To me, London is the Beatles performing atop the roof of Apple Corps. It’s Virginia Woolf holing up with the rest of the Bloomsbury group to discuss the curiosities of human behavior of the day. It’s Jean Shrimpton and David Bailey walking arm-in-arm down Carnaby Street, looking in the boutique windows of Mary Quant and Ossie Clark. It’s been the home and hideaway to Keats and Shelley, Shakespeare and the Sex Pistols. The birthplace of some of the most progressive thinkers in politics and poetry, London is filled with history and yet it is always on the brink of something new.I have travelled to London twice with my family over the past few years, and though the time we spent there was short, it gave me memories that I still revisit regularly. London was the most wonderful paradox for me - I felt simultaneously that I was such a little part of that living, exciting city, and yet there was a part of me that felt like it was a homecoming. In a way, London has always been my home. I'm excited to be given the chance to live there for six months. I have a chance to be like and live like the British babes I so admire. Sure, the times have a-changed since the days when Julie Christie was the 'Darling' of the town, and Pattie Boyd and Jane Asher hung on the arms of their Beatle boys, but there's such magic in that city that I hope will rub off on me.
I always knew that I was going to study English, and become a writer of some sort. It was never a question. Some people believe they were born to be doctors or lawyers; it was the fate Brahma wrote on their foreheads upon birth. But I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I have journals upon journals filled with my juvenile short stories, poetry, and lyrics, all ranging from the ages six through sixteen. A Dolly Rocker Girl’s literary canon, of sorts. During high school, perhaps there was a part of me that was caught up with the romanticism of it all, imagining myself as a modern-day Sylvia Plath (minus the part about the oven) or Colette (minus the lesbian tendencies). It seemed like such a gorgeous idea to a bored suburban teenager – I would become an artiste, someone who was far more intellectual and worldly than any of my more plebian classmates. But I’ve grown past the mere idea of pursuing English as a career post-university, I want now to make it a reality. Studying in London will be the most wonderful opportunity for me in working towards my goal. To live in a culture where my favorite books were penned and plays performed, I cannot help but hope to soak up some of the creative energy of my surroundings. London offers itself so much to exploration – not just of its surroundings, but also exploration of your own self. All of the dreams I have for my future are intertwined in one way or another, and all of their roads lead back to the one place where I can grow and become who I want to be: London.
My girls: Pattie Boyd, Jean Shrimpton, Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithfull, Julie Christie, and Twiggy
Title: from "Cocksucker Blues" (The Rolling Stones)