I left my country in 2013 to start a new chapter of my life in London. I was escaping from my home country’s narrow-minded and toxic culture, which never truly allowed me to explore my own self and be fulfilled in my personal and working life. I was looking forward to working hard in order to finally pursue my dreams. I was also trying to end a toxic relationship that was holding me back in life and giving me a lot of pain. I came to study and took my Master in London, enjoyed the study very much and got a distinction, all while working as a waitress. I was looking for a better job post-graduation when 23 June happened.
During my three and a half years in London I went through some challenging circumstances for my physical and mental health, and I struggled a lot especially in the first two years, despite my ‘keeping it all together’. Given this fact, unlike others, I didn’t manage to make loads of friends and find the perfect job but, as my condition improved with time, I had planned to keep working hard towards these goals for the next years and make London my home, because it felt like home.
It’s hard to explain what London meant to me. It allowed me to be my true self for the first time in my life. I have been inspired to make changes and find courage thanks to the diversity and the resilience I have seen in fellow Londoners. It has literally changed me and it doesn’t matter how difficult it has been, it was worth it. In the English language I found a ‘home’ for the thoughts and ideas that I was never able to express in my mother tongue. It opened up the ability to access a ton of empowering, perspective-shifting new ideas that have shaped my new self.
Eventually, when ‘Hard Brexit’ was announced in January, and coincidentally my tenancy expired, I decided to take some time off in my home country to re evaluate my plans because I am scared of investing emotionally and financially in a community that could reject me or even scapegoat me soon on the ground that I don’t qualify for Permanent Residency. Obviously if I had found a good, secure job in January, I would have stayed and waited, but unfortunately this was not my case. However I am homesick for London every day!
I have a huge emotional connection to London and it saddens me deeply that my plans to rebuild my life there have been disrupted, adding more uncertainty to this already uncertain stage of my life. I don’t feel very happy about the idea of starting all over again somewhere else and I feel like I don’t fit in my home country. I suddenly feel back to Square One again. It feels discouraging at times and just plain sad.
I am also heartbroken for those who are in a similar or even worse situation, and for the negative cultural impact of Brexit. I am probably among the least affected, but it still affects me A LOT. Not everyone understands what it means to invest so much energy to make your life in a place and then suddenly have to put everything ‘on hold’.
I’m sending hugs and love to everyone who feels affected by this nonsense. We’re all in this together!