I was 21 when I moved to my first apartment in Toronto and it was true love. It was the actualization of a childhood dream; as a child of the Toronto suburbs, my eyes effortlessly locked on to Toronto. After I finished my undergrad in Ottawa, I finally made the jump and even though if I spent the first year living far north of downtown, I soon clawed my way into my first, then second, then third and fourth apartments that were my homes during the six-ish years I lived in Toronto.
When I first moved to Toronto, I thought I would stay there forever. Often, friends who lived abroad would stop in to Toronto on their way through to visit family or other parts of the world. Parties. A great job in publishing. My partner, Matt, eventually came to Toronto to join me. There was always something to do and somewhere to go. Something new around the corner. Seemingly anything I could want was at my fingertips.
But something began to change. Underneath the veil of busy-ness, my heart wanted something along the lines of open space, freedom, natural beauty, and a new frontier. I have a distinct memory of flying back in to Toronto from a trip to visit a friend in Thunder Bay: As we hit the outskirts of the city, the expanse of suburbs shocked me. How do we all survive like this? Living on top of one another? Our food flown in from places unknown? I think of that lazy thought sometimes now, and see how much it propelled me to start packing up the life that I was living in a quest for something else.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how the idea of homesteading–the small scale production of food, for example– seemed like a really good idea at the time that I started to leave my life in Toronto behind. I wanted to try that. Now, with our first home coming together, it seems to be a possibility. Dig up a few patches of our lawn to garden. Try to plant something. Try to remember to water it.
I don’t know if I’ll stay outside the city forever. To be honest, it feels lonely. But I strongly believe that this “loneliness” is just an illusion. I want to try this life out for a while, and see if that loneliness transforms into something else.