So I guess I’d say I’m pretty big into dates / anniversaries / milestones. It’s an obvious way to identify progress and improvement (or sometimes even the opposite) between two dates in your life. If you’ve read my blog before, perhaps you’ve already noticed this as a characteristic of mine.
Guys, today is a big one for me.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the follow through of the biggest decision and most drastic change I’ve made in my life. Today marks one year since I moved away from my friends and family … to the biggest city in Canada .. alone.
And although I finally understand what subway line I’m on and how the city is laid out on a grid and which direction is which, I still don’t understand how I did it at all. I still feel like I’m standing outside myself a lot of the time, watching myself in a movie about an inexperienced prairie girl moving to the big city.
I put on a good front though! I can walk the walk and talk the talk but my legs are still kind of trembling in my boots.
Someone in Toronto told me recently that they didn’t feel like they were standing on solid ground until they hit their ten-year mark of living here. I’m pretty impatient when it comes to thinking I should already know something or feeling I should be totally comfortable in this overwhelming environment – but HEY. TEN YEARS. So with that, I’m still taking it day by day and trying my hardest to take in each lesson with poise and enthusiasm and curiosity.
One year in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time. It’s a landmark for sure, but 365 days in a hectic bustling city of 2.6 million people is peanuts.
In these past 365 days, these are some things that have stuck out the most:
Moving away solidifies true friendships.
Moving away from home makes you appreciate your truest friends. No one will stay in touch as much as promised or visit you as much as they had planned to – but just as I am moving forward, I have to remember that they are too. Conversely – we live in an age where it’s simple to keep in touch so it’s easy to see who makes an effort. I’m so grateful for my friends who make me feel like I’m still living right down the street.
I need to give myself a little more credit.
I come down pretty hard on myself a lot of the time and it affects my health, my energy, my emotions. I wonder why I don’t get out and attend more events, I wonder why I still don’t have a radio show, I wonder why I’m not getting out there and designing more. Then I’m reminded that I threw myself into a hurricane and if it takes more than a year to get my bearings, that’s A-okay. Was I honestly expecting it to be a breezy walk in the park? No – that’s not realistic. I have to remember that.
… aaaaaaand I moved here for a reason.
It feels bleak and impossible sometimes. I miss home sometimes. It’s easy to get flustered and diverted. BUT I MOVED HERE FOR A REASON – this city is freaking electric.
My good friend and former co-host Graham visited Toronto a couple nights ago and it was SO fun taking him out on the town. It’s always amazing to show people around the town when they visit.
Then I took a deep breath in yesterday and Matt and I spent a day wandering this remarkable city. It really is glorious and the possibilities are endless. Every time you see it, it can feel like the first time if you keep an optimistic outlook and that sparkle in your eye.
I remembered why I originally fell in love with this place. We took in the beautiful weather, ate delectable and interesting food, drank delicious beer (OUTSIDE IN JANUARY) and immersed ourselves in the energizing culture. He reminded me that although I still haven’t seen the AGO, or the ROM, there’s still so much time. No need to rush. I don’t have to have everything perfectly planned.
It was the most picture-perfect way to celebrate a year of meeting unforgettable people, learning, risk-taking and personal growth while looking forward to the future.
I did it! And I’m gonna keep trekking along. Stay tuned as the adventure continues.