Time for a new chapter (again)

Isn’t it crazy how one day can change so much? One day you can feel like your world is in shreds, and the next can flip everything on its head. Overnight, joy can transform into heartbreak for one person while misery can turn into joy for someone else. Perspectives get absolutely shattered and rebuilt. This last week has been a bit of a rollercoaster, and it’s just left me reflecting on what a funny old ride we’re all on.

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front recently. As noted in one of my only posts in the last several months, I left my former home town of York in May before proceeding to travel for one glorious month around Italy, then relocate to my new hometown of Toronto in early summer. It’s had its ups and downs for sure, but let me just put it bluntly… I’ve struggled.

I don’t want to dwell on the difficulties I’ve had these past three plus months to fully embrace this change. After all, there have been many, many beautiful moments and experiences and things that have made it wonderful. But I do think it’s important – before I brush over the not-so-pretty bits and adopt my rose-tinted glasses with which I am prone to observe all former periods of my life – to be honest about things I struggled with.

In the interest of keeping this relatively short, allow me the laziness of reusing a recent commentary I posted to Instagram:

I haven’t been posting a huge amount on social media recently, really since I got to Toronto almost three months ago. Like most people, I love sharing the lovely bits of my life, the parts I want to have records to look back on and smile at… but it doesn’t seem right to only share the best bits; holidaying in Italy and weekends in cabin country. The truth is, I’ve had a harder time than I expected with this move. A) I’m missing York like crazy and starting to reconcile this yearning with my life from here on out, and B) finding a job has been TOUGH. I didn’t expect that. I’ve had dozens of interviews, most of which I felt went really well but then I don’t even hear back from, to say either yes or no. It just turns to radio silence and I’m left feeling increasingly crap about myself, questioning my worth. I’ve taken a part time retail job at a luxury dress rental shop. It’s super fun, but suffice to say, it was not my plan for Toronto. I’m working weekends and evenings. It’s not full time, I earn mere pennies, and I am taking odd temp work where I can to fill in the gaps. The week I turned 29 I did a day work labelling weed packages (legitimate work in Canada, I promise) and this is just so not what I planned for myself. Life can be funny and tricky sometimes. But hey, it’s just a moment I’ll look back on that will be part of a bigger picture I know I’ll love.

I’ll be straight: Toronto is a city one needs money to enjoy. Having none of that, running pretty low on any kind of self-esteem, and increasingly filled with bitterness that this time in Toronto wasn’t going to be what I’d imagined, I started planning my return home for January. While I was feeling pretty gutted, the realisation that this was the first time really in my life that I was making a move because I had to, not because I wanted to, didn’t escape my attention. I got almost thirty years before I encountered a feeling of my life’s direction being taken out of my own hands. Others close to me cannot say the same. I still had days when I got super down and wanted to throw a wee pity party (infinite cheers to my particularly wonderful friend who was always there – glass of wine waiting – to patiently entertain these moments) but the feeling of sadness would in itself remind me how lucky I am.

Anyway, I could go on for ages, but I’ll save you the reading time. The big news is, I got a job offer last week, and I’m due to start this week. Aside from the fact it’s a job, work environment and team I am really excited to be joining, this news flipped everything for me. In a day, my feelings towards Toronto – which I before felt grumpy at for not giving me a fighting chance to join the party – took an optimistic turn.

Look, I’ll be honest, Toronto isn’t as charming as places I’ve lived before. It doesn’t have the beaches of Auckland or the history of York or the attitude of London, but it has a lot that is here to be discovered, and now I have the opportunity to do that. I may have arrived here three months ago, but until now, Toronto life for me has been a funny little chapter of it’s own. Not the most gripping one to read, sure, but if anything it is making my start on this new chapter that much brighter, and one I am that much keener to get going on.

If nothing else, I promise to be more active on the blogging scene from now on!