Dear London...


I realized that this might just be something more than a casual layover in the grand scheme of my little life... when I caught myself defending you. When I caught myself fighting for you. Even when the whole world was ready to write you off. Especially then. I found myself drawn to you. I found myself willing to suffer for you. You were not going to be temporary. You were going to plant your roots in my beautiful mind, and grow into a living breathing life. The life of us.

Jan 01 2021


I looked at my flight ticket to London. My love, to be... I was going to move there, and it was going to move me. That was the plan. With the pandemic updating itself with a new version, a new mutation, to stay current. And of course, as expected, as feared, my flights were cancelled. And I promptly purchased one a fortnight later. I still wanted to go.


My text messages were exploding. My classmates were anxious and panicking. All their plans had turned tumultuous and chaotic as well. They didn't know if they wanted to move, what with London being the epicenter of this new strain, and what not. They made huge, comprehensive pro-con lists. If they went, they'd have to quarantine for months. Situation back home in India wasn't so bad. They could be free. But they just had to figure out how to be productive from their parent's house. They didn't want to pay for London's exorbitant rents to simply stay at home. It was the logical decision to stay. So, they postponed their flights... indefinitely.


And when I told them I was still going to go... they asked me why? Why would you want to go and torture yourself? I'd have to quarantine till at least April, stepping out cautiously for groceries with the face mask and shield when I did. Why did I want to live that life, voluntarily, they asked? Isn't it logical to stay? Stay here... rent free... stay here... logically.


Logic. This word hurts me. It really does. It takes its place on its superior high horse, as the only viable way of thinking, the only obvious solution to a problem. And I've never felt less like myself than when I've made a decision purely for its logical merits.


So, this time, my love. I made a decision for love, for the heart, for the soul.

I decided to be with you, my love. Despite how broken you might be, despite how many wounds you are nursing. I will be with you. Quietly, and without expectation. Patiently. While you heal.


Dear London, but why do I love you? I barely know you.


I love you because you are what I need. I fucking need you, right now. You give me the one thing I've been looking for all my life... Space to be myself, solitude, freedom, even if confined between four walls.


While I have enjoyed greatly spending time with my family and friends over the past year, and their support and presence was much needed for me to heal and grow... I am still coming out of the biggest transformation of my life. My mindset, my values, my feelings, my goals, my dreams, my ambitions, have completely changed. I am practically a brand new person, someone with completely different ideas in her head from the 17 year old me who left college back then... over 6 years ago.


I need space, solitude, and freedom to let this new version of me unravel herself. I need to watch her grow, and learn, and fall, and cry, and smile. And be independent. I need to see her live. I need to see her have her own schedule, routine, structure to her life. I need to see her go one step closer to her dreams, her independent life, that she designs from scratch.


And dear London, you let her.


That's why I love you.


And that's why I am willing to suffer for you.


You know, when you suffer for a purpose, there's nothing sweeter than it, because life is not without struggle, ever. We need to find things worth suffering for.


So, dear London. Even when all I get to do is workout at home with the view of the snow-caked roads, cook 15 times a week because ordering in is too expensive, do all my dishes, all my laundry, only connect with my friends over video calls, and study all day from my beautiful flat that I'm probably overpaying for... I'll still be happy.


If I simply get to walk by the Tower Bridge, in quiet solitude, listening to Sabrina Claudio, at 6pm, while getting groceries and essentials, I'll be giddy-in-love with you.


I'm a girl who needs romance in life. Romance with life. Romance with her city. Romance with the way she chooses to live her life. I am the girl who chooses magic over logic. If you let me, dear London. I will find romance in the simplest, most socially distanced of things. If you'll have me...


Yours,

Me

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