The moment I came to London, I started to feel weird. Stressed is another word. First, the anxiety kicked in. Then, its “long-time-no-see” friend, Depression. I met them both and hugged them.
I was like, “Where have you been all this time?” And they were like, “Dude. You’re three months on medication. It was hard to get to you. Sometimes it’s like you don’t want us here.”
I scratched my head at this. “Well…”
The truth is, I forgot how hard it is to live in big cities. They drain you. Eat you up. Chew you and spit out what’s left on the sidewalk. Then the red double-decker bus rides on top of what’s left. And you’re just left lying there, smashed to pieces, looking like a slice of pita bread. That’s what big cities do to you. And it’s something you can get used to if you, you know, live in them.
But I haven’t lived in a big city for almost a year (That’s if you can count Moscow as a “big city”. You can.). I haven’t lived in London for nearly 18 months. I forgot what it’s like to see people hustling, running in circles, getting shit done.
Big cities mess up your sense of time. In Tbilisi, where I lived, I wouldn’t even start the day until 2 PM. Here, in London? I manage to run 10K, write a blog post, have a work call, and have breakfast — all before noon! Several hours ago, my wife asked me, “When did we come to London?” And I was like, “Gosh. It was merely six days ago.” And then we both went like, “What?! Six fucking days? It feels more like six months!”
Anyway. I am having a hard time adjusting to life in a big city. I thought it’d be more manageable. I thought I’d come here and I’d be like Gary Vaynerchuk — who I used to watch but don’t anymore because, well, I try to be a sane person — riding in cabs, doing things, being important, getting shit done, like the rest of you, Londoners.
In reality, though, I am filled with FOMO, guilt, and jealousy to the brim.
Today, I was having a cuppa (I even talk like a Londoner now; sue me!) in Costa Coffee when I saw a guy sitting right next to me — he might have been my age or a few years older, he was writing a book. That’s right, a fucking book. A novel, perhaps. It was definitely fiction. I could see from the dialogues and the descriptions in his shitty Microsoft Word document. (Yes, I sneaked a peek or two.) While you might think, “What does this have to do with adjusting to life in a big city?” the truth is that I got jealous. Yup. My…