As I get used to being Leslie in London and, in the process, rediscover and reevaluate what it means to be Leslie, who I am does in some ways become more pronounced. Over the course of my life, I’ve become a person who’ll make an effort to change something if I don’t like it. I’m keen on positivity, even resorting to making “Positive Things!” lists when I feel they’re called for. I’m not willing to settle for undesirable situations because they’re easier. I’m not willing to pine forever and take no action. I’m not willing to look back at my life in several years and feel regretful for the things I haven’t done. I want to do everything I can and have experiences and adventures and do my absolute darnedest to live a life where I feel happy as often as possible.
Case in point: me being here. It’s by far the biggest thing I’ve done in a life that’s been relatively sheltered in some ways. I’ve never had any particularly lasting dreams apart from this one I’m living right now; no particular career ambitions, at least not anything that’s been practical. I’m mostly dreams and very, very little reality, to be honest. I sometimes still talk about what I’ll do “when I grow up,” and it’s mostly a joke, but there is some truth to it. I haven’t grown up, at least not in any traditional way. I’m not ready to settle down in any way, shape, or form. I want everything to be silly and fun and adventurous and exciting, and when it isn’t I get bored then feel gloomy.
And I’m in London. A city where everything is, in fact, silly and fun and adventurous and exciting. And it’s quite literally a dream come true, not only the unbelievable reality of being here, but the things that happen now I am. Within three months here, I’ve found a few regular hangouts and I’ve become known by some of my favourite previously unreachable humans. In a city where it’s okay to be whoever you are and I feel a lot more comfortable being my weirdo self than I did in my hometown, I have a couple of times had people stop me on the street for a photo because they appreciate my ridiculous hair.
This is a city of dreams, and in general I find the people I speak to are encouraging of mine.
And the fact of the matter is I say this because reality’s been a bit difficult at some recent moments. We need to move out of our flat at some undetermined time in the near future, and I haven’t really taken the time to face that yet because it’s all so up in the air. The landlady who never asked for a deposit from me has suddenly decided it’s critically important that I forward it to her immediately, despite the fact that she’s never provided me with a tenancy agreement and we’re likely moving out in less than a month. I still feel like an idiot at work more often than not because there is a lot to learn and I’m doing my best but not everything comes naturally. It’s been a lot to face in a short period of time but I keep at it because this is where I’m meant to be and I’m not a quitter.
It’s a new life. Of course it’ll take a while to even out. And I’ll change what I can, and do my best to stay positive about what I can’t.
And there have been the amazingly good parts mixed in with the difficult times of late. There’s always a reward. Mine has been, within the past couple of weeks, having the opportunity one night to properly hang out with one of my favourite lesser-known comedians and, on a more recent night, having the rare chance to see (and unwittingly participate in) a small show by one of my favourite absurdly famous comedians.
There’s no limit to how amazing London can be, is the thing. Whenever you think you’ve reached the top, you realize you haven’t. Not even close. I have a feeling that once I get hit with a dose of the reality I know best, in the form of an upcoming visit back home (and can I just mention how absurdly excited I am to see everyone?), everything I’ve experienced in the last few months will feel like some ridiculous dream. I’m still not entirely convinced that I’m not dreaming all of this. It’s too good, you know?
This is a city of dreams, and I’m a follower of dreams. I’ll keep climbing forever, kids.