As you may know, I was living in London for a year and some months. When I became pregnant I actually didn’t intend on coming back to Bermuda for a few years. My partner, who is also Bermudian, had no real intentions of leaving London either.
I figured I would come home when my daughter was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I didn’t want to separate father and child, but as my pregnancy went on something changed.
London wasn’t home. It was ok for me, a 30 something seeking adventure, but for my baby, no. Quality of life in London was ok as well. We lived in a really nice flat and comfortable area. The hospital and doctor’s office was very close by. The High St was not even a minute away and the bus and train links were excellent.
Thing is, I wanted her to experience what we had coming up as kids. I wanted her to be able to have a yard to play in and to feel the sunlight on her little toes. I wouldn’t have to go far so she can play in the ocean and build little sand castles on the pink sandy beaches.
She would get to see the Gombeys and eat snowballs, and enjoy what island life has to offer. More importantly though, she would get to be around family.
I discussed with my child’s father my feelings and concerns regarding staying and raising our daughter in London. Financially it would have been pretty difficult even though we were both working. I am not one to want to live off of benefits, so I was not trying to go that route. In Bermuda, the cost of living is very high, however you can make a very good wage. You may struggle, but the struggle is much easier compared to the struggles of London.
Then it came down to our support systems. We had little to no family and very little friends in London. Our mothers would have to fly out for the birth and I can say with no hesitation, I would have been depressed when they left, had we stayed in London.
I have to say he was super understanding and agreed it was best for us to return to Bermuda. I was soooo frickin relieved after that. I knew I would miss London, but having my first child in Bermuda became a no brainer. Once the decision was made, my pregnancy became really real after that. I was getting more excited and couldn’t wait to be back home.
I knew there would be much sacrifice and we were taking a leap of faith, but we both stepped out on faith when we left Bermuda and we were able to survive in London. Coming back to Bermuda would be easy as it’s home and so far so good.
I was hoping to be temping upon my return, however that didn’t work out as planned. I’m not used to not working so it did get me down a bit, however the free time has enabled me to work on my YouTube channel as well as my blogs. Now my due date is fast approaching so no work for me until February/March. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have the support of my family and friends and it has been greatly appreciated.
I suppose you could say coming home was one of the first major decisions I made as a mother and I truly have no regrets.
So as you know, I flew off to London for a year. Across the Pond I went, in search of glamour and adventure of sorts.
Now I intended to stay for an extended length of time. I gave myself 5 years at first, but then I told myself 2 more years. I enjoyed London, but I knew it wasn’t ‘home.’ This was all before I became pregnant of course.
Here’s a few things that London taught me.
London is expensive. Everyone knows this but until you live and work there, I don’t think you’ll fully realise the extent of it. You hope and pray you can get a job that pays at least £10 per hour in order for you to pay the bills. Here I thought Bermuda was expensive.
London will teach you how to budget like a pro.ALL THE TIME. With public transport not being exactly cheap, you’re always looking to save money on your journeys. This is a big chunk of your budget. Unlike Bermuda, and depending on where you live in London, you can’t just walk to work or get a lift when there’s a strike or if you have no money.
You are constantly aware of the time difference. Being abroad and having a 4 hour time difference, you are always working out the time and when you will be able to talk to your friends and loved ones.
Blackout curtains are your best friend. I was caught totally by surprise my first day in London. I still had jet lag and was up at 3am when I noticed the sky was getting lighter. I thought I was bugging!! Then my flatmate informed me that indeed the sun rose stupid early during Day Light Saving Time, but when day it ended, it can start getting dark around 3:30pm. Now that sucked.
Some people’s ears are ‘virgin ears’ when it comes to accents. Even though English is my first language, I encountered a great deal of people that sometimes had a hard time understanding me because of my accent. These were people from various countries by the way, not just England.
Always carry an umbrella. You never know when you may get caught in a shower and you may not have the funds to buy a new brelly if you left yours at home.
Drink before you go to the club.This isn’t important but still it’s worth sharing lol. Bwoy oh bwoy!!! Liquor is damn expensive. I actually didn’t drink a whole lot while I was in London, but when I did go out, I drank while at home. You’ll see lots of people doing this or drinking in the queue.
The ignorance towards other cultures is really real. Bermuda is very veryyyyy small, and there are lots of things that we are not really exposed to. It was amazing and disappointing to see how some people act towards others with different cultural backgrounds. It made me appreciate Bermuda a lot more.
Google Maps is your best friend. If you don’t ever use Google Maps then you’re bloody awesome. I have had to use it numerous times to go to a recruiter or an interview. It’s a necessity. You can’t live without it as long as you live in London.
There really is no place like home. There will always be something you don’t like about home, but at the end of the day….home can never be replaced.
Since becoming pregnant I feel like I’ve become more enlightened. I sh*t you not life has taken on a whole new perspective. Things seem so much clearer. I have a deeper understanding of life that I didn’t have before and this is such a great thing. It shows I’ve matured and I’m growing mentally each day, as I prepare to become a mother. That brings me to this blog post.
In one of my enlightened moments I realised how much I took my mom for granted and how much we as society take our mothers for granted when they are living.
When your mom is living, do you ever miss her? Do you ever realise just how big of an impact she has in your life?
I used to sometimes get annoyed when my mom would want me to take her to the store or give her a lift somewhere. It only dawned on me once becoming pregnant, how much I missed doing those things for her. I feel so silly and petty when I think about it.
Since becoming pregnant, I have missed my mother so damn much!! She is alive and well, but she’s not here in the UK with me. I never realized how important it is to have your family close until now.
There have been days where I was feeling a bit weepy and the only person I wanted was my mom. I sh*t you not I would have my moment of tears and I would legit be crying to myself saying, ‘I want my momma.’ With my hormones turning up and my emotions just paying me no mind, I realised just how much I needed her; just how much I needed her calming voice and presence. Her presence alone would have been enough for those weepy moments.
I am very grateful that I still have my mom. Lord knows I am not trying to take that for granted. I am also very appreciative of the great relationship we have. My mom is the best and I thank God for her. She did her very best raising my sister and I, and I gotta say she did a great job. My sister and I aren’t perfect but we are pretty damn awesome. I can’t express how much my respect has grown for my mother.
I also have a new found respect for women whose mothers are no longer living or those who don’t have a good relationship with their mothers. Especially when they become mothers themselves. That is a journey that you most of all want to share with your mom. You want to be able to show her all of your pictures from your scans and tell her about your cravings. You’d want her to witness your growing baby bump especially. You’d have questions about when she was carrying you and what type of experiences she had as well. But more importantly you’d want her to be there for the birth of her grandchild. She’d be there to calm you and give you advice, and to also reassure you that you will be a great mother. She will always have your back no matter what because well….that’s what mothers do.
So…. I know the year is almost over, but how was your New Years? Mine sucked. I actually started off 2015 crying. Crying for various reasons. Bawling like a baby. Well maybe not bawling, but I was as sad as sad can be.
It was my first time living away from home and my family. I was feeling very lonely and was upset about my life in a nutshell. It wasn’t going along as planned; my simple yet awesome plan of just being bloody awesome.
Well as we all know life has a sense of humor…. Things don’t always go according to plan. Life does not care how great of a plan you have, nor how meticulous you was creating this exquisite plan.
So even though I ended 2014 in tears, I promised myself it wouldn’t start with more tears. I decided 2015 would be great. It would be effin epic and to do that I needed to let go of the things that had me in tears. I needed to let go of any insecurities I had and I needed to accept the things I could not change. It was time for me to take charge. I had goals and ambitions, so why the hell was I letting ‘stuff’ get me down.
Now it wasn’t easy. I had to write myself notes and set myself reminders. I had to remind myself that I am a queen and to always keep my chin up, head high. I knew what direction I wanted my life to go in and I was determined to get there. I also kept a diary of sorts. It was my way of releasing my raw feelings. I’ve actually kept a video diary in the past (I still use it.) and have found this very useful. It’s amazing to look back at yourself and see the raw emotion of happiness, sadness, excitement etc… You can look back and see how far you have come, or how far you may have back tracked.
So here I was, on a mission. I wanted to land a great job working in the city in London. I wanted to forget about guys (lol you know there’s always a guy in the mix) and not be concerned about being single at 33 years old. You know when a female is over 30 and single with no kids, it can play on your mind. Not all women obviously, but for me it definitely did.
I was going to start blogging and focus on my YouTube channel. I had plans, goals and I even had them written down on my vision board, so I can be reminded on a daily basis.
So fast forward a bit to February/March. I had a master plan. I know I know. Nothing goes according to plan and yes, I did get another reminder of this.
So I initiated the first part of my master plan. I decided to step out on faith and hand in my notice at my job. I was absolutely miserable there. Besides the work being mentally draining, the journey was stressful at times and it was costly to get there. So with no job lined up, I finished up work on a Friday and had an interview that following Monday. You see I was applying for soooo many jobs a day it was unreal and I figured, if I’m at home I could apply for loads more. At least 100 jobs a day minimum I applied for, and I did this everyday all day for two weeks. Then my leap of faith paid off. I was only out of work for two weeks and the first day of unemployment my flatmate had gotten a new job. It was perfect. The Lord’s timing is everything.
So I started working part time at a pharmacy, which will remain nameless. I was able to apply for work during the day and work at night. I enjoyed this because I was working near Trafaglar Square. I loved seeing the architecture and seeing the tourists on a daily basis. I even bumped into a Bermudian while at work, and an American tourist who has visited Bermuda for years.
Life was ok. No tears. No stress. My skin was clearing up. Oh!! Did I mention my skin had broken out due to stress?? My eyebrows had even shed!!! The stress had been showing when 2014 ended, but 2015 I was determined to tell stress to eff off.
So any who, I’m working at the pharmacy for a few weeks until one day I couldn’t get to work. I go to the cash point to take out some money to top up my oyster card. Well why the bloody hell does the machine keep my card?? So I go to the bank to see what’s happening, only to find out my bank account has been frozen!! I had no idea why and I was stuck. I couldn’t get to work. What’s worse is my employer wasn’t going to be paying me for another month. Have you ever heard of such??? Because they missed the payroll date I had to suffer?! They were taking a right piss I tell you!!
So now I must say, this was incredibly stressful for me. It wasn’t the end of the world but it felt like it to me. I couldn’t take out any money and I couldn’t get to work. Now, first let me tell you, the bank would not tell me why my account was frozen. They wouldn’t even apologize for any inconvenience. NOTHING. They told me I had to wait for a letter in the post. The post!!?? Now the bank was taking a right piss!! I will never forget, I went to the bank to see if I could get some answers and they again shut me down. I don’t know what came over me (actually I do now) but I sat there and cried in that bank. What was I going to do? I had no money, I couldn’t go to work and I had bills to pay. I felt like everything was going wrong. I left the bank, walked down the High St to our flat and as soon as I got home I cried and cried and cried. The ugly face, chest heaving crying. I cried some more when my flatmate came home. This was the most damn crying I had done since New Years Eve.
So since I wasn’t able to get paid from work, I took a Saturday job doing flyering for one of my favourite stores on Brick Lane. I was able to open a new bank account elsewhere and one of my friends lent me some money, bless their sweet heart. Side note, I have the best family and friends ever. My flatmate is the best as well. He had my back to the utmost. We have been through the struggle and have made a great team. Funny how life prepares you for things and you don’t even realise it.
So back to Brick Lane. That was one of the most humbling experiences ever. You all know what ‘flyering’ is right? Flyering is when you hand out flyers, pamphlets etc, to advertise a promotion, concert, daily specials etc. Now in Bermuda, we don’t really do this. We will stick flyers on your cars, in clubs, in stores and whatnot. A promoter may hand them out at a football game. Welllllll!!! This sucked lol. I did it though. I tried to get people to take these flyers, to try and urge them to take one so they could partake in a nice lil discount. All I can say is people can be mean. They will look down on you like you’re dirt beneath their feet. Quite amusing really. If the role was reversed, I’m pretty sure they would appreciate more kindness. So it goes. Who feels it knows it.
After awhile I got tired of the flyering. I was hungry as hell and ready to go home, so I did just that. Off I went back to Sutton where I lived. I was anticipating getting some curry for my flatmate and I. But I forgot there was something I needed to get first.
On Thursday, 19 June 2014, I left my island home of Bermuda, to embark on a journey to London, England.
Yes, you read correctly. I left sunny Bermuda, with its sub-tropical climate, pink sandy beaches and turquoise waters, to live in not so sunny and dreary London. Lol yep… crazy I know!
I sold my belongings, gave up my apartment and took the biggest leap of faith of my life. I had a plan of sorts, but of course I had no idea of what awaited me. But I was excited as hell. I was going to be in London. I could get my fill of fashion, football and endless possibilities unknown to me.
See, this was going to be the first time I would have been away from home for an extended period of time. I was not able to attend college and uni so I was taking a big chance. I didn’t know if homesickness would kick in. What if after a week I couldn’t take it anymore? What if it was too overwhelming after a month?
Luckily for me I was going to be sharing a flat with another Bermudian, a very close friend of mine. He had previously returned back to the UK in November 2013, and it made sense financially to share a flat together. He is actually one of the reasons I wanted to go to London.
Since 2012 I knew I wanted to leave Bermuda, that there was more to life than the 21sq miles I call home. There was something missing; that I should be doing more exciting work and living in another country. I always said when I was younger I would like to live in England, and I think having an aunt who lived there for 30 years and that being my first trip at 5 years old was an influence from early on.
So 2014 it was. I said my ‘see you laters’, I told my mom to think of it as an extended vacation. I fought hard not to cry at the airport and I surely failed! All day I was on the verge of tears really. Even when I said goodbye to my neighbors. I went through security, tears on my cheeks ready to take on London.
It’s now evident, London had a lot more in store for me than I could imagine.