I am happy and I am sad. It's been 8 years this month since I first moved to London and after a lot of thinking and talking, I am moving back to Bournemouth. This will be my last post on this blog.
I am sad. I came to London to pursue a dream and become an actor. I want to say that this isn't the end of my acting career but a break is needed and there is an element of finality moving away from London, my home, after 8 years. The last couple of years have just not got off the ground and I have had to rely on event work to keep me afloat. A chance that every actor needs to progress in their career hasn't come for me and I am tired. There was a breaking point that I hadn't realised I'd reached this year and my interest with it all has dropped almost entirely. Coronavirus has definitely played a major role in this decision. I haven't worked for 7 months and there is no guarantee any work will come in the next year so, after visiting home for 2 weeks in August, I realised that this would be the most sensible option. I've not been one for taking the sensible option before but after a fortnight back home I realised how, more so than ever, I still love where I'm from. The places, the beaches, the atmosphere, the quiet and of course first and foremost my family and friends. All of it. And I crave it. I still like London. But I don't love it anymore. It makes me think of the famous quote by Samuel Johnson: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." To that I say Samuel had clearly never been to Bournemouth. I will always treasure the memories I've had here. The friends for life I've made. The flatmates I've treasured coming home to. But I feel like it's time, not just because of Covid, to come home and change things up. As I've gotten older the dream of acting has been slowly moving aside for more grown up dreams. Owning my own house one day. Having a secure job. Settling down somewhere. Moving back to the seaside. I have wanted these things more and more over time and I am excited to pursue those new dreams now.
I am happy. As sad as I am about leaving London, I am so happy and excited to move back to Bournemouth. I had pretty much made up my mind about moving back a month ago when I was home but I wanted to wait and go back to London first. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was giving up. As soon as I was back I knew I had left my head and heart by the sea. Yes, it's home. The place I grew up where almost all of my family are and so many friends, but it really is a beautiful part of the world. A place I'm proud to be from and somewhere I knew I would want to return to eventually. So many people I've spoken to from Bournemouth who have lived away have now either returned or have plans to return in the future.
The break from, or end of, my acting career (whatever this may end up being) will be replaced with a computer and code. A thought that was of course strong in my mind was if I were to move back, what would I do? There was so many things that didn't attract me and, after a lot of conversation with my cousin, I have been learning to code. At the risk of sounding like a nerd I have found it exciting and interesting and would love to pursue a career in it. This is obviously a radical shift from acting and the lifestyle that goes with it but I think that is a big factor. I have had far too much experience of the freelance lifestyle and I crave structure. The thought of having a routine and a structured life excites me and that's what I would move back to achieve. I have spent 8 years thinking constantly about money and not knowing when the next job will be or if next months rent will be paid out of money earned or savings. The relief that I will feel having a job and a salary and a routine to my life will be priceless.
There are so many reasons and components to this decision that writing them all would probably be boring and undoubtedly long so I will leave it there. I don't want people to feel sad for me that I didn't achieve what I set out to do here. I want people to feel happy for me that I had an amazing 8 years in London and am moving onto something new. As unexpected as this year has been this is the right move for me right now. I'm sad it's the end but happy it's a beginning. I am excited for what happens next. I am excited to come home.