And just like that, I’ve been a Londoner for 3 whole years.
This past year has been the best and the worst. I enjoyed freedom living away from my nanny family, I started looking after a new kid, I made new friends and said goodbye to old ones. I travelled with my boyfriend, to Lisbon in the summer, Liverpool for Christmas, Venice for his birthday. We booked tickets to New Zealand to see my family later this year, which feels all sorts of exciting and surreal.
Perhaps the hardest day was when Danielle returned to New Zealand last December. The whole year felt like a countdown to that moment, as we ticked off our lasts. Last Eurotrip, last playdates as nannies, last time we caught the bus home together. We had a drink together before she went through airport security and even then, as tears streamed silently down my face, it felt like we were watching the very last grains fall through the hour glass. I remember the moment so vividly, as she walked through and I sobbed into A’s shoulder for quite a while.
In contrast, one of my favourite days of my 3rd year in London was in September. I’d gone to see Danielle in Oxford, we’d woken very early and set off to Blackpool to visit the waterpark. Before our trip, everyone had asked “why Blackpool?”, as if we’d booked it all by accident. We had the best day together, riding every ride and being so exhausted afterwards we almost fell asleep in the pub at 8:30pm.
I’ve also made and connected with new friends this year, enjoying vegan markets and restaurants in the weekends and meeting up with our kids at work every week. I spent a lot of time thinking about Danielle leaving that I found it hard to focus on the fact I still have friends here, but I’m very grateful for my little circle.
I considered a career change after last summer, but I think for now, I’m very happy being a nanny. The pay is good, I’m in control of how I spend my day and I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids before they’re bigger.
Last year, I got 2 tattoos on my second anniversary. This year, I went for noodles after work on my own. I felt content and proud and reflective. For the first time, I can see my future here beyond the next 6 months. It’s exciting. And terrifying.
Let’s hope it’s a good one.