Monday, 14 December 2009

More to Life than Shoes

One of the things I loved about London when I first moved here was my new found anonymity. I had lived in a small town all my life before going to a campus based university stuck on top of a hill in the middle of no-where. Being able to walk to the bus stop without running into someone who knew my business was a refreshing change.
Like even the most expensive and innovative of Christmas presents, the novelty soon wore off. Walking around in your own little bubble plugged into your IPod may protect you from having to engage with society between home and the office, but other people’s disregard for their neighbours soon becomes an irritant. Why don’t people talk to the family who live next door, or offer their seat on the bus to the elderly lady with a walking stick?
That lack of community can wear you down, especially when your friends may live in the same city as you but they are at least half an hour on the tube away. And, let’s face it, popping over for a cup of tea is just not the done thing here.
Which is why it is great that people are manufacturing their own little communities. From book clubs (guilty) to allotments (not guilty) we seem to be making more of an effort to get together to share our common interests.
I’ve just got back from More To Life Than Shoes in Islington. More To Life Than Shoes (MTLTS) started off as a website women could register on to network with other women who wanted to get something out of life other than what the normal nine to five existence offers. They have just started holding meetings over London (and other parts of the UK, so I understand) where women can meet like minded people, talk about their goals and help each other to build up the confidence to reach them.
Which is why I am blogging right now. My goal is to write a novel (EEEEK!). My goal for next month is to write and submit a short story to my college magazine (mmm) whilst setting aside time to write between 1,000 and 1,500 words of my novel a week and maintain my blog (gulp!). Oh, and I am going to post a link to my blog on their Facebook page. And add it to my email signature. In return I am writing about the renewed energy and motivation I feel from having shared with some strangers that I want to write a novel and receiving such encouragement and support, not to mention practical advice and suggestions. I say strangers, but I don’t think they will be strangers for long. They have helped me get my arse into gear, and I am going to help them grow into something truly fabulous, darling.
So yes, some people may spend their lives oblivious to the life of most of the 8 million Londoners who share this city with them. But I’m going to embrace my new little community. There’s more to life than my craving for a pair of Ugg boots, after all.

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