When reality bites
To quote the song of the year “hello from the other side”…
It was only today, the 30th of November — 6 weeks and 2 days later that it struck me. Helped by Adele — that girl can warm the hearts of the most heartless — I found myself staring at my surroundings and stopping suddenly. It’s hard to explain what I felt, but it was as if something washed over me — a realisation, as if I had just woken from a dream. I’m actually here. I’ve actually done it. Look at where you are!
Of course this is not the most beautiful portrayal of Toronto, far from it, but it nonetheless excites me every time I walk by it. So in the moment I had to take a picture. Another picture from the same spot, the same as before. It feels big, brassy, bold, beautiful and bizarre all rolled into one. And that’s exactly what this city, this adventure and this life over here feels like so far. I think it has taken up until now to realise where I am and what I’m doing because everything was plain sailing. We were on holidays for the first few weeks no doubt. And even on our holidays we managed to secure an amazing apartment within two weeks and jobs to follow. We ate like royalty, drank/(drink) the city dry and overall adapted overnight. I just can’t believe it’s been this easy? Surely something has to go wrong? Or maybe it doesn’t…maybe we’re in the right place at the right time.
How and ever, this evening as I power walked home in my runners and work attire (I never thought I’d be one of those — how we change!) under the big city lights, blending in with every other freezing cold person on their way home at rush hour, I found myself suddenly appreciating everything so far. I found myself all of a sudden, almost all over again, staring at the skyscrapers lit from top to bottom in awe. Like the first time I’d seen the Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square, I glanced back at it as I crossed the road and found the luminous changing colours so beautiful in the dark. City Hall loomed gothic and eerie but I still long to go inside. The CN tower peeped sheepishly from behind the buildings on Bay as I turned the corner, reminding me once again how small I really am compared to this ginormous city. And yet somehow, already I feel like I know it so well and have a place and purpose here.
This could change of course, and if the dreaded winter that’s on the way is anything to go by/fear I may actually be home sooner than expected!! But realistically I’ll manage and adapt like everyone else that’s ever taken the leap to live in a different climate and country.
Sitting here in my bed, typing slowly with Adele, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber on repeat — (yes I know, I’m basically a chart show) I can’t help but feel happy. If I can survive packing my life into two cases, I can survive most things. But speaking of survival, it’s funny how many people worry about Christmas. “Oh god love you”, “oh will you not miss home dreadfully”, “oh how will your family cope”…they’ll cope just fine! Of course I’ll miss home and god may love me but the world keeps turning and it’s just another day! It’ll be strange, it probably will be sad for a while but it could be a lot worse! I’m just happy that it’s another experience ticked off the list and another story to add to the collection, as it will undoubtedly be a memorable christmas one way or the other!
Toronto is huge, the industries appear huge, the buildings, the differences in society and even the small coffees are huge. Yet I don’t feel small and that’s something I love. I can’t believe that 7 weeks ago we had a going away party! Like the photo above, time is flying by like we’re in a constant taxi ride. Everything is a blur and yet I’m in and among that blur everyday! And I’m loving it.