When you become one part of A Couple, the thing they fail to tell you is that you become very, very used to having your person around. Making decisions with your person. Sitting across the table at a restaurant with your person. Exploring new and old territory with your person.
And the operative word in those sentences, is 'with'; a preposition that usually accompanies the presence of another.
In my extreeeeeemely single days (which I believe spanned all the years post high school and well after graduating from University), there was no need to use the word 'with'-- it was implied that Joann would be making the decision, eating at the restaurant, exploring the territory...with herself. And while that is largely written to make use of parallelism and is exaggerated to fit the point, it is true that despite having gorgeous, wonderful friends and family, I only relied on myself, when it came down to it.
Independent Joann was very fierce in those days. I think I did my fair share of scoffing at girlfriends who got lost in the depth of their partners (though I doubt we called them 'partners' back then), who became a part of a sticky pact. Girlfriends who made clear demarcations that this new person was a VIP, and thus made time for him, talked about him, held the importance of his happiness on par with hers. I'll never be like that, I thought.
I'm sorry if it was you I scoffed at. Because, well.......... now I get it.
That interdependence does not equal codependence.
That it is valid, and true.
So fast forward to Toronto. How I planned to go to there, to visit two of my loveliest of gal pals, Chelsea and Adriana. On my own! With myself, just like in the good old days, as B would be staying behind to hunt for Bison, but also with my others. I was stoked to go on a folk rock n' roll adventure alongside these bewitching fairies. So just independent enough (look mom! no guy!) to be freeing, but not alone enough to be scary (big, concrete city; skinny girl).
However. In the beginning stages of planning any vacation, people are obviously earnest and bring forth their unbidden excitement and hope. We had visions of hanging out with each other AllTheTime--mornings & nights. The tricky thing about being an adult, however-- as I begin to process that I'm turning 29 this year (and started making a 5 Year Plan last night; holy shit. Blog Post for another day)-- is that in order to sustain oneself, one must go to work. To pay the bills and to eat the food. Sustenance. Responsibilities.
When it became clear that I would not be gallivanting about with both and or either of them at all hours of the day and night for a full seven days, I balked. The Big Smoke seemed very intimidating, now that I was two companions down. The city seemed infinitely less unicorn-y with just myself to navigate with. Sure, I would get to pal around with them some evenings and even parts of the weekend.. but what about the rest of the hours? Now having tasted the sweeter side of interdependence in my life with B, who would I relish in being a tourist with?
With myself of course.
In the end, it was the most perfect of circumstances. After some self-doubt that I wouldn't escape without being lost, trampled or bored, I remembered my most favorite, original friend that has been with me since before the Lumberjack, or any Concretejack out there. Sometimes I forget, that as an introvert, I really really really really like hanging out with just me, 75% of the time. So I booked my plane tickets post haste, and Adriana, Chelsea, and special guest appearances by Ashley, Aleks, and my relatives, beautifully rounded out the rest of the 25%.
Cheers, Toronto! You are certainly not as pretty as the Yukon or BC, but you sure are fun.
|Best ramen ever in life.|
|Go to the Drake Hotel if you're at Queen St West and Dufferin after 3pm, weekdays. Pastries go on sale for a buck.|
|Delicious mushroom/wild rice/truffle soup with cheese scone for under $10.|
|Crazy doughnuts and duck confit FRENCH TOAST at Beast.|
|Monthly Toronto Underground Market!|
|My Po Po and Auntie Grace.|
|My little Christopher is a teenager now?? And has a moustache??|
|Snapped a picture of a picture of my mom's family. Look at her in the back row! What a beauty.|
|Amazing Ethiopian food at African Palace on Bloor.|
** Not pictured: arriving in Toronto from Vancouver lightyears later on nothing more than a piece of bread and then being force fed the most gigantic carrot of LIFE by Chelsea, getting Body Blitzed at a spa, late night estrogen power talks, riding the TTC with teeny tiny tokens that get lost in your purse, dinner with the beautiful Jenn (I apparently have all sorts of far flung Toronto friends that I forgot lived here), power shopping, meeting random friendly shopgirls, doing yoga at an amazing studio for free, and the most perfect last day that included girls, a pedicure, theatre, and late night poutine. Le Sigh.