I have settled in. I have my routine down pat. I have become accustom to train and subway ‘etiquette’. I get lost in the organized chaos of the morning and afternoon commute, but I like it. I enjoy being just another body in the sea of people that washes over the city between Monday and Friday. I enjoy being anonymous. For now anyway.
I am sitting at my desk -it’s Friday morning- and I am looking out onto the new city I call home. Today is humid and it has that vibrant feel of thunder in the air -a regular occurrence here- well, more so than Halifax anyway. The top of the CNTower is just barely visible and I wonder if it will be visible at all in the summer time. The heat, humidity, haze and smog are all on their way but I am ready for them! They are, after all, part of the Toronto experience. I remember traveling here as a child, making that family pilgrimage to visit my ‘Upper Canadian’ relatives. I have fond memories of those long drives that seemed to go on and on, but finally, they would come to an end, when there seemed to be no end in sight. Always such a treat, we would get to pack lunches, snacks and drinks of whatever we wished, more so I think for my parents sanity. Anything to keep my brother and I happy on our journey, was the justification of the array of salty and sugary treats I believe. The frequent pee stops, cozying into my seat with coloring books and stories and playing car games like, “The first person to see a blue car wins!”. What did we win, I try and recall? Nothing. There were no prizes. It didn’t matter back then and a prize never crossed my mind. It was just fun and that’s all that mattered.
I remember feeling the humidity hit me in the face as if I had just made a most offensive comment. I remember loving that feeling and wishing it was like that back home. When everyone else ran from it, I embraced it. Even back then, it felt as though I was meant to live here in a way.
Now, I find myself looking back out onto the city and find that I can no longer see the top of the CNTower, that landmark that makes the Toronto skyline so famous and distinctive. I take a moment to think about how a person has no idea where their life will take them. I think about how there really is no ‘plan’ and that whatever plan you do make can change in a moment.
We were all so innocent when we were young, thinking life was perfect and not needing any reward for ‘winning’. Now, most people look out onto the world with clouded vision, judging eyes, cynical and critical eyes, and look to be rewarded for anything and everything. Growing in a world where “it’s never enough” seems to have become second nature thinking for us. I am learning to go back to childhood ways of thinking now though. I am learning to place more value on things and am pleasantly surprised when I am rewarded for something. I take things for granted less often and enjoy how that makes me feel. I love with all of my heart and try not to be judgmental.
I think people have a hard time dealing with unfamiliar changes and feelings because of how friends, family or society in general has clouded our image of it. I invite you to look at your life right now through those eyes you once had as a child, even for just a moment, and see how truly wonderful it is. What do you see? How do you feel? Invite change, challenge and joy into your life and enjoy it as though you were five years old again.
Embrace change. Love it. Welcome it. Learn from it.