Don’t think this letter isn’t hard to write. It is. I’m surprised at how hard it is because it turns out my feelings for you have grown profoundly over the last five years and I would call it love. I do love you London. But we both always knew it wouldn’t be forever.
I wish I didn’t have to break it off (not least because I typically prefer the exquisite agony of the dumped to the all-consuming guilty relief of the dumpee…) but don’t you agree its best we part as friends, with fond memories intact, on good, nay great, terms and happy in the knowledge that we really gave it a go and for a while it was wonderful. Because it was. It is. It’s just time we started seeing other cities.
If I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d miss you when the time came – five years ago I could have left and not looked back. Your unwavering toughness was difficult to take at first, your contrary weather and apathy in the face of heartbreak, traffic jams, lost keys, lost jobs, snowstorms and too many consecutive grey days. I really believed you didn’t care if I was here or not. Sometimes I’m still not sure you do.
You haven’t made it easy for me. But I suppose in the depths of angst and uncertainty (mine) that seeming ambivalence (yours) can too easily be mistaken for cruelty and not the quiet reliability that it really is, however infuriating it might also be.
Don’t get me wrong London, you’re still hard work but I’ve got you figured and the effort has been worth the gain, really it has. It’s never been for nothing, not when I step back and allow myself to see the enormous tapestry of love and opportunity that you’ve afforded me without asking anything in return. But god you’ve made me work for it. Don’t worry, I’m not resentful, quite the contrary.
You introduced me to my husband, you frequently tempted me out of my despair (loneliness, unemployment, lost chances) with that quixotic carrot – possibility - and you’ve never teased. A hard master, but a fair one, once I worked out what the fuck the lesson was. And I need to thank you for all that.
You’ve given me confidence, experience, dear, dear friends, horizons rich with potential and an incredible foundation for the next stage in my life.
But my heart has always belonged to Sydney, and we knew that. I’m sure she’s changed too in the last five years but for all your potential and illusive scent of opportunity, she holds my family, Lovely Boy’s family, and let’s be honest, the beach. You could work on your weather London, which you’re currently doing and that’s wonderful, but it’s not enough.
We’ve still got time before I leave so let’s be stoic - you’re good at that - and not waste too much time looking back and instead, just suck the marrow from these next 12 weeks. So that when the time comes to part we’re fit to burst and the regrets are minimal.
I don’t need to tell you to take care of yourself because I know you’ll be absolutely fine without me. And I'll do my best to be the same.
I'll always love you London.