Here is a list of things I’ve appreciated at recent times:
Those moments where you walk to a bus stop and it arrives as you do. There’s something comforting about the idea of predestination. It’s not something I live my life by, but moments when you can feel like you’re swimming with the current have a certain a snugness to them that can turn a frown upside down. Walking directly to a stop as the bus pulls up, shifting your momentum from walking straight along the footpath to turning roadside and stepping onto the bus, there’s something there that feels like slipping your foot into a fresh, warm sock.
A road sign with an arrow that simply says “A WAY”. It might even say “AWAY”, but that’s not how I’m choosing to read it. Somewhere deep inside I harbour a certain mirth for the idea that there’s no reasoning behind this arbitrary sign. Why yes arrow, that direction is A Way. There are certainly other ways, but they don’t negate the Way you’re pointing me towards. If it does in fact indicate “AWAY”, what’s it in reference to? Maybe I’m being directed away from another sign, or perhaps there are more signs like it that point in other random directions. I didn’t really have a particular attachment to heading north on Spadina, but I do now. No longer is that A Way, to me it’s now The Way (which still doesn’t negate the sign. Nothing ever will).
Having found a great flatmate. I really lucked out first time around. She’s laid back, but ambitious, friendly and open. She helped me find work when she really didn’t have to. She seems to be a friend first and a room mate second, always having the time to talk when I need company. We’re pretty different people, which means we each have our own views on any given situation. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to see an alternative side and she’s got a knack for offering her opinion without being intrusive or imposing. At other times we just need our space. It cuts both ways and we’re both respectful of one another while knowing that if either of us really needs to talk, the other is there. I was wary of the idea of moving in with one person, let alone a solitary female. But so far everything has worked out better than I could’ve conceived. Cut to a month down the line when she’s stabbed me with her tuning fork. Them’s the breaks though, right?
Stone fruit. There’s a chasm between New Zealand’s peaches, nectarines and plums and the ones here. The stone fruit here is so sweet, juicy and satisfyingly dense. I’ve had nary a flowery peach, instead the juices run down your chin like Niagara Falls. You’ve gotta fight off hoards of wasps (the insect ones, though I hear White Anglo-Saxon Protestants love their nectarines too) to get at the street-side boxes outside affordable Asian produce markets, but the delectable orbs of flavour are reward enough. I’ve yet to have a home made peach pie, but I’d wager that I’d float into the air as if I’d just ingested a Scooby Snack.
The generousity of others. I was given my bed, my sheets, a ton of blankets, towels and kitchenware. Family members scattered across the country have opened their doors and hearts to the peculiar character who projects his mind in this webspace. People have fed and sheltered me, shown me around, introduced me to friends and acquaintances without reservation. If a nation is to be gauged by the behaviour of its citizens then I’d be hard-pressed to fault this place. Canada may well deserve its status as loudmouthed America’s shy, embarrassed younger sibling, hiding behind its older sibling’s ostentatious displays of bravado. I’ve yet to find any real reason why I’d want to leave and no reason to regret my move.
Online dating. It’s no secret I’ve been messaging around. I’ve found it a great way to pre-screen people for some form of connection, rather than meeting random barflies and working out too late that you’ve got barely any commonalities. I’ve yet to meet anyone here who I’ve had a distaste for and on the flip-side, met a number of great girls who at the very least would be the type of people I’d like to form friendships with. I don’t know how much of this is my good fortune to be searching out the fairer sex, but regardless, it’s drastically improved my time here so far.
That’s just a snippet, really. My eyes have been opened to so many new experiences and cultural parameters. I’ve seen, heard, felt and tasted so much in the short time I’ve been here and I’m starting to cultivate a number of them that I want to keep around. I’m sure in a few months I’ll have exponentially increased this list (though I could probably write a completely different list tomorrow and still have a bunch of stuff left) and I can’t wait to look back from that vantage point.
Dear Future Leon, don’t fuck it up.