Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Twenty-two.








Charles Darwin, in case you were unsure

Today is my twenty-second birthday. While I certainly don't look or feel as wise as the bearded man above, I thought it would be nice to reflect on arguably the biggest thing that's happened to me this year: Big City Life.

When I finished uni, I thought taking a break from studying was a good idea. Aside from gaining some good ol' life experience, I wanted the space and time to jump at any opportunity (like moving away) if it came about. So although the move to London was somewhat unexpected, it happened at a time when I was very open to change.

London was a place I dreamed about living in throughout my childhood and teenage years. I thought it was the most exciting city in the world. But, after a brief stint in Brighton, where I lived for 6 months in my second year of university, I gained a bit more perspective. I fell in love with the coastal town, and my burning desire to live in the capital faded.

When my 'significant other' (guess who) unexpectedly landed a job opportunity in London, suddenly, moving to my childhood city of dreams was back on the agenda. It initially took me some time to feel sure that moving was the right decision, I was nervous about essentially dropping everything on the spot and leaving, but images of Victorian buildings, double deckers, unknown people and places tugged at me. I felt I had nothing to lose by going - only lots to gain.

Now that I've been here five months, that initial doubt seems so far away and I can't imagine having chosen to stay in Malta. As with any unfamiliar place (especially one as huge and diverse as London), I discover new people, places and things on a daily basis - part of the reason why I started this blog. And occasionally - when I stumble upon one of the city's incredible landmarks, but also sometimes just crossing the road on my habitual route home - I regain a massive sense of admiration and wonder at the place, feeling like a child all over again.

And now, paying tribute to 22 year-olds across the globe, here are some worldly accomplishments that are slightly more significant than my move to London:

At age 22:

Charles Darwin set off as ship's naturalist on a voyage to South America and the Galapagos Islands.

James Joyce left his family, his church and his country for the European continent, in order to become a writer. (We are one and the same, James)

Caresse Crosby became the first person to patent a brassiere, which was made of two handkerchiefs and ribbon sewn together. (Thanks, Caresse!)

U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz won a record 7 Olympic gold medals.

Inventor Samuel Colt patented the Colt six-shooter revolver.

Dia DiCristino survived 11 brain surgeries.

Andrew Robinson bicycled across the United States, unsupported, to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.

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