This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Letters to my younger self’.
Dearest 24-year-old me,
As you squeeze as many of your clothes, shoes and books into your family’s favourite grey suitcase before you leave for Toronto this weekend while at the same time trying not to feel nervous and scared about living in a new city, I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid, you’ll feel apprehensive at first but in a few short weeks, you’ll wonder how it is that you’ve never been to Toronto because the city will embrace you and eventually it will be your saviour.
Toronto will be the home of many of your firsts – renting your first home, using a coin-operated laundry, dragging your laundry through snow, dancing in the garden when it’s 32 degrees celcius, eating poutine, having fried chicken from KFC without the gravy, solo walks in the city, camping in Shadow Lake during fall, eating freshly-plucked strawberries, having martinis in an actual martini bar, experiencing a broken heart.
And when you leave (and yes, you eventually will), you’ll wish you didn’t have to. The circumstances of your leaving will be out of your hands but if it’s possible, please try to stay, no matter what will happen before, how you’ll feel, just try your very best to stay.
If you don’t, you’ll always wonder what’ll happen if you did and this will be a shadow that will follow you throughout the next few years. This shadow is not a comforting one but despite that, the city will always have a place in your heart, your mind and your dreams.
So, if it’s possible, dear me, instead of thinking and remembering Toronto, stay and be there, in the place that will love and keep you safe especially in your uncertain and broken moments.