"I'm glad you feel comfortable enough with us to try new things," my flatmate said to me as I had my first ever glass of wine. (Disclaimer: I am twenty-one. I have been twenty-one since November. S'all good, guys.) "You need to feel safe when you're doing this, and I'm glad you feel safe with us."
She was absolutely right. Not that I've developed a taste for alcohol - my lifelong drink total remains about two and a half - but in order to try new things, you need to feel comfortable enough to try them. I'm talking about everything from putting Brie on a piece of bread to having a glass of wine to navigating the bus system on your own. Trying something new involves taking a risk - sometimes that risk is very small, and it might wind up that you simply don't like the food you've taken a bite of. Sometimes the risk is much larger - like the chance that you'll misread the bus schedule and miss your internship interview (which didn't happen, mind, but it's certainly a worry). And whether it's a big risk or a small one, you have to be confident enough in yourself to take it.
I feel confident here. I feel safe here. I've done a lot of things I haven't needed to do or wouldn't have done back home - find a flat to rent, for example, or find my way around the city on my own, without anyone to show me where to go first. I don't really consider myself a very self-confident person, but in the space of about an hour I've had three people tell me that I was, so either I hide it well or I'm turning into a confident person. I think being in a foreign country will do that to people.
So here's to London, guys. Here's to having cool and nerdy adventures with wonderful people, to finding my way around this beautiful city without getting lost or feeling afraid. This is a feeling I like, and it's one I think I'm going to take home with me.
We're off to Scotland tomorrow for more adventures. I'm looking forward to more exploring. :)