On November.

It was November when I fell in love with London. It was November when I fell in love in London. And now I’m here, four years later, and things are completely different to how I thought they would be, but I’m happy. It took years – and I do literally mean years – of readjusting and reconstructing my own vision of the future to get to a point of not only genuine contentment but wholehearted excitement, and it turns out I needed November again to confirm that I really am here. This story did start with a boy – as mine pretty much always do – who first made London feel like my home. Then, after that home disappeared, it was a different boy (I’m aware of my patterns, okay) who made me reconsider reclaiming it on my own. Now neither of them are particularly relevant to my current vision of the future, but they were instrumental in me getting here, so thanks, lads. It was interesting while it lasted, and you helped me write some baller songs.

The air in London has a specific cold weather smell. It was the first thing I noticed when I walked out of Heathrow the day that I moved here, because it was exactly the same as it had been on that first morning four years ago. There are still a few things that hit me with nostalgia in a slightly painful way – the Upper Crust at London Bridge Station, Caffe Nero soy chai lattes, almost every stop on the Southeastern service to Sevenoaks – but that cold air smell has the opposite effect. It reminds me of everything that’s happened here, but just vaguely enough that I get the sense of sprawling possibility without the slight waves of nausea. I don’t focus on the endings, I’m just subconsciously reminded of the fact that this was the backdrop for some of the most surreal, incredible, unexpected moments of my life. And now it’s where I live.

November this year – like every year of my adult life, apparently – was full of change for me. It seems as though every year I go through a cycle of renewal in September, hustling in October and then settling in while everything changes around me in November. Obviously I am very much a participant in these changes, but it’s like September and October wear me out the point that once November rolls around I’m just like you know what? Do it. Let’s go. Fuck me right up. 

This year the end of November also coincided with a new moon, and if you’ve been around here for a while you’ll know I’m well into the concept of fresh starts during the new moon, and BUDDY have I gone all in this time. It’s as though a veil of calm just descended over my entire being and I finally felt ready to make cuts and changes I’ve known were coming for ages but just couldn’t quite bring myself to follow through, until now. It feels like I’ve taken a massive breath of that frozen London air and turned a corner I’d been waiting on for years.

There is a specific sort of ache that comes with letting go of certain things; finally accepting that something that was once a source of positivity in your life has been exhausted and become a weight. But I thrive on a weird kind of masochistic creativity, so the pain is always accompanied by an excitement to figure out what I can do with that energy.

I’m ready for December. I’ve exhausted November and it’s time to move on. Not just from this year, but the last one and the one before that and probably a few more, too. There’s a kind of quiet determination that comes from being completely at peace with the past and finally able to direct all your energy towards the future, and I’m excited to see what happens next.