Dear London, I’m So Glad I Left You

  • View Poll Results: Will/have you ditched London or do/will you prefer it?
    will or have moved out of London
    22
    53.66%
    will be staying or moving to London
    19
    46.34%

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/geor...?utm_hp_ref=uk


    Poll for Londoners or those who have lived there

    Dear London,

    Let me start off by saying I feel wrong doing this. It shouldn’t come from a 25-year old. It seems defeatist and premature. But I’m so glad I am no longer clogged up in your veins. It took a lot to leave you, with my tail tucked between my legs, begrudgingly so, but it was a decision that made itself in the end.

    When you’re young, a city like you is the pinnacle of all hopes and dreams. I wanted you London, I wanted all of you. I had paid my dues; studied, interned, lead a lowly but fruitful freelance life, nannied, waited tables, ushered at theatres, said yes to anything and everything. But I had to give up on you - your return for all my hard work was poor and unsatisfying.

    It’s easy to assume that what you desire, especially as a young person, is your God given right. And because I wanted it (your greatness, your resources, a thriving career, smart people to exchange intelligent words with, the occasional pub crawl) that badly, with raging enthusiasm, I felt I deserved it. I am not unique in this. Every young person carries this chip on their shoulder. But it didn’t work out, London. I left you. It felt weird, like I was regressing and became less of a person. Because I wasn’t actually tired of you, or of life but I couldn’t afford you anymore. And I couldn’t take another morbid ride on your Underground to another lackluster job interview, while involuntarily mangled into someone’s armpit. I bet Dr. Johnson didn’t have to deal with that.

    The pursuit of happiness has become the primary currency of our generation. Happiness seems far-fetched in a city of your magnitude. The odds are stacked against you. You’re too expensive, brash and lonely. Too many of us struggle on your streets, maybe not literally on the streets but the compromise of living your life is harsh. I was disenchanted by your lack of opportunities for young people. I hated how everything was about keeping your head above water so frantically in this playground that is now exclusively for the super-rich. Your credentials are beyond doubt, but you are a city of rampant divide. There’s this expectation that living in your land means accepting hardship at face value, no questions asked, no questions answered. You have to just get on with it and see your dwindling quality of life sold to your system as it were.

    I feel like you swallow up time before any of us have even had a chance to live it. Since leaving you, I’m much more attentive to the here and now; even if it is profoundly simplified and lacking the on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement. Leaving your relentlessness that you foist on us has made my head clearer and each breath deeper. Although you are wonderfully plural in your offerings, so quick to embrace newcomers, so slow to bore, my volley of complaints never cease. I’m working on that.

    Even though I, as a 25 year old, the breed of being that should be spearheading projects, initiatives and change to make this the best city it can be alongside my comrades, I have slipped my Oyster card into its plastic pouch and let the dust gather. I know so many more of my kind feel this way and want refuge from your prohibitively high demands and have sought pastures new elsewhere.

    Still, you will always be the promised land for me and my kin, it’s hard to shake. But unfortunately living in your land is much like living with in-laws: intolerable and unreasonable. But since you are like family, I’m sure we’ll work it out. You are the best city in the world, that’s why we wanted you to be declared a city state post Brexit, because you are your own shining entity in the Kingdom. I wear my “I used to live in London” badge of honour with pride everywhere I go; probably because I want to shift it to the present tense in the future, but I don’t know why?

    You quench thirsts, stand as a beacon of hope and make for a most promising pilgrimage for the world. But you are also an ideology that shatters by the time people go beyond zone 1 - which is where most people live; where it’s like something out of a Doris Lessing novel: ugly and bleak. Your ‘living in the fast lane’ is pure fantasy.

    Two years on, I am still glad I left you. There is a wider world out there that gives me the time of day. I know you are always there and I can return whenever I want because I am not done with you London - I contradict myself all the time by hating you and then loving you 30 seconds later. For now, I enjoy you with monies that I wouldn’t dream of getting from you right now. I often think: “There’s so much wrong with London, why did I ever think it was that amazing?” Because you are dear, London. Because you are.

    Yours (but not really),
    Georgie
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Zone 1 is not even that amazing anyway.

    I can see why she'd leave London but her view that anywhere outside central london is ugly and bleak is pretty ridiculous. Yeah not as much money is pumped into those parts(although you do have a lot of money being put in now) but honestly you can't even drive in zone 1 properly, you spend shed loads of money each day when you get to the location quicker by bus and train. On top of that there are some amazing places to go that are not zone 1.

    Saying that the gentrification and pricing out of poorer people is a reason why I wouldn't mind leaving London but it is the best City in the UK hands down if you have money.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    You either love London or you hate it.

    As an East Midlander I gave London a good go for nearly four years but was glad when I left 2 years ago and I still am. What swung it for me was the housing situation; I had to move 5 times during that period and every time flathunting became even more nightmarish and with me inevitably ending up moving further to the outskirts to live in a smaller box and paying more for the privilige! I never found I really fitted in anywhere in London, I was never a city boy or a Shoreditch hipster and actually felt a bit alien when living in some of the more multicultural parts of town.

    I have since moved to Manchester where, even though I get paid a lot less, I have been able to buy a house and I am much happier with the quality of life (for example, only having to cycle a few miles on my bike and suddenly I'm in the Peak District, or playing pub gigs with a band and actually getting paid by promoters rather than the other way round!). I also think people are much friendlier although that might just be being biased as I never really fell in love with London.

    However having said that, there are plenty of people who can't possibly imagine a life away from London and that's a perfectly valid view to have (although I have lost one formerly close friend who seems to have an irrational hatred of Manchester...)
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Everyone says their city is the greatest in the world, people in Berlin, Paris, Manchester, Bristol, New York , etc etc.

    And often these people are lying to themselves.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    London is one of the best cities in the world if you have money but it's pretty average or bad if you don't. Simple as.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I was there last month. My first time in a few years.

    Admittedly the weather was grey that day but it just felt like it sucked the life out of you. Miserable, lonely looking people everywhere. I was mainly in the Marylebone area I should point out.

    Used to really like it. My perspective on London as an adult is very different.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I've lived in London ever since I moved to England. I like Central London a lot because there's so much to do but honestly after a while, it becomes nauseating . I love fairly naturey (I know its not a word) cities like Bristol where I'm not too far away from wide green open spaces where I can just walk and be in a quiet place. All the major parks in Central London are always crowded and it's just so busy.

    I've always missed it when I'm away but I'd like to move away for uni. London is great if you're filthy rich. If you're not then it's too expensive.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    "London is the best city in the world" is a mantra.

    A Pavlovian response.

    A forced response.

    At least people in Manchester know it's a good city but not the best.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Spent four years living in central London. Love the city but could not deal with the horrendous public transport and 'smelly' people.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bammy jastard 27)
    London is one of the best cities in the world if you have money but it's pretty average or bad if you don't. Simple as.
    Agreed. Trouble is, the baseline for what constitutes "having money" is very very high. I don't see the attraction of London at all.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Why are you talking to a city
    Offline

    3
    Love/hate things I like about it and things I dont.
    Must be miserable without money.
    With money it can be fun for a while, but I think if you want to raise a family or have a quality of life, then I prefer outside London.

    What constitutes having enough money?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Love/hate things I like about it and things I dont.
    Must be miserable without money.
    With money it can be fun for a while, but I think if you want to raise a family or have a quality of life, then I prefer outside London.

    What constitutes having enough money?
    I guess it's enough money that after ordering a £5 pint of lager for yourself at a Weatherspoons you don't think twice about buying the next round for everybody...
    Offline

    3
    (Original post by ManiaMuse)
    I guess it's enough money that after ordering a £5 pint of lager for yourself at a Weatherspoons you don't think twice about buying the next round for everybody...
    I was thinking more 3- 4 bedroomed house with garden and garage as well as not having to think about the cost of going out etc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bammy jastard 27)
    London is one of the best cities in the world if you have money but it's pretty average or bad if you don't. Simple as.
    Out of interest have you visited any other cities in the world? Not being rude or judgeing just curious what you are comparing it to
    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Why are you talking to a city
    Prince Charles talks to his plants so talking to the city really is the logical next step..


    (Original post by 999tigger)

    What constitutes having enough money?
    Anything less than at least 50k a year will land you in one of the unpleasant areas of London getting kicked by Tfl charges or paying £800 a month to live above a kebab shop
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    all depends on what you want - for the first 30 years of your life its the best place ( in the world imo) to earn your living, enjoy your life and maximise our earning potential. its not the place you should want to bring up your kids
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    To be honest I'd like to avoid living in London again if at all possible.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by democracyforum)
    Everyone says their city is the greatest in the world, people in Berlin, Paris, Manchester, Bristol, New York , etc etc.

    And often these people are lying to themselves.
    It's more smug with London. And it is so miserable and overpriced, I also hate the massive sense of inequality. I way prefer Paris personally, so much more inspiring. Then people say scale, but then NY or Hong Kong or Tokyo probably has that over London.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Another London hater.

    You don't even live here and you are still jealous.

    Like any other major city it is going to be **** in certain places. No one is pretending it is wonderful and that all 8 million people love it.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by stefano865)
    I was there last month. My first time in a few years.

    Admittedly the weather was grey that day but it just felt like it sucked the life out of you. Miserable, lonely looking people everywhere. I was mainly in the Marylebone area I should point out.

    Used to really like it. My perspective on London as an adult is very different.
    I went on 'independence day'. It was a beautiful sunny day. I wanted Brexit, but it still brought my mood down instantly, it utterly made me miserable, and I was in the city. I feel with London, it's more about cool or obligation, about saying you live there a lot, there's a pretense and a conformity about it. It does feel more buzzing and prosperous than other places, (I guess we run and unequal country though). But it does it in a miserable way. It doesn't seem to come down to genuine day to day quality of life. I also think it has a really inhuman feel to it, which to me Paris doesn't , even if Parisians can be off.
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: September 22, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Today on TSR
Poll
Would you ever go to a non Russell Group uni?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.