I’ve always considered myself a city girl at heart. I get a buzz from the hustle, the bustle, the highly pumped atmosphere but today I remember why I also love my country bumpkin roots.
This morning, I walked to the shop, a ten minute walk, and every person I passed said ‘Good Morning’. It is such a little thing, a few seconds of verbal contact, yet it was enough to light up that little warm area inside me reserved for feeling happy at the world and random acts of kindness. The same place lights up when someone carries your suitcase up the stairs for you or holds open a door. It’s funny how much these seemingly insignificant actions can impact on you.
Those brief moments also clicked with me why I miss this hidden little Oxfordshire town, the overwhelming sense of community. Although this has its downsides, you can’t sneeze without someone noticing, it’s like a safety net which I certainly didn’t appreciate until I moved away.
As a young adult in these sleepy little country villages, at the time you should be spreading your wings as wide as you can, there is still a cage-like restriction. You’re stuck with at least half an hour from the nearest city of opportunity, home is full of the same faces you journeyed through school with and you start to resent and get angry. It’s hard to start a new chapter of life with so much of the old ones surrounding and moulding you.
Now living in Southampton, there’s still a sense of community in being a student, yet there’s also that head-down anonymity which comes with being absorbed into a city population statistic. You get lost in the blank faces in cities like London and with that rush to A to B you lose sight of the people and place around you.
I remember in New York compliments were thrown left right and centre about my clothing and hair colour. Although this was usually a façade to encourage me to buy something, the random kindness from a stranger made me feel great. Maybe this is a attitude trend we should bring to all cities.
A little bit of friendliness in this hostile and scary world can really make someone’s day and this new year i resolve to do just that.