I should have realised that traveling into London on a weekday is a different matter than traveling at the weekend. I gave myself the standard two and a quarter hours to get down to New Malden, but got stuck in traffic just before Hanger Lane and then was crawling all the way to Kew Bridge. It was your standard stuck-in-hot-car-in-gridlock situation. I’ll think twice about driving to London during the week again (more than twice actually).
So, I had arrange to meet my friends at 12.00 in New Malden, from where we would travel up to London by train. But I was only at Kew at that time, so I rang and told them to go on and I’d meet them up there whenever I could. I didn’t have their mobile number in my phone so they said they’d text it to me.
I arrived in New Malden at about 12.45 but I hadn’t received the text yet. I dithered for a bit about whether it made sense to go up to London when I had no way of knowing if I’d be able to find them, and eventually decided to risk it. Fortunately he was waiting at the entrance to the station when I got there, so all was well.
Traveling up on the train brought back many memories for me, as it was the old commute that I used to do when I worked in London. It’s always interesting to revisit sites of old habits and get a fresh perspective on them. Basically I wondered whether I would ever be prepared to do these things again in the future – would I want to move back to London? Would I want to go through the inevitable commute that that would add to my day. Aside from wanting to get away from various situations which have fairly negative memories for me, would I ever feel that it could be justified and how much would it take to convince me of that?
There is a ‘feeling’ you get in London that’s unique – the old cliché of the vibrant capital city where things seem to be happening. People seem to make more effort, there’s a more exciting atmosphere. However that doesn’t make things happier, or more pleasant, so it’s a double-edged sword.
The thoughts that kept running through my mind as I passed all these familiar sites from my past was that they are all scenes of failure. I was here for so long and have no real sense of achievement in relation to these buildings and places that, if I came back and had to look at them all over again on a permanent basis, they’d just be reminders a time of my life that amounted to very little. I look at these buildings that I got excited about when I was younger, and I think, well what did I do with that excitement? Where did it go? Did I capitalize on it in any way. If I love these buildings so much why didn’t I do anything with them?
Maybe this is moving on? Have I actually exhausted London? Realistically I feel that London exhausted me. There’s just too much. So many opportunities. I ended up unable to clarify my true direction. I was left stunned by the situation.
Cambridge has allowed me to simplify things, for better or worse. To break it all down into the basics of what do I want to do and where do I want to it. Moving somewhere new has put place into perspective and having a job that I don’t really care about has forced me to try and clarify what I want to do.