This last week has been an exhausting one, both for me personally and for the rest of the world.
I’ve been sick for a few days and wasn’t able to eat any large meals for almost a week. Today I am finally excited to feel hungry again, and I’ve eaten every meal. I celebrated the occasion by treating myself to one of my favourite guilty pleasures: hot dogs! I never used to love hot dogs until four years ago, when I was extremely hungover at a baseball game in Japan. The cravings were strong, and so I got a hot dog and it turned out to be just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.
And so I had another.
It was also the first time I’d had pickles on a hot dog, which was nothing short of a revelation.
Being sick meant I spent the week picking at my favourite meals and getting disproportionately upset when I couldn’t eat them all. I really like food and it felt like my body was betraying me; I couldn’t even eat pho, my ‘go to’ meal when I’m feeling unwell or would like a bit of comfort.
Nevertheless I went out for dinner with friends on Saturday night, and I got most of my nutrients from wine and gin. It probably pushed my recovery back another day, but it was worth it to have a bit of fun. I also got to watch the clocks magically jump forward from 1am to 2am, which I’ve never seen before.
In any case, I’m giving myself a break from the gin, at least until the weekend. I think my body needs it…
We Are Not Afraid
On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, a sole terrorist tried to break the London spirit by attacking tourists, policemen and politicians at Westminster. Although I have not lived here very long, it very much felt like an attack upon my home. London is an adopter of immigrants, with people from all over the world calling their little corner of it their own. Although we live with the knowledge that we are a target, we know that when it comes, we will stand strong and we will persevere.
We will not go through life afraid every day for something that is purely down to luck and chance. Hours after it happened, BBC reporter Brian Wheeler spoke to a man “old enough to remember the IRA days”. The man said the IRA used to say “we only to have to get lucky once”. So this entire terrible game is all about luck. It was luck that none of my London family (or myself) were anywhere near Westminster that day. It was luck that the attacker was able to injure anyone at all. It was luck that it didn’t become another footnote in the list of foiled terrorist attacks.
It’s all luck. And it won’t stop me from living my life how I want to. If I did, then they’ve already won.
My Personal Rut
Despite the pep I injected into writing about getting out of a rut, I’ve struggled over the last few weeks with the idea that I’ve found myself in another. This one has nothing to do with where I live or who I love, but is simply a feeling of boredom and/or dissatisfaction with my full-time job. I have this idea that I want to wake up every day excited about going to work, I want to be happy to devote my days to it and even my nights.
In reality, where I am financially and in my career, it should be enough for me to just be good at what I’m doing. It should be enough to learn things here and there, even though it’s not exactly what I want. It is a touch too corporate and a touch too grey for my taste, but it’s a place to learn and it’s a place to grow. I need to remember to be grateful for that.
• • •
Despite illness and terrorists and personal demons, there is a lot to be grateful for. The perseverance of Londoners, the sense of community in a city that grows out of something awful happening…
And of course, gin and hot dogs.