You die once you stop learning. Ever since I came across that phrase its been my mission to make every experience a learning opportunity. So I love when you can break time into discrete pieces to reflect on them. Leaving one city and country for another is such a good demarcation. I spent my last 24 hours in the same room where I spent my first. As I made sure I had all my belongings I wondered what it was that I gained from coming to London? Was it worth it? London for sure was so expensive but it is possible to weight the pounds I spent with all that I learned and gained?
This experience once again allowed me to see the best and worst of myself. Old demons wore new masks and I found light in the places I thought would be dark forever. Unfolding is never easy but London made it feel good.
I mainly spent time in and around South and East London. Sadly I didn't spend much time in West London because I continually told myself that it was too far away, which it was. The few times I did go I enjoyed the different vibe and energy it had. One time I was with my friend Alec and we visited his favorite museum the Victoria and Albert. The V&A as its called for short is one of the leading museums on art and design. As I explored the different floors I was transported through so many different time periods getting a peek at the decor and style of different era's. By far my favorite section of the museum beside the amazingly ornate cafe that allows anyone to dine like royalty was the series on cutlery used in homes designed by different styles. I loved seeing a visual timeline through everyday objects and how they evolve with the times.
Afterwards, we went to the Albert Memorial which is a beautiful statue surrounded by mildly racist statues of the four corners of the earth, above you see the American corner where you can find some Bison and a Native American both of which were almost wiped out due to imperialism.
Another thing I wish I had explored more was the museums. I made it to the Tate Modern to see this wonderful exhibition called "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power." This exhibition provoked so many questions in me about what black art could and should look like. As well as introducing me to new artists that I had never heard of. I also saw a beautiful exhibition of Shikeith's work in this small gallery, but I didn't see nearly enough of all that London had to offer. What I learned is that I need to be more intentional with my time. If there are things I want to do I need to schedule them.
Over these 3 months I learned that some British accents are actually impenetrable. That liquor stores are called Off Licences and Brits don't season their food. I learned that Brexit has left a wound in the national soul and many people were unsure about how it would be filled. I learned I still have issues balancing a social life with work. But I also learned to develop rituals that once I master will allow me to reach the productivity I know I can. I learned that cities are the most magical when you let them unfold themselves rather than arriving with preconceived notions. Most importantly I learned that the Universe will always provide and that I need to stop the doubt.
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