March 26, 2009

On how I come to be right here, right now

I've been in my job for 18 months now. I've learned a lot in that time. That means that I've been living in the capital of the world for 19 months. During that time, my impressions of this sprawling city have changed a great deal. Looking back now I'm not really sure what to make of the girl who arrived here on a chilly August morning in 2007. I was resolutely dressed in short shorts and singlet, with dirty hair and the best tan of my life, thanks to that unscheduled 7 week sojourn in Mediterranean Turkey. Cold rain met me at Stansted, and I was wrapped in a liberated Singapore airlines blanket, equal parts shock and denial. Different already to the me that left Auckland a few months previous. I caught the train to Tottenham Hale, then a cab to my sister's house. I took a shower, returned to the family room, and my nieces didn't equate this clean, warmly clothed stranger with the one they'd just greeted.

But that's not the story I want to tell. That's the old story, and I'm facing another direction now. As I negotiate the city these days, when it occurs to me, I'm usually filled with wonder and excitement at the vast unknowable nature of it. I go to the same places every day, but all around me, further than I can imagine, there's more that I won't ever see.

Sometimes I'm worried that this is my choice, because of the doors I'm closing. I'm not going to spend my youth partying on superyachts, or climbing mountains in India, or raising children in a New Zealand suburb. Instead I live in a comparatively remote north-western corner of London with a gang of kiwi friends, working in a comparatively remote south-western suburb in a job that combines music, contract law and creativity. I have always been fascinated with the concept of tying up intangibles with nothing but words; and I've been interested in music since I can remember. When I take the time to consider, I think, "I'm in the right place!"

Topical: the fair play for creators website documents creators' concerns over the perceived erosion of their right to royalties. I support it.

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6 Comments:

OpenID Alan said...

Capital of the world?

Capital of the Anglo-Saxon world: probably.

Capital of the English speaking world: maybe, but you'd have to consider New York, and possibly even LA in there as well.

Capital of the world? No. Before 1914 maybe, but since then I'd go for New York. Culturally, financially, and politically it'd be NY.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Fair point.

According to the Guardian, it's the capital for foreign students studying abroad. And, I can't get a work visa in New York, much as I'd love to.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Paul Capewell said...

Aw, this is an ace post. I like.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Actually, what? Why would NY be the political capital of the world?

2:13 PM  
Blogger limegreen said...

John Stewart. Heh.

Or er maybe something to do with the UN General Assembly?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Now, 6 months later, funny how it didn't take long for me to decide that actually, it wasn't the right place. Good times, great experience and excellent people, but now it's down tools time for me, MCPS.

12:25 AM  

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