It’s been nearly two months since I’ve updated this blog, mostly because I’ve been busy looking for employment and working on various things.
On the subject of the former, I have written a post on my food blog, Tasty Fever, asking for help in my job hunt in exchange for baked goods if I’m successful in securing work somewhere. It’s probably unwise for me to declare so publicly that I’m seeking a job, but to hell with it. I think in London, from what I’ve seen and from the conversations I’ve had with people, it seems like a lot of people get jobs nowadays by knowing someone who knows someone. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it undoubtedly helps to have any sort of advantage in this harsh job climate.
Along with my job search, I’ve been involved in some interesting things, such as writing more for my food blog. Because I don’t currently have a day job, I’ve had time to write up stuff I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. Yesterday I even worked on changing the look of Tasty Fever by setting it up on a new WordPress theme and playing around with it a bit. I’m not completely done with it, but it’ll do for now.
In addition to that, I participated in a couple of events for Social Media Week here in London (you can read a bit about one of them here). Also, earlier this month I volunteered with Tom’s Feast and The Forgotten Feast for their Valentine’s for Everyone event, helping set up for the delicious dinner. There’s even a photo of me helping set up, which funny enough showed up at one of the SMW events on a gigantic screen.
So, I’ve been keeping myself busy, and although I’ve been enjoying the activities I’ve been doing, the fact remains that I need a job as soon as I am able to secure something, anything, to keep from my life here in London from collapsing. There are already quite a number of cracks in the ceiling, so to speak; I frequently have to cancel, delay or alter plans with friends due to my paltry finances. Frequent social interactions for folks my age–going out drinking, having dinner at a restaurant, catching a film or a gig–can be awkward on a tight budget. If I spend too much on a night out, that means I have to be especially austere the rest of the week to make up for it, or perhaps even the next week as well. In some ways, it’s helpful to work nights, as it prevents me from going out and spending money. But it’s like trying to tighten a belt so threadbare it might fall apart any minute.
Although we had a chilly spell earlier in February, the weather here in London has been warm enough for talks of spring to ensue. For me, though, it’s still winter in a psychological sense until I can find work to properly support myself and my ambitions. I’ve recently likened my sense of desperation to being like a wolf in the dead of winter, looking for anything to feed its belly. It may be a dramatic way of putting things, but hey. I have an active imagination.
I admit because of the difficulty in finding work I’ve been wondering whether it’s actually been worth moving back to London. It’s been rough, especially as the spectre of my visa expiry date looms distantly, but ominously. I’ve been feeling frustrated a lot lately–with job sites, with unanswered applications and most of all with myself–so it’s been playing a lot on my mind these different “what if” scenarios of what I could have done, or what I will need to do if things don’t work out living here. And when things are so problematic and so emotionally disappointing, it can be hard to pick oneself up and get on with what needs to be done.
Still, there are moments I frequently have in this city that I cherish, things about it which are so wonderful and unique and unlike anywhere else I’ve been.
Despite some recent violence, I adore living off the lower part of Green Lanes. One of the things I love about it is the smell of the charcoal fires burning in the many different Turkish restaurants that line the road, frequently mingled with the smell of cooked meat. Almost as soon as you turn into Green Lanes from Newington Green, the smell will greet you.
As an American, it reminds me of barbecue grills, which are often heralds of summertime–although in Florida, summer can start as early as February or March. The charcoal fragrance of Green Lanes a cosy smell, even for someone who doesn’t eat meat and hasn’t done so for quite some time.
Although there’s been a lot of doubt with myself lately, it doesn’t take long for me to find affirmation in my choice of coming back to London. Hard as it’s been, I think about all the friends I’ve been so lucky to make here since August, and the friendships I’ve managed to deepen since I’ve been back. Although I may be a hungry wolf, I am warmed by the thought of these friendships and remember how lucky I really am to have such amazing support, even if I need to forego seeing films, skip on shows and annoy the man at the shop when I top up my Oyster with 5p and 10p coins.
Let’s hope spring comes soon. Or that my parents will win the Florida Lottery.