Toronto started to feel like home this week. It hit me a few times:
1) When I bumped into a friend at the farmers’ market while chatting it up with one of my favorite vendors during my usual Saturday morning shopping.
2) When I got completely lost in an attempt to add some mileage en route to meet my running group, but all of a sudden ran into an area I recognized. Even better when I realized I’d missed my group and had to do the whole run solo, and accurately guesstimated the distance of an impromptu route.
3) While stressing over large versus small console tables, I realized that my decor focus has completely switched from functional necessities to things to make my apartment feel more personalized and homey. I went with the small one, by the way, and thanks for all of your input! DIY blog post in the near future, if the damn thing ever gets here.
4) Also while running (I do that a lot), I rounded a corner and was met with a gorgeous view of the Toronto skyline. While it doesn’t quite match up to my favorite parts of the Chicago running path (heading South at the North Ave. curve and heading North around the Shedd, if you are curious), it came close to giving me that “wow, I love this city” moment.
The 4th point brings me to a related topic: I need to stop comparing Toronto to Chicago in every. single. conversation. A few weeks ago while chatting with my running club at our usual post-run coffee, I caught myself starting every sentence with an “oh that reminds me of when I lived in Chicago and/or New Orleans…” Sure a few stories are fine, but I’ve been here long enough that I don’t need to constantly remind everyone I speak with that I’m new. Granted I’ve just lived here for nearly 3 months, but I think focusing on Toronto as its own entity rather than in the context of other cities I’ve lived in is a big part of the mental shift to think of Toronto as home.
After an extremely chaotic year that involved some major life upheavals and living in 4 different cities, I’m finally feeling like things are settling down. It’s funny, because I’m just living here on a two year work permit, but after recent events two full years in one apartment sounds incredibly stable. I think one of the best parts about the last year is that while I’m a planner by nature, I’ve accepted that I can’t control everything. Shocking, I know! I still think it’s vitally important to have distinct goals and a plan to achieve them, but I’m learning to embrace uncertainty as well. Some surprises will suck, and others will be awesome, and that’s ok. I’m going to be a dork and leave you with a quote. The yoga instructor who led the class I went to with my parents opened and closed the practice with the following, and I kind of want to blow it up and frame it:
“Don’t call it uncertainty – call it wonder. Don’t call it insecurity – call it freedom.” – Osho