A Reflection on my Life-Altering Move to London

I am having a terrible time.

I am having a terrible time.

There. I said it.

Over the last few weeks, I have descended into a deep depression faster than British cheese rollers sprinting down Cooper’s Hill.

What the Hell am I doing with my life?

I thought this was it. The peak. The pinnacle. All of my life’s work culminating here. I am living in London. I am getting my Ph.D. I am working remotely in marketing. I am single and free to mingle. Shouldn’t I be happy as a freaking clam?

Yeah, I should be. Am I? Not a lick. Not a freaking, syrupy, sopping wet lick. Instead, I have spent most of my days struggling to get out of bed. Crying into my pillow. Going out to nightclubs just to feel alive for a little while only to spend the proceeding three days feeling like the fuzz caught in the lint trap in an industrial dryer — purposeless, unwanted, and prone to combustion if undiscarded.

I have zero motivation. No desire to work on this damn thesis I spent all summer prepping for. I will be accruing more than $100,000 in debt to earn this degree. But what’s the point? I’m nothing special! I feel like everyone here is smarter than I am. More ambitious. More clever. More talented. Funnier. Richer. More outgoing. More accomplished. More sure of themselves. More secure.

I really don’t care much about my work work either. I’m just tweeting, writing blog posts, designing infographics. No one cares. My boss/client says, “Good job,” pays me $50, and then we never talk about those deliverables again. And then we repeat.

I try to focus on reading and writing for my Ph.D., but after a good 30 minutes with a book, my mind starts to wander, and all I think is: I have no original ideas. Everything else has been said. No one really cares about what I have to say on this matter. And I’ll probably say it incorrectly anyway. So what’s the point?

And, ho, ho, ho, hoooooo. Don’t get me STARTED on my love life. Have been verbally assaulted. Sexually assaulted. Lead on, rejected. Ghosted. Lied to. Here I am, wanting nothing more than to give my love to someone worthy of it, and every guy I’ve met has treated me like I’m the lucky one?? What is wrong with this country? And I am not naive. I don’t go for bad boys; I go for nice guys with good jobs and nice hair, but they, too, are idiots. I recently fell in love with a man who I thought was going to restore my faith in the male gender but then, on our second date, he made fun of me for saying, “Thank you so much,” instead of “Thank you very much,” (saying “so much” is sooooo American, gross) and I haven’t heard from him since. What a guy! Maybe if I start treating men like sh*t I’ll have a better chance of finding love. How utterly romantic.

The few things I am grateful for right now are: yoga classes, boxing classes, pearl earrings, the Dateline podcast and getting ready for nights out with Darla. Nights out themselves are hit or miss. And I like my new friends. They’re the silver lining. Ayushi with her spunk and joviality. Debbie with her kindness and patience. Jill with her strong opinions. Nicole with her articulation. Even the other ones in the Ph.D. realm that I haven’t seen in weeks. They’re pretty alright.  But I’m still in a city of 9 million people yet spending 20+ hours of each day alone. Just me and me trusty laptop, which, like me, is falling apart. E-I-E-I-O (both the chorus of “Old MacDonald” and a list of the keys on my laptop that have fallen off).

But what’s the use in all of this. I’m not happy. I’m not learning. I’m not creating. I spent $300 on a brand new, 88-key electric keyboard that I thought was going to change my life and get me right back into music and guess what! I gave it a 2-minute diddle, hated how it both felt and sounded, and now it’s sitting in the corner of my studio flat collecting dust. My camera? Also useless. I have not taken a single interesting photograph since I’ve been here. And even if I did, I would simply post them to my blog or Instagram and then that would be the end of that. I am a content creator and no one cares about content anymore. Unless you are a famous TikToker (which is also a pointless job), being a creator really means nothing these days. Getting a PhD probably means nothing. It doesn’t guarantee a job. No, you have get published and have a bunch of teaching experience on top of having a PhD which you have to pay or get funded to do. But who wants to fund an American girl writing about media trust and podcasting? Boring!

I’ve also been rejected from the two student leadership positions I applied for and likely won’t even get a spot in the teaching course I put in for. I kind of just want to drink wine and die. I am back on anti-depressants and taking both vitamin D and iron supplements because the doctor agrees that there’s something wrong with me. I guess my only redeeming quality right now is my ability to seek help when I’m at my wit’s end. I was literally put on suicide watch after my initial appointment with the doc but then I assured the helpline operator that there was a 2/10 likelihood that I’d hurt myself and she said she was, “Satisfied with my answer,” and that was that.

Oh, and I got my period this morning.

So yeah, all-in-all, maybe I have reached the pinnacle. Of my sanity. And it took moving to London to realize that this peak is pointless. Ha, that’s a good one.

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