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by M

Not gonna lie, I was a bit sad about leaving sunny, springy Lisbon yesterday as I walked around the city in a tshirt and a light jacket, with my sunglasses on. But I should've learned by now that London never ceases to surprise me so I woke up today to one of the most beautiful days so far. The room was lit up by the light seeping through the curtains, reflecting rainbows on the walls. I opened the window without turning on the radiator and the birds were chirping outside. So I knew today was gonna be good day.


I tidied up the room, put on clean bedsheets, got dressed and went to a meeting at uni. For the first time in months, the garden was green and vibrant and the sky perfectly blue above it. No rain, no wind, no clouds, no snow. I walked to the big supermarket with a Spring playlist on and even though the bags were digging into my shoulders, it wasn't half bad at all. I had lunch, then cleaned the toilet and still had time to finish a watercolour with my room all bright and sunny and the window open.


I decided to take myself on a date. We (me and myself) were going to an exhibition but when I got there the queue went all around the block and I was too impatient so I didn't wanna stay. I was sad about it, because I'd been looking forward to this for a week. But maybe it was for the better because I realised I'd never been in that part of town and it was so beautiful, the buildings shining in the sunlight so bright, the birds kept singing, the views of the park. So I kept walking, and stumbled on Somerset House which I'd never been there and no one had told me how beautiful the courtyard is, with the massive buildings and the fountains. Then I ended up at Southbank Centre in a photography exhibition by Gursky, it was insane. Forget about the Picasso, I want one of his photos on my wall. Also there was a cute guy walking around and I would be lying if I said that didn't contribute to my crazy good mood because it did. 


When I got out it was like 7.20 and it was still super bright outside. So I walked along the river for a while. Southbank Centre isn't the prettiest but I love that promenade so much, you can see all of the beautiful buildings overlooking the other side of the river, the skyscrapers in the city, St. Paul's, Tower Bridge, the London Eye. The last time I went there was in December, when Katya and I went to a Christmas market, and it was cool to see how different it looks now. There were so many people having beers and dinner outside, jogging or just walking around. For some reason I really felt like having a mocha and tried to find a Starbucks but they were all far away, so I got one from the museum cafeteria and it was surprisingly 1. cheap 2. so good!!! It had actual melted chocolate in it yum.



London feels like an entirely different city in the Spring. There's always something mystic about classic grey and rainy weather for sure, but this kind of bright sunlight—the city glows. Today was like London put on a dress.


from the attic

by M

i was thinking about how i wrote last year that some things don't change, and that lying on the attic floor writing after midnight is one of those few constants i can think of. and here i am again. i shut off the computer and went downstairs to get some food before bed, but i realised i wasn't sleepy so much as jetlagged. so i came back, turned on the dim lights, sat on the floor. it's been a while. if i'm honest i can't remember when was the last time this happened, probably some time in august, september. it feels the same, but not really. i realised i forgot what silence sounds like. it's overwhelming. my thoughts are so loud without the constant buzz of traffic, the sirens, people talking outside. another thing is—even though i've been coming back home every 2 months or so—this is the first time it truly feels like i'm on the other side of things. for a while it felt like i was living in the stretch of time and space between lightening and thunder. but the storm has passed now. the floor is still wet but the clouds have started to clear. when i was doing this last summer (writing in the attic at night) there was a sort of anxiety, or maybe just plain old fear. the kind of fear that moves mountains, but fear nonetheless. a lump in my throat. shaky hands. but not anymore. i haven't felt this peaceful in a very long time. and i don't wanna jinx it but i think this might very well be the happiest i've ever been. it's been a lesson, realising that happiness isn't engulfing or all-encompassing the way sadness or anguish or fear are. when you feel bad feelings, you feel them everywhere. in all things and all ways, sometimes more or less intense, but they're always there prying at you, demanding attention, unavoidable and exhausting. but happiness doesn't ask anything of you. hums, instead of yelling. she's gentle like the first sunny days of spring. you don't realise it's warm until you find yourself taking your jacket off, casually. or when you squint as you step outside and realise you forgot your shades. happiness is second nature, underlying, quiet, ever-present but invisible in its ways, so we forget about it. we fail to recognise it and find ways to undermine it instead. i know i did. took me forever to realise that thing that was going on in my life, after so many months of stress and exhaustion, wasn't wrong and didn't need to be fixed. it was just contentment. ease. that's when i found happiness again. in the little things of course. in tube rides and cute outfits. watercolours before bed. books and films galore. late night conversations with friends. dancing in my bedroom alone. going for walks before work. posters on the wall. extra large coffees. winter sunrays. but also, i learnt to find happiness in the bigger picture too. sometimes that's trickier, i think. you need to take a step back and let yourself believe that that pros outweigh the cons. took me a while to figure that out, and i'm still unsure—only time will tell. but when i think about my life now, i like it at a lot. i don't feel torn anymore, i don't think. it's life-in-the-making sure, but i've settled and i'm back to living each day as it comes. no buts no ifs. definitely no more looking back. i'm looking ahead now. only ahead.