When I was growing up, I never visited you. As a family we always lived in or visited Edinburgh so there wasn’t really much need to come this side. In fact when I moved to Glasgow I had only been in the city three or four times in my life time before that. Once to buy a bra from Bravissimo before they opened in Edinburgh, once to check out Glasgow uni despite not having a chance to get in and twice on two seperate drama trips.
I was really scared of you before I got to know you. I had heard a number of things about you that almost put me off moving here. But I am so glad I never paid attention to them.
I came to you at a very vulnerable time and was so desperate to make you work for me. I needed a place to call home that would welcome me with open arms and you did that. I was scared and although surrounded by people, I felt so incredibly alone. Yet the warmth (and cold) that you as a city gave really made me feel like I might be okay.
You surrounded me with so many different people from different places that made my heart soared. And despite my family and friends best efforts, you helped me meet so many new people and try so many new things. There was the guy in the corner shop round the corner from Tanzania that I shared Posho and beans with in my first few months. The same guy who eventually started taking pity on me and letting me have the fruit and veg he was going to throw out for free.
There was the flatmates you placed me with, that while I didn’t really like it at the time, I am thankful for. I found my courage in that flat. I found my ability to stand up for myself and for what I believed in. I also found out that Tesco reduced the price of their cookies at 7pm round the corner and thus rediscovered refined sugar very quickly.
And to pay for those reduced cookies, then comes in the jobs you gave me. The oddest I think I’ve ever had. When I felt like I didn’t know how to talk to people you offered up work where I was paid in free beer, coffee and pizza, which was fine until it came to paying the rent.
You introduced me to the hippy over the road that gave me about seven trial shifts before realising that it wasn’t going to work when we both just ended up drunk listening to old music together after everybody else had left. You also gave me the job in that restaurant where the owner didn’t stop eating pasta all night. But I loved those jobs. They helped me find my laugh again. You did that for me Glasgow. So even though I ate out of date veg and reduced cookies most nights, you helped me find my laugh again.
You also helped me find my love again. I knew when I was coming to you that you had Greg. I knew that while I didn’t know if he still loved me, that you were my best chance to tell him how I felt. And that is probably why I wanted to live in Glasgow. And jeez did you make it hard for us to keep a secret. Our secret walks turned very wet very quickly which meant they weren’t kept secret for very long. Sneaking into a flat that he shared with his brother and two friends after running the length of Glasgow kind of gave the game away – so cheers for that.
Nights out all ended in one place where we would inevitably bump into one another. Dancing with one group would always end up the two of us dancing together and we all know it is cheaper to just share a cab home in Glasgow.
But it isn’t just my love for Greg that you gave me. You reminded me that real friends exist. You reminded me that honest, true love can be there between friends and that those friendships aren’t hard. They are in fact really easy.
You can make mistakes or argue and the friendship isn’t ruined. You don’t have to talk every second of every day but as soon as you reunite it is like there was no time between visits. You can have heated debates and tell one another they are arseholes but still phone them the next day to get their advice. You can be your real and raw self with them and they won’t judge you. They will either hand you another drink or cup of tea and listen. And it is easy. You taught me that. You and the bunch of creeps that are the loves of my God damn life.
Glasgow you reminded me of the kind of person I have always wanted to be and for that I am truly thankful. From the first night on my own in that freezing cold flat because the heating didn’t work, the smell of weed and smoke seeping through the walls and that tiny leak in the corner that gradually moulded to the homes I have made with my best friend. You taught me to face my demons rather than just make endless plans to cover any fear or hurt. You taught me to be scared but to embrace it and not go running to mum and dad for help. You taught me to budget and go on adventures, and you made it damn easy for me to do things I never thought I could.
And finally, you got me my first job in the industry I’ve always wanted to be in. And now that job is taking me to London. Glasgow, I am going to miss you. But without you, I don’t think I would be getting the opportunities I have been getting and will continue to get. So although I am leaving you in a few months, I will be back. You are my home and I am going to miss you an awful lot.