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To my imaginary friends (3)
I always wanted to live in London. Almost since I remember. Life made me delay my decision about moving. After university in Madrid I started working in video games, I got married, we had a daughter. The idea of moving to UK, particularly London, was still there, but somehow it was not a priority.
Some day almost eight years ago we actually did it. Things went bad in my marriage, and now I’m divorced, and finally, living in London. A dream come true? But at what cost? I am completely on my own. And I feel lonely in this big city. A feeling that seems, is quite common among Londoners, if I can ever say I am one of them. In that sense, I am not really that alone.
It’s true that here I have more opportunities. Here the unemployment rate is lower than in Spain. Here I can work in what I love, something that not a lot of people can do, and fulfills other aspects of my life. Here I can visit galleries, museums and exhibitions to be inspired. Go to restaurants, bars and other entertainment that the city has to offer. Wander around and see architecture, parks, shops and people who you wont be able to see in other places. Thousands of photo opportunities, if you are into that picture-taking thing too.
But there is something missing here. I think I’ve mentioned already in this blog. I think already said a few things about the culture shock that one suffers when coming to this country. And going to London, even after some years living here in UK, almost feels like coming to another country, again.
There are lots of other places where people talk and ask for advice on how to overcome this feeling of loneliness in London. I have to say, I have no idea how to fix it. I’ve never been a fan of self-help books and guru mantras of that kind, and overall, I find very difficult to believe in things that are useful for other people to feel more connected as a community. Or connected to the universe, or whatever. I don’t even like football. Maybe some fault is mine, I can totally accept that. I have colleagues at work, a few other friends around, but most of them are expats too that now are starting to leave the country, because of this brexit nonsense, or some other personal reasons. All my family and loved ones are far from here. I guess all this adds up to the feeling. And in my case, being a divorced father, having to adhere to custody arrangements, makes my parenthood experience to be a quite fractured one, which doesn’t help.
I’ve tried too to find friends using things like meetup, attend to photography groups, etc… I tried too finding something more than friendship resorting to online dating… So far, no luck in this regard. Only heartbreaks and misunderstandings, and these don’t help overcoming this feeling either.
I thought that by moving here I could start a new life, maybe meet someone new, maybe settle here for years to come. More and more I feel this wont happen anytime soon. Maybe I’m reaching the red phase of living abroad? I don’t want to feel like coming to London has been an error.
Oh well… I’ll post more pictures soon 🙂
7 responses to “To my imaginary friends (3)”
I was born in London and for all its diversity, it can be be a very lonely place.
Yes Indeed, and I wonder why…
Sheer size, large numbers of transient people, constant business, crappy climate and the deterioration of British and Abglosphere cultures due to individualism and the breakdown of communities and families over the last few decades
I lived in Madrid for long years too, and some of that could be shared (the size, the individualism…) But so far, here feels very different.
Loneliness in general is a huge epidemic in certain countries. Though I know from experience that the north of England is a little better, in that sense. I just think it’s a 21st century problem (loneliness in general) I live in a medium sized city in Upstate New York and can’t make friends here either 🙁
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