Towards the very end of my 3-ish week trip back to England I took a day off to attend my friend Cindy’s wedding. We met at a Christian camp in Milton Keynes and became close as we shared stories about life and love, Jesus’ work in our lives and God’s guidance through it all. We would call each other every now and again for updates, and even before she was engaged I promised her that one day when she got married I’d attend her wedding.
The timing of everything worked out perfectly and I felt so thankful that I was able to keep my promise.
At one point, the tagline for my site was “this is not a food blog, but most of it is about food”. I think at one point, I might give up on pretending it’s not a food blog and just turn it into one. Until then, I will continue to stubbornly insist it’s simply a personal blog because sometimes I buy expensive shoes and write about them.
Still, everyone’s talking about Halloween and here I am posting about food. Really, I haven’t changed, lol! Ah well, I can’t help it if I just so happen to eat a lot and thoroughly enjoy doing it.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf. I guess I need some other excuse because lately I have dined embarrassingly well.
Back in July, I went back to the UK on a half-business, half-personal trip. The primary purpose was to spend time back at our London HQ office for a week, but I was able to extend my stay, giving me more time to get to know new colleagues but also visit my family and attend a friend’s wedding.
I spent about 2 weeks in London in total, during which time I more or less met up with different friends every day (night). When catching up after work, there is only one rightful place to do it: over dinner. Sorry for the terrible photo quality in some of these; I only had my iPhone 5S and was much more excited about the idea of stuffing food into my stomach than photographing it to perfection #glutton #fat #sorrynotsorry.
(I took these photos on my iPhone and ran them through Google Photo editor so they look fancypants and pretty. I did not do this for the rest of the photos in this post, also taken on iPhone. It takes too long and I’m lazy sleepy.)
It’s been exactly 2 weeks today since I moved to New York from my home in beautiful, sunny LA. So far it’s everything I imagined it to be: horrible weather, cramped, expensive, dirty and smelly, but hey, praise God I’m not comfortable here otherwise I’d lose sight of what He sent me for/has planned here for me right? :)
Actually my situation isn’t bad at all. My room is massive by New York standards, it’s in Manhattan and I’m only a 13-17min walk from my office depending on footwear (+5-10mins for coffee). The office is located between the Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building, more or less. My housemate is super nice and I pretty much have the apartment to myself 90% of the time.
My entire transition has been nothing short of miraculously smooth. Within a day I’d already unpacked, decided on a local church (Redeemer – Tim Keller’s church) recommended to me by brothers & sisters at CBCWLA and signed up for a cell group. Within a week, I’d already met and made friends with one of the cell group co-leaders (who, crazily, is high school friends with one of my CBCWLA worship leaders) and one of the other members, met a bunch of other brothers & sisters at Redeemer and signed up to serve at the church.
Within 2 weeks, I’ve already made some friends outside of church, wandered around Manhattan from east to west, found some cool coffee joints (yet to find one that blows me away though), gone clothes/shoes shopping (and returned with a massive haul that made my mum proud) and cooked at least 6 meals for myself (and sometimes for my housemate too.)
That said, it doesn’t change the fact that I miss LA like crazy. My apartment smells like cat (less so now that I’ve slowly but surely been giving it a deep clean), the weather here has been getting me sick (seriously it’s more temperamental than a woman’s mood on her period, pretty much like London weather) and you literally cannot walk five blocks without finding rows of garbage along the pavement.
Can you believe it? So much time has already passed and we’re already into May. It’s crazy that the last blog post I wrote, even before my site went down, was last year. At that time, I’d just left my London home and moved to LA. Now, I’m writing this from my new room in New York City.
A couple of months ago, my company asked me to relocate to NYC. It’s not a place I’ve ever wanted to be and honestly, I fell in love with my home and church in Santa Monica so I didn’t want to move. However, I know it’s where God is calling me through one miracle after another, and that’s enough for me to follow.
As of Monday I now live in NYC. In my mind, I’ll be here for 6 months and then I’ll return to LA, but my plans often aren’t God’s plans for me, so we will see :) Who knows, I might love it here and never want to return (so far, that’s not the case. It’s pouring outside and the city is as smelly and dirty as I imagined it to be) so there’s always an option to stay.
It really was an awesome 9 months in LA though! I realised I stopped blogging after my break up with Jason – 8 months ago now – because life happened. God led me to the church into which I would eventually settle, surrounded me with brothers and sisters and seekers to love and serve, and meet some of the best friends I’ve ever had. It was a wonderful life… it became a comfortable life… I stopped relying on Him, I became complacent. Thankfully He wasn’t finished with me.
That’s why I’m here today. I hope to find what God wants from me in this city. It’s been an amazing journey thus far. Join me for the next leg?
In the mean time, let me share a few more highlights from my time in LA – or more specifically, my church, CBCWLA.
So my hosting platform crashed and I lost over a years’ worth of posts. I had some stored on my old laptop as well, but I gave the laptop to my family and it broke too, so the posts are really gone now. Not that I posted a helluvalot, but there were some more sentimental ones that I am sad to have lost.
But sometimes, a fresh start is needed.
And sometimes, crazily, a fresh start is exactly what’s about to happen.
Big change is coming once again! I’ll write a proper update when I have some time.
Ah yes, and FYI, Jason and I are no longer together. We split, amicably enough, 6-7 months ago. It happened more or less within a month of me relocating to LA, but was all in God’s plan :) Don’t worry! Everything is fine and we are on friendly terms with one another. We caught up recently and it was just really nice to chat.
We’re unlikely to ever be best buddies, but that’s fine too. I’m just glad we’re on speaking terms and things are no longer awkward between us. After all, no matter what, he is first and foremost my brother in Christ.
God has done some wonderful, wonderful things in my life lately and I’ll write another post about that soon. For the time being, here are some recent LA selfies.