Living in my Home
I've been asked so many times recently why I live in Toronto. Why did I choose this city? How did I end up here? I am from Newfoundland. I have a life in Edmonton with family and friends. Yet, here I am. In the middle. And, at first, with no real connections.
Easy answer right now... It's my home.
I've only been here in the city for 7 or 8 months. And I was scared at first. So much unfamiliarity. And for the first time in my life, I started living on my own, with only my cat and dog to keep me company. It was all new. I didn't know if I was ready for the complete change in my life. But I've made it.
When I moved here, I had nothing to define me. I didn't have skating. I didn't have a relationship. I didn't have a job. It was new. I was new. I could create my own routine and build my own life. I am free to be whoever the hell I want to be and no one knows any different. Everyone has there own lives here and I am amongst them creating my own.
I've had to learn so much about who I am as a person since moving here. I've had to learn what excites me and when I need to slow down. I've learned who I want to surround myself with and who I need to distance from. I've learned how to sit with my emotion -- albeit not always gracefully -- instead of running away from them. I feel free and alive and full of adventure.
I never saw myself living in a city. I believed the constant hustle and bustle of so many people would be overwhelming. I thought I would panic and hideaway. But whenever I leave the city and come back, I get a moment where any worry or thoughts leave my head. It is like a nice warm blanket gets wrapped around me and I am surrounded in comfort.
There is a spot on the Gardiner expressway that hits me every single time I drive through. Driving into the city on the Gardiner, just as I pass the CN Tower and the highway drives right between skyrises, I just smile. It is like I was given a chance to breathe. It is like someone refills my body with oxygen. I relax. I smile. I know I am home.
Since being here, I've found rinks with friends I can skate at. I have been accepted into college and have begun taking online classes. I've made connections with new friends and strengthened existing friendships. I've found comfort looking at the skyline poolside in my condo building, meeting neighbors with incredible stories. I love walking my dog every day and finding time to relax and play at our neighborhood dog park. I've gone rollerblading, biking, and running and constantly feel connected to the hundreds of people out for their daily dose of activity. I've seen the beauty of parks and beaches. Spending time on the water as I travel with friends for a beach day on Toronto Island. Afternoons, evenings, and nights at delicious restaurants trying new foods and drinks. Meeting new people and seeing familiar faces at the local coffee shop or pub. Being able to sit, work, chat, or people watch. Laughing and loving the first dates that pass through my neighborhood.
Toronto is a place I moved to because I didn't know the who, what, when, where, and why's of my life. I was scared and panicked and hella confused. And here I am alone for the first time of my life, and it's the most not alone I've felt since I retired from skating. I don't know if Toronto is my forever home, but for now, this is where I need to be.