You’d think my arm would ache from patting myself on the back so hard.

I think I just became a veritable baller. If we’re holding my Toronto life as the standard, my income has won the high jump, leaping above what it ever dreamed possible. Okay, that’s turning hyperbole into superbole. My coffers, however, have vaulted in a positively progressing gradient. It’s strange to think that when I arrived, I wasn’t making enough to pay rent. I had to scrimp and save on everything. Now I spend frivolously and still have more left in a week than I would in a month. It shows how little we really need to live and how we can adapt to make do with our circumstances. Eventually I got more hours and found myself capable of paying for rent and transport without dipping into savings. I even had about $30 per week for food. Now I spend twice that in an evening out with friends. Perspective. It’s sad how wasteful we can become, but with recognition of where we’ve come from there’s at least a tacit understanding of our situation. In simpler terms, despite the deceiving geological formations I own, I remain Leon from The Shore.

I managed to o’erleap the bare minimum through hard work and dedication though. We remember the days (because I won’t shut up about them, most likely) of gymnastics coaching schoolkid feeding focus grouping medical experimenting, don’t we? I had a diverse palette of jobs and finally managed have a little bit of a slush fund. Slush in this case being alcohol, which I started drinking again. A sign that I was finally living within my means. It was a good time, I had all my extra curricular needs met by the writing I did for online publications. I attained culinary decadence through the food blog writing and artistic sustenance from Live in Limbo. Things reached an equilibrium. I found balance between work and play and learned to breathe.

Then came the cafe work. A new skill, regular hours and the security that came with that arrangement. Security often has a correlation with happiness and in this case it did. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I was somewhere I enjoyed. Even that was enough. This was the point where I started feeling like I could not only treat myself, but others. It meant I could confer my income into happiness for my loved ones. This in turn flowed back to personal enrichment. It was a good place. Rather than just finding balance, a level of satisfaction was within reach. I’d always felt justified in leaving home, but at least at this point I knew that regardless of what happened, I’d manage somehow.

Things continued flowing upwards and I arrived where I’d wanted to be all along. It was an uphill battle, but being hard won, it felt earned. I’m somewhere that makes me happy to wake up in the morning. I don’t know the extent to which I’ll claim this in a few months, but while it’s crisp and sweet I’ll stick by it. Security is in my rear view, with the dangers of complacency on the horizon. I got paid today. My pay for the week was about $200 less than I was compensated by the cafe for 2 weeks work. I’ve got enough to waste, while still saving. I’ve reached the level where I can have a bit of fun, but still need to keep my eyes affixed on that dangerous potential smugness that looms ahead. My 12 second rule needs to be fine tuned so I can steer clear. Money isn’t a concern, but my attitude is. One more step up, eh Maslow? Can I finally start to put some work into myself so that I can work towards becoming the Leon I set out to be when I left? Is self actualisation on the menu? If I work hard enough, can I order it?

More than anything, can I decide on one metaphor for the entry and stick with it?

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