Two years. Two years ago today, a few of my nearest and dearest friends dropped me off at the Winnipeg airport.
I remember leaving Winnipeg. I remember leaving my sense of security, of accomplishment, of success (… 26 year old success).
I remember the significant hole I created in my heart and being uncertain of what could possibly fill that hole. I didn’t know – but I what I did know was that there was a small possibility I could fill it in Toronto.
I remember saying my goodbyes at the King’s Head Pub, and assessing each relationship I’d built over the years. I remember gauging which ones would leave a sizeable mark on me. I remember being saddened by which ones would meekly slink away.
I remember the frightening spontaneity pulsing through my veins and the awe I’d created by diving headfirst into something so big and so different.
I remember bidding farewell to routine and normalcy. I remember leaving jam nights and farm parties and porch hangouts and nacho + beer meet-ups. I remember leaving local bars and local music and my perfect little apartment in my perfect little neighbourhood.
I wasn’t the girl who disliked her hometown and wanted to get the hell out of dodge. Winnipeg was and will always be my heart. It carries itself in everything I do in my new city (Ask anyone here) – in the things I say, the things I like, the people I gravitate to and that darling hockey team I stand behind to the bitter end. I wear it on my hat and around my neck.
I guess at the two-year mark I feel I now have an understanding, and I can tell you that big leaps like this are never going to turn out exactly like the snapshot you had imprinted in your mind.
I mean, good Lord! In my mind, I was going to land in Toronto and see every single show (too expensive), eat at every restaurant (… too expensive), improve and cultivate my creativity (no time), focus entirely on my wellbeing (no time / serious road blocks) and be whisked away by a Prince Charming in the Big Smoke ( That one took a little longer than I imagined 😉 ).
Instead I find myself missing concerts, missing out on restaurants, agonizing about money, stressing about my health and worrying about my lack of time for creative projects. Not to mention, for about a year of this two-year span, I watched my personal world crumble and was left wondering why I ran away from my comfort zone in the first place.
But happiness has finally come to me (!!!), in accepting that surprises are inevitable, adversities will be everywhere and tribulations are always lessons in disguise. The positive aspects (that includes the shows I do get to), unbelievable people I’ve met and the culture I’ve absorbed have far outweighed any little bump in the road. Every day, I’m adjusting and slowly embracing the roller coaster. The nights where I can’t justify going out and spending money in Toronto are the cozy nights in I used to cherish in Winnipeg. It’s the same, but different. It’s the same, but new. It’s not what I pictured – it’s better. It’s stimulating. It’s challenging.
I’m looking back on these two years today feeling appreciative for the experience I’ve accumulated and would definitely have missed out on if I never jumped at all. When the city is sleeping and I’m looking at the CN Tower display its gorgeous light show that feels like it’s only for me, I feel pretty lucky to have my feet planted here.
Every action has a reaction, and every step leads you to where you are. And I’m happy to be here, for however long that may be. My second home.
Oh – and this just popped up in my email!