It’s been 18 years. 18 years of living, maturing and of course, having fun. Even though it’s been 18 years I can’t get enough of you! Your landmarks, your people, and your unique vibe makes me desperate to stay.
One of my earliest memories is of when I must have been 6 years old. My parents took my brother and I to a little park just behind our estate. We would play there for hours and we even found a skate park that was a few minutes away. We played there for hours too. There were graffiti designs on the walls and they looked amazing! My parents also took us to another park further away. That park had another skate park with really cool street art. Seeing this street art is what initiated my love for drawing.
I would ask my parents to get me an art set that consisted of colouring pencils, a watercolour palette with a brush, felt tip pens and of course, a pencil, sharpener, ruler, and rubber. Excitedly, I would grab a whole load of plain paper from my dad’s desk and use my new art set to create something. I may not have been a prodigy but it was fun. My first genuine hobby was because of the incredible street art I saw in your parks. Art is still something I appreciate and I love finding the subtext behind it; what the artist felt when they were making their art piece and why they felt that way. It’s interesting and it gives me a soothing feeling. I have you to thank for that.
Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe it was fate but, thanks to you, London, I was able to meet a best friend (and neighbour), “Ally” who showed me the true meaning of friendship. I don’t remember when “Ally” and I actually met, but since we were around 7 years old, she’d always come over to my house every single weekend, bring her Nintendo DS and games and I’ll compete with her on New Super Mario Bros with my Nintendo DS. “Ally” also brought Monopoly from time to time and her DVDS consisting of films like 13 Going on 30 and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Throughout our adolescent lives, we had grown closer, talking about deep stuff as well as having fun. I don’t know if she would’ve called me her best friend back then but she was definitely mine. Although she moved away when I was going into secondary school and we lost contact, I will always value our friendship because it showed me the true meaning of what being a best friend is. I haven’t had a best friend like “Ally” since, but at least I know what it’s like to have had a best friend. Just the fact that we were able to meet was because of you, London, and for that, I’m grateful.
There’s no other city like you, London. Your landmarks are beautiful! Strolling through Hyde Park, Covent Garden, and the Millennium Bridge was unforgettable! Visiting Tate Modern to appreciate art and visiting Kings Cross to finally take a picture on (the new) Platform 9 and 3/4 (which took me so long to do) will always be in my memory. Doing photoshoots in Nottinghill and Pergola Gardens was one of the best things I did in my spare time! Having my year 11 prom on a boat that went across the Thames is still a memory that I reminisce about today. Meeting incredible, talented photographers at a photography workshop in Kensington Gardens is what inspired me to do more with my blog and my own photography.
There are so many events and lessons I’ve learned about in these 18 years because of you London. Thanks to you, I see so many people of different cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities and I love that our differences are okay. Thanks to you, I was able to visit so many of your landmarks by only using public transport, it’s wild how these landmarks are just a bus or train stop away when there are people who travel from across the world to visit these same places. Thanks to you, London, I can hold onto all the lessons I’ve learned and take them with me when I leave.
I’m not leaving because I hate you, I can never hate you. I’ll still be popping around here and there when I have time off university. I’m leaving because as cheesy as it sounds, a new chapter of my life will begin. This change is good for me, it’s not too far from you and neither is it too close which is perfect. Maybe I’ll come back, who knows? But for now, I’ll be moving forward with my past still held to my heart.
Goodbye, London, I’ve really enjoyed these 18 years I’ve had.