When I was getting ready to leave Toronto, I got so concerned about saying goodbyes and missing my old neighbourhood landmarks: the (now-closed) Paradise, the Portuguese bakery, the good falafel place, the walnut cake shop, Clafouti, . My friends. The way the afternoon light shone through my living room. All the places I didn’t get a chance to go, things I didn’t get a chance to do. And I do. Miss the things.
When I moved to Toronto from Calgary, I was wrenchingly homesick. I’d had a great summer, I had a boyfriend I loved and wasn’t ready to let go of yet. I knew that this was the start of things, but I wasn’t prepared to let go of the things that I’d left behind. I didn’t have a really bad adolescence, but a lot of the time, I wasn’t doing things I really wanted to be doing. (Or I was doing them, and nobody got it, because I was a weird kid and my love of old Hollywood musicals really didn’t impress of the cool kids. Or…any of the dorky kids.) So coming to Toronto was hard. It wasn’t just that I hated orientation (which I did) — living in res, you basically couldn’t avoid people dressing you up in crazy clothes and making you march around doing stupid chants. But it was more than that. Toronto was hard to take. U of T’s right downtown and it was really different from Calgary. There was no space; there were no trees; there was nowhere I could go to just be alone. It was a really miserable time for me. My assigned roommate was shaping up to be a total disaster and I was too young to get into bars.
I’m telling you all this instead of telling you about Vancouver because I want to make it clear how braced I was for Vancouver being new and scary and having to adjust. I thought it would be difficult and I would be, like, unhappy at first. And miss Toronto. But, you know what? I like it here. The pleasant weather? The year-round greenery? The numerous decent coffee shops? The way everybody’s a little bit more laidback and even our moving delivery guy was wearing a fleece jacket and shorts? How my apartment is close to a surprisingly international mix of restaurants? The way that my apartment has two (two!) balconies and I can actually use them most of the year? The abundant availability of fresh local produce? What’s not to like? I could honestly see myself being really happy here.
I feel kind of like my inner Annie Hall has betrayed my inner Alvy Singer.
As for school, well, because of Labour Day and my schedule I haven’t really had any classes yet, except the lecture for the second-year class I’m TAing. The prof is really good and enthusiastic, but is also — and I mean this in the best way possible — absolutely what you picture when you think “Vancouver hippie film prof.” He called Harper and Bush retards in the first class. Fortuitously, my co-TA was in my year at U of T, so it was really nice to see a familiar face. Especially a familiar face who’s willing to take you on a campus tour tomorrow and offer up his email to answer any questions and help you with scary grad-student stuff. Like applying for grant applications.
Anyway, I have to like, be a TA tomorrow. Sleep.