Is it really December already?! I feel like I’ve just moved to London for grad school, but it’s been almost three months since I arrived on September 11 with my 30 kg of ‘essentials’, including my mason jars, colourful postcards, and a framed print that says ‘This is where the magic happens’.
The print sits on my desk, right in front of me. I bought it before I left Manila, specifically to put in my room in halls, because I thought it encapsulated what my London life would be like: magic.
Now, I think it would be more accurate if it read ‘This is where the learning happens’ – because the past three months haven’t been magic. They’ve been filled with successes I had hoped for and failures I did not expect, with days when I feel incredibly blessed to be living in London and nights when I want to (or do) cry myself to sleep.
There’s a line in the Wicked song ‘Thank Goodness’ that I love:
‘Cause getting your dreams
It’s strange, but it seems
A little, well, complicated
Dreams really are a little complicated. I’m still struggling to find the balance between the London life I aspire to and the daily reality, between the few polished Instagram posts and the million not-quite-Instagrammable moments.
Well, here’s where I am now:
I’m doing an MA course in Magazine Journalism at Kingston University. I’m deputy editor of Synced Magazine, our class project. I’m currently an intern for digital scuba magazine DIVE and am scheduled to do another placement in January with a sports title at Immediate Media. I tied with another student for the top score in our media law exam, but failed my 60 wpm shorthand exam quite spectacularly. I’m struggling a bit with school and still getting used to a new educational system.
I found and lost a boyfriend. I finally met up with my reddit pen pal whom I’ve been talking with since April. I made new friends.
I’ve been cooking for myself (simple things – don’t be fooled!) and trying to eat more vegetables and yogurt. I have lamb, my favourite meat and my comfort food, every week. I’ve put up Christmas decorations. I’ve made a nice little home in my room in halls.
And I’m learning. A lot. A whole damn lot. I’m learning tiny, trivial things like getting used to British spelling and dropping my Oxford commas, and big, uncomfortable things like accepting that I can’t meet all the ridiculous expectations I have of myself. I’m learning to fail. And I’m learning to pick myself up every time. So, my progress report is simply this: I’m making progress.
Welcome to my life in London. This is where the learning happens.