WOW, what can I say. This is a hard post to write because as much as I write and try to explain what London means to me, no words, written or spoken will make justice to what I really feel.
Perhaps I should start by telling that since I remember to be me, Emma Olmi, I had the London dream. Maybe because I had the feeling that I wasn’t a countryside girl at heart and you can’t get much bigger than London, or maybe was all the Spice Girls / Girl Power Marketing machine I grow up with, that taught me that London is the city of the dreams, so from then on, I have always believed that London is the place you are allowed to be who you really are and that everything can happen – and oh boy, things DO happen in London.
So it might come as no surprise that I have always loved London and I am sure I will always will.
So cutting the story short, I have “warned” my parents I would move to London once I finished my degree. And so 3 days later, on the 19th of October 2006, with only €200 in my pocket which I saved from my singing “career”, I have finally moved to the European capital.
A small countryside girl who never paid a bill in her life, that had never learned on how to put the washing machine working and that at the age of 23, has never left mummy and daddy’s house, was now in the big city, not for the money, not for the career, but for the adventure and for the learning. And saying I got all that and much more is a real statement!
From living in a house with 48 people, to have hardly no money to eat, to have a couple of “not ideal” jobs, to be mugged twice and loose pretty much everything material I had in a space of only a couple of months, I can tell you it wasn’t an easy ride, but who wants easy rides? I don’t. 😉
I have moved to London for the challenge and to allow myself to grow and open my horizons and slowly, I did achieved every single item I wanted out of London. From international friends to the hottest boyfriends, got into the rate race and made my way up the ladder and become what I wanted career-wise, from an empty wallet to a very nice bank account, the crazy parties, the Michelin star restaurants, the sightseeing, the musicals, the dozens if not hundreds of concerts, gigs and live shows I have attended of the biggest stars that walk this world, hanging with the rich and famous, I can say I have been living the life!
London has been spectacular and always amazes me with its spontaneity and multicultural openness.
However, is because I feel like I have done it all that my dream to go and explore the world made more sense day after day, plus it felt like I have been preparing myself for this – London is like the world but in a smaller scale. Is like I did a life preparation degree in London but now it was time to move to the World and put in practise all the theory I have learned. I did the degree but was time to jump in the traineeship (or the big job).
Now was this easy, to make this decision? Well, my life couldn’t be much better in several ways…. I am so grateful for everything I have achieved and I don’t think I know anyone that loves London as much as I do. So of course it wasn’t easy to leave it at all… and the main reason is even something else. My people.
During these last 7 years I have been fortunate enough to meet and befriend some of the most fantastic people most of you can only dream off!
Out of joke…. Most people say that it is impossible to have more than 2 or 3 best friends/really good friends, now let me tell you, and no, I am not deluded, but I do have several special people I can call best friends and real friends. People I totally love and trust with my closed eyes.
They come from everywhere and I have met them from most varied reasons …. but they are indeed the most precious thing I have owned in London, my group of friends.
I might not live in London anymore but I know they will always be friends for life and no matter where I will be, no distance, in time or geographically will make us apart.
So this post is for you guys, you are the ones that made me fall in love with London, because without you, London wouldn’t have its charm and sophistication and sense of adventure. But with you I was able to dream and explore things to a different level as we were part of the gang, and that gave us sense of power and achievement.
Thank you for being real and for being honest. Thank you for listening to me for hours and gave me a shoulder when I needed to cry. Thank you for saving me from so much trouble and for holding my hand when I needed to jump. Thank you for being next to me during the good and the bad times. Thank you for never judge me and for letting me be who I am without feeling bad about my large and honest mouth. Thank you for being by my side when things were going wrong and when stress smacked me hard. Thank you for inspiring me and for letting me inspire you. Thank you for growing up with me and share such unforgettable moments (millions of them) with me. I truly love you!
Leaving you hurts but I know you understand and we will always be here for each other.
Also thank you so much to each one of you organised and attended surprise goodbye parties, meals, all the presents and beautiful messages you have written me. All that was and it will always be priceless. And will never forget the moment I walked in to my party and saw you all dressed up as me/Spice Girls/Jolie etc. That was one of the most hilarious things … you are definitely special and was great to have you all in my party for a last goodbye.
And a special thank you to my bros and sis that came with me to the airport… was probably the saddest goodbye but as they say:
“So glad we made it, time will never change it, no, no, no… You know it’s time to say goodbye”
I am just like that little girl with big imagination that never letting no one take it away, she went it to the world, what a revelation but she found there’s a better way…. and she will also “be back” 😉 xoxo
Also, I couldn’t finish this post without a special mention, so would like to say an extra thanks to you aswell:
LONDON, thank you.
Thank you for welcoming me, thank you for making me grow as a person, thank you for introducing me to so many marvellous friends, thank you for teaching me so many valuable lessons, thank you for give me independence, thank you for showing me different worlds in just one place, thank you for making me believe in people, thank you for “spicing” up my life =p; thank you for slap me when I needed it, thank you for let me meet so many of my role models, thank you for let me dance like the world was ending, thank you for making me a proud professional, thank you for let me taste so many of your flavours, thank you for letting me discover your history, thank you for allowing me to be who I really am, thank you for opening my mind, and THANK YOU FOR BEING HOME. Its been 7 years this week, and its was a real pleasure to be a Londoner.
With love, your Emma