London – My Other Home

London Eye
Today I wanted to share with you a personal post about one of the hardest decisions I have had to make so far in my life. It took me months. The reason why I want to share it is because its a big part of my life. Also some of you may not know but I have relocated back to Dorset having lived in London for a couple of years.  I really learnt alot about myself!

Initially when I was offered a job to work in London, I panicked and thought about all the reasons why I shouldn’t go. The list in my head was VERY long! Some people may have thought I was completely over reacting, stressing for nothing. Why was I making a big deal out of it? But the whole thing really stressed me out – I had never had to make a decision like this before.

When I was told about a new job offer in October 2013, I was unhappy in my role and didn’t find I was being challenged in anyway. I was already a couple years into my business, and I knew being a photographer was what I wanted to do. Why was I considering moving into another role – wouldn’t that be another step away from where I want to get to?

I was so emotional around the whole thing. I was very fortunate to be living in a cute little flat with my boyfriend, which was on the cliff tops on the coast, a 2 minute walk from the beach. We had friends and family close by. This decision wouldn’t just affect me, but I also had my boyfriend to consider. Well, as soon as I told him, he was packing his bag in excitement to head to the city!

Every one was so excited for me, yet I was so unsure and full to the brim with fear of the unknown.

Neither of us went to University and had the experience of living away from home and our family, so he jumped at the chance.  But all I could think was that I was leaving a secure job, our home, friends and family….all for the unknown. Granted it was a better paid job, it would definitely challenge me in all the ways that my job at the time wasn’t. I would grow as a person and experience a new way of life, the hustle of the city. But still very unsecure, a job I could lose within a heartbeat and I would have sacrificed our, at the time, home and surroundings. The thought made me sick and I wanted to curl up in a ball and do anything but make the decision.

What I should have done was look at the positive side. How amazing it was that I was being given this opportunity. A chance to earn such an income that would help fund me and enable me to leave and pursue my dream business sooner. Give me the chance to travel and experience a new city and culture.

I don’t know what it was that all of a sudden made me make my mind up. I deferred my start date until the end of April…..a very indecisive person ha!

Now looking back on the experience, having now left London after living there for just short of 3 years and moved back to Dorset, I can’t understand why I didn’t snap up the opportunity straight away.

By Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography (112 of 33)

Living in London was a complete wake up call. I was used to a chilled out life. Working 9-5 most days, enjoying my weekends, with walks on the beach. Going to same couple of restaurants in the area that were our favourites. London gave me, and my boyfriend, a new lease of life. We had our weekends to explore, have adventures, try new amazing restaurants and bars, try cuisines that you would never find in Bournemouth.

My first day working in Canary Wharf was a shock. And it quickly became a place where I spent more time than at my home. I would leave home in the early hours of the morning and not get home til 9pm most evenings.

It was mentally and emotionally draining. A challenge. A wake up call from the bubble I had lived in for my working life (from the age of 17).

In the big mass of people who all walked in one direction – overwhelmed by the location I should have felt so fortunate to work in – The buildings so ginormous, towering over me, this young girl from Dorset, where my previous building I worked in was only three stories high!

I was surprised how quickly I fell into the ‘routine’. Being a girl who worked in the city. Early mornings, work dresses and heels at the ready, take-away coffees, travelling on the tube (looking and talking to no one! I vowed never to be that person….but its true, commuters can be so miserable and very rarely are chatty on the underground!)

By Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography (101 of 33)
By Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography (116 of 33)

Things We Loved, Explored and Experienced

* Wandering along South Bank * Gin Tasting Evenings * Hanging out at Wandsworth Common * Being a tourist – yes we did an open top bus! * Fell in love with Greenwich * After work drinks at Gordon’s wine bar * Spent more time at Gordon’s, yum to cheese and biscuits! * Creating beautiful, new, long term friendships – I am so grateful for the people we met whilst living there * Going to my first photography exhibition * Exploring the museums and art galleries * Pushing my boundaries and seeing what I am capable of * Dinner Dates * Walking the Royal Parks * Photographing London Weddings * Watching the London Ice Hockey team * Seeing some amazing gigs and performances in the O2 *

By Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography (133 of 33)

I am so grateful for my experience of living in London. And although I am so happy with my decision to move back to Dorset, I would highly recommend moving to London if you ever get the opportunity. I have so many amazing memories, hundreds of photographs from our outings and experienced my early 20’s in a way I never would have, if I stayed in Dorset. I fell in love with London and all it had to offer Although it took a while, it became my second home. Surprisingly I miss it alot, and it will always hold a special place in my life.

Much love, Charlotte
By Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography (110 of 33)

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