December 15, 2018

London is Calling

I have been working in London since Saturday and it has been wonderful. This city makes me feel happy. I have done a lot of traveling in my life, but if pressed to pick my favorite place, it would be London. I feel comfortable here and am not sure why. I like to think it is because my father was a proud Englishman, and I am sure that is part of it, but there is more. I am writing this blog as I sit at a bar, by myself, with the Beatles playing, and there is joy in my heart.

The music has switched over to Rod Stewart and there are two youngish women sitting next to me talking about men. One has been dating a man for 2 years and she is certain he is never going to marry her, which is causing her much distress. She wants a baby apparently and he already has two. He told her last night he might not want another one and his two don’t need another mother. The friend is telling her to hang on and he’ll come around. Oy vey. No he won’t.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. It’s not rocket science. In fact, rocket science is easier than sorting out affairs of the heart. If the friend goes to the restroom I’m going to say something. If not, I’ll let it go and she will figure it out.  We all figure it out eventually, or someone makes choices for us because they figured it out, so one can only hope they are left with enough hope to try again. Hope and prayer is always a good combination.

I am in London until Sunday, and will then return at the end of the month for a couple of weeks. I have a job outside of this one, but I don’t really talk about it much. It’s enough that I talk about every aspect of my personal life, so I keep this pretty quiet. It is wonderful work and brings me to London often. After a year of back and forth travel, it has become increasingly clear that I should live here, maybe not now, but at some point London will be my home.

I went out last night with a couple of work colleagues who have become my friends here. SW is gorgeous and Scottish and an inherently kind human being who lights up a room. As I write about her, Pink Floyd has come on and I am nodding my approval. Not because I love Pink Floyd, as much as I simply love Pink Floyd in this moment. Back to SW, she reminds me of what it was like to be young and in love and navigating a path that is still being discovered.

I love her very much and am better for knowing her. My other friend RW, is the perfect Englishman. He is handsome, smart, funny, sarcastic, quick, and wears a suit and vest like nobody else in the world. He is quintessentially English from his head, to his toes, to his love of cricket, and his handkerchief. If I were 20 years younger, and he was Jewish, I’d be on him like white on rice. He is a wonderful man and seeing him is always a highlight of my time here.

We went out for drinks and dinner last night. I drank like my life was depending on it. I had 5 cosmos. Yes. Five. Don’t judge. We laughed and chatted and took our pictures at the Notting Hill Bookstore, which is where they shot the movie Notting Hill. RW walked me home and as we strolled along the street I thought about what it would be like to live in London. It is a wonderful city and the people are very cosmopolitan. It is a melting pot of cultures and beliefs.

Sidebar: The heartbroken woman went to the bathroom and yes, I followed her. I let her know I overheard part of her conversation and I wished her well with her decisions. I also told her to value herself, and only then will someone else be able to value her in return. I have survived a lot of things in my life, but heartache was the toughest one. I let her know she was going to be fine and that cracks in her heart would allow love to slip in, and everything would be okay.

Not the exact quote of Leonard Cohen, but I think he would approve of the modification. She asked me if I had any kids. I let her know my son was turning 21 in a week and is the  greatest joy of my life. I told her I raised him by myself and it was blessed, but also hard. She looked at me and started to cry. Then she hugged me and I told her to order a Cosmo. We left the restroom together and it felt like she was taking some of my strength, which was lovely

I am now sitting at the bar, having my second Cosmo, which my new friend just bought me, and I am getting ready to head home. I have a beautiful apartment, in a wonderful building, in a neighborhood that has a heartbeat. This is a city with a lot of stories. Sometimes you just have to ask, or overhear one, to feel inspired. I was nervous about walking at night by myself to a bar for a drink, but this has been my year of being brave, so I am happy I came out.

Tomorrow I am going to work, then having a girl’s night out with friends. I am blessed to be here and have this professional opportunity. I am a lucky girl, but also a smart girl, and have worked very hard to get here. I am brilliant at my job and in the end that is why I am here, so yay for me. I will write a blog this weekend to tell you about my treasure shopping at the Portobello Market. Be safe out there everyone. Life is grand and I am keeping the faith.