bit.

There are a lot of things which I could say I miss, but I think what I really long for is just that sense of space – whether it was rolling in the daisies on warm spring afternoons or tugging at my coat as I walked down the streets in the frigid winter rain, I just miss the feeling of not having anywhere to rush to, no one to account to.

There’s something about London that opens you and subdues you at the same time. It can feel rather like being submerged in water, where you’re made suddenly aware of your own presence by being aware of what is around you, those unaccountable feelings, presences, absences. It’s a little overwhelming, a little hard to breathe, and you feel like you’re seeing double in everything. But you are soothed just as you are suffocated. The environment seemed to facilitate a lot more introspective pondering, along with impulsive adventuring, cathartic writing, and quiet being. Our conversations often had a surreal quality to them that they never had back home. And I would often sit at my desk and stare at the words of a poem, and just feel the words resonate and ripple through the room.

London is strangely vivid still, in a way that my memories usually never are. Strange how a passing episode of your life can feel more like reality, and real life becomes a dream.

 “There are so many things, he said quietly, that we can’t see but that we believe in, so many places that seem to possess an unaccountable feeling, a presence, an absence. Sometimes it takes time to learn this, like a child who suddenly realizes for the first time that the ball he threw over the fence has not disappeared.”
― Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault


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