What I’ve been up to in London

I haven’t been up to much. After returning from Vietnam, I faced the tough reality that my and my colleagues’ jobs might be at risk. I work for a big tech company, and if you have seen the news, big tech is facing a huge wave of layoffs. Capitalism is brutal. And so was this shock. Fortunately, for now, my job is safe. Can’t say the same about some of my talented and hard-working colleagues. Some of them had to go. Launched into the uncertainty that the job market is at the moment, in the midst of the recession and rising costs of living.

What happened was that this triggered a lot of my anxiety and got me into a spiral of depression that was really hard for me to get off. I am someone who feels a lot. I know it’s weird to say, and perhaps most people tend to think that I am a very cold person. Yet, I’m simply reserved, I feel everything. Inside and intensely. I was struggling with the clash between my principles and those of the company I work for. Companies who claim to care for their employees, to empower the world and those who give their every day to them. companies that make billions in profit, but are not yet happy with how wealthy some few are. The obsession with the growth of profit is much stronger than any concern to keep people employed, contributing to a fairer society. I got extremely angry. And it was hard for me to manage such anger because I was facing the brutal truth that I am part of this system, I depend on them, and I have no choice but to submit to them.

Illustration created with AI. Bing Image Creator

All I wanted to do was to quit and leave on my own terms. Finally, take the break I always wanted to take to travel, I could not believe that after travelling for 2 weeks in Vietnam, I had come back to cold London, just to have my first work meeting being about potential layoffs. At the same time, massive media coverage was going on in regard to AI. It’s scary to think about just how much you can. thinking about the cons and pros, I found myself excited but simultaneously scared. And I suppose I’m still at this moment.

My mental health took a hit, a massive one. Coming here, reliving and sharing my experiences in Vietnam was one of the only ways I had to escape. I also threw myself into reading and I have been buying a crazy number of books. It was my plan after Vietnam to book many trips for the rest of the year, but when faced with uncertainty and the fear of losing my source of income, I found myself frozen, not being able to plan. What this means is that I have been grounded for longer than I anticipated. Typically I have a little every couple of months, but it’s now April, and I have not left London.

And it’s been all right because London is an amazing place. I am truly surprised at how much I still love this city. Despite everything. And I have been feeling tired, most time. Fighting anxiety and depression is tiring. It takes a lot of energy, and sometimes you have to get really bad before starting to get better.

So in January, I went and came back from Vietnam.

And in February I was… well I was crippled by my own dark spiral.

In March, I started to recover. Slowly but surely. I had one of my best friends coming to say for a weekend. It was so cold, but we did fun things. Went to Camden Market. Went to see Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Went to a cat cafe to have afternoon tea. Walked around Shoreditch admiring some amazing street art. I had a lovely time, lovely food, and lovely company.

And then, against the odds, the trees started blooming. And I say against the odds because this has been the longest winter I can remember in this city. It’s been consistently cold and wet, and only recently have the temperatures started to go up, but not enough. The sun has not been making many appearances. But seeing those blossoms made me think about how incredible nature really is. Even on the coldest, dark and wet days, these trees were almost telling me you can also blossom during dark times. Do not let yourself get stuck there. Blossom. Almost as if nature itself was sending me a message.

So during the weekends, I started going for walks in nature, even though the weather was constantly threatening rain. At some point, it started to rain while I was in this open green field in Hampstead Heath. I had no umbrella, but I did not run. I just let the rain fall on me, feeling refreshed. It was spring rain. It was cold. But it was raining. And then a beautiful rainbow appeared against the dark skies. Because there is beauty in the darkness as well.

When the greatly awaited Easter weekend came, I was glad I wasn’t going on a trip anywhere as I usually do. I stayed in London, went to the parks to read, and went on a day trip to Brighton (where most of London seems to have decided to go to as well). It was a restful long weekend, and I read three books and a half.

It’s been nice. It’s been nice indeed. But I’m feeling the itch. that itch to go, to explore. I need a change of scenery, and it will happen for a bit as I’m flying home to Portugal for a week. One of my friends is getting married. Mostly, I’m excited about the warm temperatures.

This post seems more like a diary entry, but hey this blog is about free form and I wanted to share a little more about my life outside of the moments when I’m travelling 🙂 and for anyone out there who may be going through a hard patch, remember that even those delicate pink cherry blossoms blossomed against all odds.

Love, Nic


6 thoughts on “What I’ve been up to in London

  1. So sorry to hear about your professional uncertainties, Nic. This can be so stressful, I know. As people who “feel a lot” too we sympathise, empathise and all the rest of it. Your conflicted emotions are perfectly understandable. As hard as life can be for us running our own business, I don’t think we would ever be able to go back working for a company again. I’m glad that you have been able to stabilise, feel better and that time with a good friend played a part in that. London looks to be warming up, thank god. Here’s to spring being even more springy as we edge towards summer. Enjoy Portugal and I hope you have another amazing adventure soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Leighton, it is always good to be understood! Definitely enjoying some warmer days in Portugal for now 🙂


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