It hasn’t sunk in yet.
If you’ve kept up with my recent writing (and you have, haven’t you?) then you know that the second leg of the move involves being in New Jersey, at my parents’ home, for a week, before my lease begins. That’s where I am right now. I got in last night and have been at work all day, spent time with my parents in the evening, hung out with my brother…And I think this is why it hasn’t sunk in yet. I do this all the time. I visit my parents and brother here quite often. And, yes, often with 5 bags in tow. So this isn’t new. Nothing about this is actually any different from any other time that I’ve visited. Except that this time I don’t have a set of keys tucked into an inside pocket of a bag, to be taken out during the cab ride home from Pearson airport, and that there is no home to go back to.
Maybe it’ll hit me when I actually move into my apartment. When I have all those moving boxes I packed in 10 days around me and when I set up the new furniture and when I unpack. It’ll become real when I wake up in the morning to a room I’m still not used to and I take Dolce down 14 floors and see a new sight outside the building’s doors. Even the thought of this seems foreign. I cannot actually imagine living anywhere else but in Toronto.
I keep reminding myself that I’m not going back there anymore. Every time I do this, I feel a little sad, but in a the-thought-of-this-makes-me-sad kinda way. Do you know what I mean? This move just hasn’t become completely real yet.
But soon, very soon, I will be tête-à-tête (I’m so going to miss the bilingualism of Canada!) with the reality of a new city to make my home, of learning the ins and outs of it, of learning the little rules and idiosyncrasies that are peculiar to this city, of learning which restaurants (and brunch spots) are worth every penny and which are simply overrated, of learning the city’s lingo (each city has its own, you know), of dealing with money that’s only green and not all the colours of the rainbow (and no loonies and toonies), of making new friends, of feeling like an outsider, of starting a life from scratch…except for all the shoes that have seen me through thick and thin.
But, hey, you know what? Starting from scratch means that this is a fresh start. I get to leave all the baggage behind. I get a chance to not repeat some mistakes. I get to leave behind the places that had memories associated with them. I get to leave behind all the people who didn’t make my world a better place. The people who matter will remain in my life irrespective of what my address is.
My stay in Toronto helped me discover myself. I learned much about who I am, what makes me tick, what I stand for. Perhaps New York will help me discover completely different facets of myself. Maybe it’ll even help toughen me up. Besides, it’s New York; enough said?
I’m feeling some combination of sadness and excitement and anxiety. Six more days to go. Deep breaths are key.