Fellow Bloggers and people in my real life alike often ask what it is about London, that resonates with me? I don’t know the answer to that. No, wait, that’s not quite accurate. I don’t know that I can articulate what it is about Central London but it’s definitely a state of mind for me. Not unlike Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind
Truthfully, it’s not about England, or the other, even more amazing places throughout Britain or the United Kingdom. It’s definitely central London. I’ve friends and colleagues that are definite Anglophile’s and that isn’t me. I wish I could say it was but it’s not. No, it’s even more base than that. My entire being feels different the moment I step off the jet way and head towards immigration at LHR. It’s as if an electrical current is running through my veins and my soul sighs “ah, it’s good to be home.” There is no rational explanation but that feeling, the feeling of being right where I belong started from my very trip across the pond 13-years ago.
For a while, I worked in an organization where I traveled the world quarterly, which meant I was in London four times a year for a week. Granted, my free time was limited to the walk from my hotel to the offices in Soho and back. If I wasn’t too exhausted I would take my time walking back, take in central London at night, stop at any one of the numerous eateries for a bite or hit a museum that had late hours. I’d find ways to get out of the obligatory office dinner and drinks at least twice in a week to either take in a show or to simply immerse myself in London. Even after I moved to a new role in a different organization, London was never far from my mind.
So much so that instead of joining girlfriends for long weekends in Vegas or Napa, for the past 5-years I’ve set aside a week each September for a solo trek to mecca. I still have work accountabilities, and I make time for family time via Skype but with the time difference and my insomnia, I have entire days in London.
My personality shifts when I’m in London as well. Shifts may be too strong of a word. Maybe it’s more of an attitude adjustment. I feel more alive, I have more energy, I walk everywhere and I feel sexy. Not sexy as in come hither sexy but confident. No one knows me in London, well okay, that’s not true but it’s not like walking around the city I live in or even San Francisco or Los Angeles where I’ve lived etc. But in London, I am anonymous. Not invisible but anonymous.
As Ann St. Vincent knows, I had an appointment at Agent Provocateur during this past trip. While I’ve lost over 130-pounds and kept them off for the last 4-years, I’m still a bit too ample (or curvy as polite people will say to me-lol) to purchase some of the delicious items they have for sale. That doesn’t stop me from making an appointment each year and finding something to spend way too much money on, but I can assure you that I don’t know that I could do that here in the States. My state of mind whilst in London is one in which I don’t feel as if I have to shrink to belong in a store. Or perhaps it’s the more open culture in Europe in general?
Another store I adore is Coco de Mer, outside of San Francisco or New York City, I can’t think of any large, metropolitan city in the U.S. where you will find a beautiful and classy BDSM boutique amongst the high end shopping, boutique hotels, salons and eateries such as Coco de Mer in Covent Garden. While I may giggle a bit to myself whenever I cross the threshold, I never feel judged as I browse their offerings or when I step back out into the bustling sidewalks on Monmouth. The same can be said when scheduling a service at the Ministry of Wax (Hollywood all the way) no overriding feeling of needing to apologize in advance for being a plus size gal.
And of course, there are the book stores, the museums, the various walks of life every where. It’s the rush of life every where around you.
There is something to be said for confidence. For feeling good about where you are at that moment. For me, London personifies all of this for me…