Bright Lights

We walked through the West End at the weekend. The streets were heaving. Tourists, undeterred by the shiny pavements and spitting skies, were out in force, and the atmosphere was Theatreland electric, the excitement irresistible. The sky had cleared by the time the performance had finished, and we made our way down to Trafalgar Square, past buildings that I’d seen a thousand times and never noticed. There were people scrabbling over the lions and magical fountains and statues gleaming against the dark backdrop; then Whitehall glowing a rich historic cream.

I am moving back into the City soon. After my last disastrous experience in London, I’ve been a little worried that this might be a mistake. That I will find it as overwhelming and unrelenting as I did previously; and that the loneliness which swallowed me up ten years ago will re-emerge.

No. I think I might be okay.

I know that bright-light Saturday nights are the flipside to the dark underbelly and something quite different from sweaty tubes and early morning commutes; but I am not the same person that walked these streets weighed down by an eating disorder, nor the girl that was unable to see beyond the threatening side. The City might not change but I have, or maybe I’ve just re-accessed a feeling that I had lost.

This seems to be happening rather a lot at the moment: the pre-eating disordered Issa seems to be coming back to life.

I used to love London. A million years ago before everything was complicated and twisted by food, I used to travel down on Saturday mornings for my music lessons. We got onto the tube at Kings Cross and I could always feel my heartbeat quickening as the sound of buskers echoed around the tunnels. A childish combination of pride and excitement and the sense of being part of something that I thought I had permanently lost.

Like so many other things, it is coming back.

I know that real life is not all bright lights and excitement and moments when the world seems achingly beautiful; but for the time being, I’m putting reality to one side and enjoying the experience of being alive. After everything being monotoned and monochromed for so long, I can’t seem to take enough of the sounds and colours in.

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One Response to “Bright Lights”

  1. James says:

    Hooray for the bright lights and the moments where you really appreciate the colour and wonder of the world around – when enthusiasm, energy, love, excitement and inspiration are in the air and make you feel alive.

    Wonderful post :)