October 28th, 2006 is a day I'll never forget. That was the day I packed up my belongings, took one look back at my home, then hit the 401 east towards Scarborough. October 28th, 2006 is the day I moved to Toronto, and the past 5 years have been nothing short of incredible. I'll never forget those first few weeks of not being able to call home without bawling. I'll never forget the headaches I had trying to figure out how to get to work on the bus...and the sheer panic I had when we passed Steeles and I didn't have enough change for the rest of the ride. I'll never forget that feeling of coming home to my own place, and knowing that as long as roomie and I paid the rent, I'd always have it.
London, ON is where I was born and raised...Toronto is where I grew and became a woman. Sometimes I envy the stories of my friends who grew up here, but better late than never, right? Plus, I think that growing up in London gave me a certain flavour - though growing up in Toronto sounded fun, I wouldn't give up my London status for anything.
Here are some of my Toronto memories...
- Markham Station became a weekly late night dinner spot (until I got a nasty bout of food poisoning...)
- My first time on a boat was when I went to Centre Island for the day
- Facing my fear of heights when I laid down on the glass floor at the top of the CN Tower
- Being late for many an event by getting stuck on the SRT in the winter time
- FINALLY going to the Scarborough Bluffs!
- Getting my 'Love Jones' on at Dwayne Morgan poetry nights, and learning that people actually snapped instead of clapped
- Going to the psychic tarot card reader across from Eaton's Centre on my birthday
- Playing mas in Caribana in 2007 for the first time, and every year after!!!
- Getting my part-time model on in various fashion shows and photo shoots
- Feeling fancy at Warner parties and gettin' down at Ian Andre Espinet parties when we weren't at fete after fete after fete after fete
- Finding out there were actually people who lived even further east of Scarborough (Pickering? Ajax? Whitby? OSHAWA?)
- Jingle Bell Bashments, Ornament parties, Blue bashes, and many other "you just had to be there" events
- many more that I reminisce and laugh about every day....
I've been able to meet, connect, and reconnect with a lot of amazing people like Lincoln, Ro, Mariah, Reckless Crew (and the Reckettes), Kold Fusion, my CMN peeps, all the London-borns like Lula, B, Tat, Abby, and Stephanie, all the UWO grads that kept in contact, and many, many more cool folk. I can't forget my favourite homieloverfriend JQ - 5 years ago, things looked VERY different from what they are now, but things always work out the way they're supposed to.
I have to give a special shout out to my family...the ones in London who were always excited when I came home to visit, my ONE cousin Mark that also lived in Toronto and was just a phone call away, and my new adopted family who held me down when I needed it. And trust me - feeling lost and lonely in a huge, new city, I definitely needed all the love I could get. It sounds simple, but I'm thankful to anyone who was nice to me in Toronto...they don't call it the Screwface Capital for nothing...
I came to Toronto as a naive, stars in the eyes girl who thought she was entering her own version of Sex & The City. I can still be naive, I still walk with stars in my eyes, and have lived through some days and nights that were better than any episode of SATC. Toronto has become an indelible part of me, and though I've only given this city 5 years of me so far, I owe much of where I am (figuratively) to where I am (literally).
Did you ever relocate to a new city? How did you adapt? If you've never lived out of your hometown, do you think you could???