Sunday, 1 May 2016

Dear Newcastle...

Three years ago, I packed up my belongings, jumped in the car, and began a new chapter in my life. Amongst the hustle and bustle of getting prepared, buying pots and pans and all sorts of kitchen equipment that of course, I did not need, I had not perhaps realised, how big a step it would be.

You see, whilst venturing up and down the country, visiting university open days, you were the only city I got excited about, the only city I could envisage myself in. You have a little bit of everything don't you, and I liked that about you, so of course, I thought I’d settle right in, everything hunky dory, I’d be completely fine.


But that’s not how it was, was it. I hate to say it, but Newcastle, I really hated you in that first week. I was always told ‘hate is a very strong word’ but I did, I hated you and I wanted out. You might have tried to lure me in and convince me how fun you were, with your freshers week nights out, and your pub golf bar crawls, but I didn't want to down pints of cheap beer, I didn't really want to drink at all.

I know you’re sat there thinking, ’pah, well you’ve bloody drank me dry since’ and that’s really very cheeky, but okay yes, perhaps somewhat true yet at that time, in that first week, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

So, I cried. And I cried. And, mmhmm, I cried a little more. I rang home, pleading my parents to let me leave you, but they wouldn't let me. I had to give you a month apparently, despite being completely convinced I would never even begin to like you. A few weeks passed, and I suppose, you were okay. I started to form friendships and get to know you a little better, started navigating myself around, you were becoming familiar to me but it was only when I went home at Christmas that I realised.

I realised, you had begun to feel like home.

So I trotted through the rest of first year, had a ball of a time, really acquired a taste for the £5 Blossom Hill rose, had a LOT of laughs, and just when I thought I was temporarily leaving you for a few months, I got a job.

This job, which was a handy little 10 week contract, meant that I wasn’t leaving you at all, but in fact, you were being graced with my presence for even longer and I know you felt oh so lucky, even if you try to deny it. The funny thing is though, that if on that first day, you’d have told me that I’d be leaving that job two years later, with my best friend who started on that very same day, to go travelling round the world together, I’d have slapped you on the arm and told you to stop drinking in the morning.

But it’s true! It’s happening! The job was, pretty much, the best thing that could have happened to me at that point in time, and whilst it’s had, a few tricky moments, it’s given me the experience, the money to enable me to go travelling a week after finishing university and the opportunity to meet so many lovely people who I now have the privilege to call my friends.

As I said though, the job also allowed me to meet my best friend and from this point on, wowza, I think even you took cover a few times, because we really painted the town red didn't we. Whilst there are far too many times to go into, and perhaps a few times that may be a rather hazy memory, you showed us a good old time, you cemented yourself as my real life, actual home, didn't you, you sly dog.

Of course, university continued and I met people that I just know I'll be friends with for a long time to become. But aside from all that, all the food and prosecco (ahem) and fun and laughter, you allowed me to dig a little deeper, and find me. It’s all going a little deep, I know, but you have. You’ve let me cry to enable me to become stronger, you’ve let me be angry to show me how to be better, you’ve let me laugh to tell me how great my life is.

You know what you’ve really done though? You’ve allowed me to become me, you’ve given me a little time, and a little push, you’ve let me see what I tolerate, and what I don't have too, what I love, what I don't, who I want to be around, who I don't. Most importantly though, that doing what makes me the happiest, despite what others think, is the most important thing.

I couldn't really imagine how my life would be now, if I’d have quit you in that first week. And now I’m leaving, and whilst it is with a heavy heart, I just feel like I’m ready, y’know. I really spread my wings when I came to you three years ago, and now, I’m ready to spread them a little wider.

But thank you Newcastle, thank you for giving me the best three years of my life so far. You’re a little star, and one that will always shine brightly in my heart.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my word, we pretty much had the same experience!

    Good luck in your travels anyway, Newcastle will miss you!

    Katie
    www.kathyathy.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What lovely lovely words! I'm celebrating my third year Newcastle anniversary next week xx

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