So if you know me in real life you know I’m a massive Taylor Swift fan, and before you close the tab right there I’ll just say this is not a post about TS, I promise. Firstly though, I just want to put in words how good it feels to be writing a blog post again! I’ve been a little on and off with my writing throughout the pandemic and honestly I’m 50% regret, and 50% happy that I’ve taken a break. When it comes to creativity I’m a huge believer that nothing good comes of forcing it, and if you want to write then you’ll feel compelled to and I’ve been making it a conscious habit to try and be more intuitive with myself and listen to what I’m being drawn to.
The best example is last Spring, I felt this urge to run, and yes I was very much in the midst of a season of serious burn out so that feeling could have just been an emotional sign, but I felt it in my body that I wanted to run. For context, I hadn’t run more than 100m since school and had passionately branded myself “not a runner”. So when lockdown hit and I found myself with this urge to run, I picked up the couch to 5k app and 9 weeks later was completing my first 5k and I’ve consistently run 5k two or three times a week since running is now a huge part of my life that I love. So that’s what I mean about the power of listening to my intuition and leaning into what I feel I need. Recently, that intuition has led me back down the content creation path, with the introduction of Tik Tok into my life, I’ve been enjoying putting myself out there again and finding my true creative spirit, and here it is again now, coming to you in the form of this blog post.
Circling back to the Taylor Swift reference, for those of you who have deprived yourselves of her latest albums you’ll have missed the wonder that is “Invisible Strings” a beautiful melody where Taylor details all of the little things throughout her and her partner’s life that has tied them together, the reasons they have things in common, how they both visited the same spots before they knew each other etc. It’s a metaphor for the little coincidences in life that tie us to the things and people we love. If you haven’t listened I’d highly recommend it.
Flashback to over 2 years ago when my boyfriend and I were living out in a very grey concrete jungle of East London, we knew our letting agent-owned properties in a particular area of West London and since we weren’t loving east we thought we’d take a day trip over there to see if we liked the area or not. It was a particularly cold and rainy January Sunday as we crossed borough after borough on the District Line. When we emerged above ground we were met with yes rain, but also green parks, a busy highstreet reminiscent of the ones we grew up around and the Thames, a much-needed antidote to a water baby stuck in the concrete abyss of the DLR. Considering the cold my boyfriend immediately suggested we get coffee at the first costa or Starbucks we passed, as the caffeine fiend that I am, of course, I was not going to refuse. We passed over the bridge into a neighbouring area that I’d only ever seen tagged on Instagram, but with each step, it felt more like the London I had romanticised as a teen, the tall white townhouses and cobbled pavements a far cry from our usual friendly neighbourhood skyscrapers. We passed an incredible old mansion block, with small businesses lining the ground floor and the towering bay windows above, I smelt the irresistible chocolaty aroma of fresh coffee pouring out of this tiny hole in the wall coffee shop and convinced my costa loving boyfriend we try this place instead, adding that shopping at a small business was always going to be better than a chain! Inside, the authentic sounds of a welcoming Italian beckoned us in from the downpour and took our order, we explored the retired old coffee machines that lined the walls as decoration and lusted after the pastries on the counter, as the sound of the espresso machine hissed into action. As we eagerly took our coffees the kind barista handed us a small paper bag with the most heavenly sweet, cream-filled cannolis inside and insisted with a smile that they were a gift and thanked us for coming. As we explored the streets some more, licking our fingers and slurping at piping hot foam, I teased my boyfriend on how that would never have happened in a costa or Starbucks and felt satisfied by both the money well spent and the sugar devoured that we’d accidentally stumbled upon a real gem in that coffee shop.
More than two years on and we did end up moving into that part of town and fell completely in love with our nook of West London, but the invisible string is that after 18 months of living in the area we’ve just signed for what can only be described as our dream two-bed, period featured flat in that same very building with the towering bay windows and the coffee shop with the freebie cannolis is now going to be right downstairs and no doubt we’re due to become regulars. The sweetness for me, is that had we have not had such a lovely experience in that coffee shop we might not have moved west at all, and that the memory served as a premature sign of the invisible string that would lead us back to that building, and our new home, all along.