“Unengaged”

I was walking Dolce this evening when he saw this dog he simply had to sniff. I struck up a conversation with the lady walking that dog and she asked if I live in the same building.
“Yes, I do,” I replied. I was glad to find that our dogs were getting along so well and I was thinking maybe Dolce could have playdates.
“Well, I’m moving out soon,” she said.
“Oh…” I wasn’t sure if it would be proper for me to ask her why.
“I’m getting unengaged,” she said.
“I’m so sorry!” It was the only thing I could say to a lady who was kind of a stranger to me.
“Better unengaged than divorced. Trust me, I’m a lawyer; I know.”

And for some reason this struck dread in my heart. Here were two people who had probably fallen in love and loved each other to the extent of wanting to get married. Granted I don’t know them, but that’s a reasonable assumption given that they were engaged, isn’t it? And now it’s over. They’re getting “unengaged”. I can only imagine the heartache. They lived together and now they have to learn to live without each other. That’s never easy. Then again it’s always painful when a relationship of love ends.

But that’s the risk you take, right? You trust this other person so completely. You trust this person to value your happiness. You give this person your heart and trust them to not break it. You have faith in them, faith that they will do the right thing by you. Always, always, always. And if you don’t trust them with your heart what do you really have there?

But these two people who’re breaking their engagement probably trusted each other like that at some point too. Was either of them wrong? We don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe when the trust was created they both deserved it and maybe somewhere along the way something changed. I know stuff like this happens all the time. It just hit me really hard when I heard this today.

This comes on the heels of something I read earlier in the day, a quote that goes:

I’ve been in love before, it’s like a narcotic. At first it brings the euphoria of complete surrender. The next day you want more. You’re not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things.You think about the person you love for two minutes then forget them for three hours. But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about him for three hours and forget him for two minutes. If he’s not there, you feel like an addict who can’t get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you’re willing to do anything for love.
– Paulo Coelho, ‘By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept’

I’m absolutely sure many of us have been there, have felt this, have ached and longed. When I read this it reminded me of every single time I’d been to that place, and I said, “Never again.” I know we take these risks just because the payoff could be worth it all. But what about when it goes wrong and you lose it all? Is the risk still worth it then? I hope, I really hope I don’t go there ever again. I don’t want to feel that hollow core of despair again. And if the price that must be paid is never again falling in love, then so be it.

T.O. to NYC: Leg Two

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.

T.O. to NYC: Logistics

I read somewhere recently that moving is the third most stressful event in a person’s life, after death and divorce.

I feel like I can finally allow myself to calm down and take a nice deep breath. Except I’m finding it tough to be calm and I think it might be because what I was given this morning probably wasn’t decaf. I think the barista gave me caf. And I’ve been off caf. for at least 3 months now! So my heart is racing, I have had an almost-headache since the “decaf” latte (it feels like I’m just about to get a headache, but it’s not quite there yet, do you know what I mean?), and I’ve felt like singing and dancing all day long. Or is this simply a result of some major move-related closures that occurred today? Whatever it is, I’ve been bouncing off the walls.

I’m able to talk about this because it’s nearly resolved now. As of this moment, I have a moving company all set to pick up my stuff on the 23rd. And I leave the next day. Getting to this point was tough on me.

  • As I mentioned in a previous post, there was hardly a difference in the quotes I received for moving to SF and for moving to NYC! I’m not even taking any furniture with me and yet the quotes remained sky high. Incredibly frustrating.
    • This was made worse by the fact that I was done with 65% of my packing within a week. It’s only 18th Jan today, my lease in NY doesn’t start til Feb 1, and I have my current apartment through March. W.T.F. was wrong with me that I couldn’t slow down?!
    • Add to that my furniture getting sold. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get rid of everything—my bed, couch, dresser, dining table, coffee tables, etc. so I put up this flyer for a “moving out sale” in my building. Within 4 days it was all gone. So now I basically have an empty apartment to live in as long as I’m here in T.
    • So with the packing all done, furniture all sold, I was getting super, super restless! I needed to get a move on and I needed it to be ASAP. I knew I could finish packing the rest of my stuff  in 2 days.
  • So, my parents, sensing my stress (because I blogged about it perhaps? I know I wasn’t talking much..), offered to have me live with them til Feb 1, if need be. What about the moving truck, if I ever find one? I asked. My dad suggested that I have everything delivered to our warehouse in NJ where it could be stored until moving day. That changed a lot of the variables.
    • Now that the moving truck was going to a warehouse, not a residential area, I didn’t have to be charged extra fees because “Manhattan is the most difficult city to move into.” (Imagine the bit in quotes being said in a deep, mocking voice.) So now I was shopping around for a whole new set of moving quotes…
    • …which didn’t yield too much of a difference until an Operations Assistant at one of the many (6) moving companies I was talking to wrote, “we could offer you another option which would be significantly lower. The items which you listed, can they be secured onto a skid?” Could they?! 80% of the stuff is boxes! What better way to transport them efficiently than on a skid?! I said something to that effect and waited eagerly for her reply. I dreamed of what “significantly lower” might mean.
    • Folks, the new quote this Universe-send eventually gave me was about one-third the other quotes. It would go on one of their freight trucks, she explained to me, and could I be flexible with the delivery date? Um…yeah! Since I was going to go to NJ as soon as the stuff was picked up and the stuff itself was going to our warehouse, all I needed was for delivery to be before Feb 1. She looked into it, said that worked for them, and we were in business. Perfection, what? (I did get an extra $20000 of insurance on my stuff though.) Signed the quote and the forms and returned them today. Deal sealed.
    • I’ll name names: The moving company is Ranger Moving Systems, a Mayflower Canada agent. So far so helpful, reasonable, and easy to work with. The other companies stuck to their minimum weight of 2100 lbs and wouldn’t budge.
  • The last leg of this move, from NJ to NY(/The City), will be taken care of by a shipping company we work quite closely with which, it turns out, does help with moves in Manhattan (but not from Canada, ya know). In fact, we’re having everything delivered from Toronto to their warehouse now, which is also in NJ so it can go directly from there to New York.

As for my travel plans, the San Francisco trip I’d cancelled left me with a travel voucher from American Airlines to be used within a year which, I know, is a long time, but I did need to take a flight now, so I used it for a one-way Business Class ticket on the 24th of January with my little Dolce. I get to check in three bags at no charge and have a comfy seat (yea, yea, among other things), which will make a difference that evening. Because a hugely stressful time, if all goes right, will be about 70% behind me. Oh how tightly my fingers are crossed! Please cross yours too for me, won’t you?

Of a Gazillion Flights, Beautiful Things, & Mishappenings

My kind, soulful, interesting, generous readers, lend me your brilliance.

I do not know what to write about. Is it a mental or writer’s block? I don’t think so. I did try writing, but the stuff that oozed out (yuck! I hate the word oozed. But it fits here.) was so personal that I didn’t think it appropriate to share for the sake of other concerned parties. And for the sake of my future sanity that would invariably be affected if those parties were to read it.

It isn’t that I don’t have material to write about either. For instance, I was in India for a month, spent two weeks in Bombay (I’ve called it that my entire life, so I can’t call it Mumbai just to be PC.), two weeks in Delhi, and had a lot of drama. On the boy-front, on the home-front. I haven’t written about any of that yet.

The 2nd half of this year appears to have a lot of travel on the cards for me. I’ve been on 11 flights in less than 2.5 months. That’s quite a bit, wouldn’t you say? It averages to about a flight a week. Crazy.

So anyway, after coming back from India, I went to the US for a week, to get the green card process started. Fell terribly ill there (shivering, shaking, high fever), but came back to Toronto for a weekend, attended a friend’s birthday thingamajig at a popular lounge and guess what? My ex-bf’s friends were there too, at a different party. Some more drama ensued. I fell sicker. Collected Dolce from The Hydrant, where he was staying for the week I was gone, and somehow made it back to the US while being on the verge of fainting at every moment.

I was in the US for 4 weeks. My, what eventful 4 weeks they were! In that time, I recovered, managed a trip to San Francisco (to apartment-hunt, unsuccessfully, but what a wonderful realtor I have!), a trip to NYC (to get away from the awfulness that was NJ for me), and made my way back home, to Toronto, alone. It was the first time I’d ever taken a cab to EWR. Anyway, that was that. Also, it was Dolce’s first time in NYC and in a hotel! My little darling did so amazingly well. I should write about pet-related travel.

And, AND, in the meantime, I was so very generously given the Beautiful Blogger Award by Andy of Our Life in 3D! Could I have been more flattered?! I mean, have you seen his blog yet?! It is so cleverly written, it routinely makes me laugh (but there’s nothing routine about it!), and the Dylanisms he shares really take the cake. That is one funny child. I hope she stays that way forever. (But I don’t have kids, so I don’t know if that’s even possible.) Andy and I connected because of our shared love of traveling and, understandably, I grew a little envious of him when I learned that he and his family go away to sunny beaches during every winter! What a delicious life! But I was in Rome at the time, so I went shopping down Via del Corso while munching on pizza bianco (oh, the memories…) and got over it quickly. He has further honored me by expressing that he would totally do a travel blog with me and, given the traveler he is, if that isn’t one of the most flattering ideas I’ve heard in forever I don’t know what is.

As you can see, there’s a lot to write about. But I don’t know where to begin. Or maybe I don’t know what to think about first, what to deal with first.

It’s strange. Sometime in May I felt like my life was stagnating, like nothing was happening with me, around me. Now it feels like too much is happening, all at the same time.

I’m sorry I have nothing better to offer right now for your reading pleasure. I’ll get my thoughts sorted out and put together something a little more comprehensible.