I don’t want to classify my time in London so simply as a ‘gap’ in my life because it is everything but. It’s the glue that has allowed me to grow, excel, learn, travel and experience an array of cultures that aren’t prominent in Australia. People constantly ask me what i’m doing with my life, what i’m planning to do; if i will stay in London or if i will move home. The sad thing is that I don’t have a choice in that; i have to move home. I have no choice in the matter, when my visa runs out I have to leave no ifs, buts or maybes. Whenever my British friends and I talked about my departure it was always my ‘deportation’ because I found it completely unfair that the country where I lived, where I contributed to tax and to local businesses, where I had created a life and friends wouldn’t let me stay. I understand the topic of borders, free movement and trade to be a long, complicated process that I don’t know the full politics of, however I wish there were ways around it.
It’s taken a long time to be okay with going home, I’m so happy and excited to spend time with my mum and dad, with my brother and with all my loving friends who have still stuck by me. However the issue is I created a life, I have local cafes where the owners know my name, I found friends who would go to the worlds end to protect and look after me, a job where I found what I truly loved in life and want to do with the rest of it and a place I can call my home.
I don’t want to have to justify to people that I didn’t take a ‘break’ from schooling, that this has all been a gap between high school and university because it hasn’t been a gap. It’s been my life, a massive part of it, probably the most important part so far.
It’s allowed me to forget about my ATAR score and how that would’ve gotten me into this course or that one. I get to choose what i’m passionate about, letting the university see me as a human as to why I should be a part of whatever program I choose.
It’s allowed to step away from my name, from societal expectations from my parents families and friends, i’m not who I was in high school and thank god for that. I don’t have the expectations of a A grade high school grad but as an independent multi-tasking adult that will always do her best but knows that life can get in the way and scares aren’t always the be all end all of life.
It’s allowed me to learn to be independent, if I didn’t do something it didn’t get done. Don’t do the washing? yeah sure but you don’t have any clothes to wear tomorrow. Don’t cook lunches in advance? do what you like but know you could buy a cute outfit for the money you’ll spend on takeaway for the week. I can go into University knowing that I’ll get out of it what I put in, nothing more and sometimes less because the world sucks.
Growing up I was always so concerned with how people perceived me, how many likes my social media received, how people would react to everything I did. Moving to London allowed me to see the world for all it is, people with different fashion, different goals and dreams, people who are content with little and people who work their butts off to get more. I learnt that my outfits don’t always have to be up to date with the latest trends or constantly match and be perfect; clashing prints and colours are fine, not all trends look great on you and most of all no one spends the time to judge you. I realised that I’ve always struggled with the idea of the people closest to me judging me, but I also realised by putting up this barrier I never gave them the chance to know me for who I was, truly was.
London can never be classified as just a ‘gap’ because that degrades everything i did, learnt, saw to just a space of time between something else and not as a moment on its own.