6:45am, London – Sometimes you don’t realise how much your life has changed until something pulls you back to your past and reminds you.
So I’m standing waiting for the Victoria line, totally makeupless, swathed in a sweatshirt and scarf combo, topped off with a coat, a pair of running leggings and nikes bringing my outfit to a sporty rather than stylish conclusion. Just as I’m on my way to the gym before work, a group WhatsApp from my Cardiff Uni friends buzzes away in my pocket. No it’s not a screenshot of my mates conversation with her bore of an ex bf asking for advice on how to reply to the dick pic he sent at 1am (unfortunately, because, lol). It’s a link to an article on Cardiff Uni tabloid, The Tab, entitled “If you haven’t been to an afterparty on Miskin Street, you’re doing Cardiff wrong”. During my third year in Cardiff, Miskin Street was my home. The 9 girls I lived with were like adopted sisters that I actually liked (well, loved). Afterparties were so standard each night it was a surprise waking up and not finding strangers sleeping in my kitchen/lounge/bathroom/bedroom. And at 6:45am we’d usually still be up partying, pissing off the neighbours (not because of the noise, simply because they were jealous we had better parties than they did) knowing full well that we had a 9am lecture we were maybe/maybe not/probably not going to make it to (I still don’t know if it is acceptable to go to your lectures drunk?)
Three years on and 6am couldn’t be more different. If it’s not spent wrapped up and bare-faced commuting to the gym in the ever eternal quest for the #perfectbody then it’s spent freezing my arse off prancing around the street whilst my poor Instagram Husband takes my photos. These snaps were shot at sunrise just after 7am a few weeks back. The sky: a fresh pastel harmony of sunrise pink and ice blue, with the sun burning off the frost into a hazy smoke on the river. The streets and roads were empty, and as I waltzed about in my heels and chav-meets-lavish granny fur bomber, it brought back that feeling of walking home at 6:45am from an afterparty. It’s weird, that feeling that you get during the post-party stroll home. Everywhere is so empty and quiet, it feels like you just have the world to yourself. With it, a calm sense of serenity and the unexplainable accomplished feeling of knowing you’ve had a really sick night out with your best friends (a feeling that is only heightened more so if you don’t have a lecture later that day.) It’s like you’ve done something naughty and totally got away with it. Defying your parents and the rules of normality that dictate you should probably go bed around 10pm and get up at 7am.
There’s a strange kind of bittersweet feeling that comes with nostalgia. But it’s always best to enjoy it when you can before being sucked back into the rat race one again. BRB, just mourning the death of my social life whilst I put on my pyjamas and get ready for bed. It is Monday tomorrow, after all…