I lived in London, ON from the age of 9 to the age of 25. I consider it my “home town” and still go back for major holidays and little vacations to see my ma and pa. It is where we celebrate Christmas and where my siblings and I convene (one coming from Quebec City and the other from Taipei) when we can all get together. And while this is all true I do not consider it to be “home”. I think it took me a few years to really get adjusted to living in Toronto, but since I go back to London somewhat frequently I really noticed that every time I went back for a visit it felt less and less like where I belong.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a group of fabulous friends living there who I am more than ecstatic to visit with, and there are some favorite events and locations of mine in London, but inevitably, upon every return trip when the bus/car/train rounds that corner around Lake Ontario and I see the CN Tower I feel like I am coming home. It feels nice.
Toronto has challenged me in all sorts of ways and I really think that I have developed so much as a person over the past 3.5 or so years. I have definitely become less shy, more self-confident, and yes, maybe a bit more outspoken. I don’t believe that Toronto is a cold city full of cold people, but I do think that Torontonians are put into far more stress-provoking situations on a regular basis than the average Londoner, which can translate into being a bit more…erm…rude I guess if we are putting the cards on the table. I suppose that is just a symptom of living in a big city.
Although I do not consider London to be “home” I am still very attached to my parent’s current house in which I spent over ten years of my life. That’s like a third of my life people! So it is with mixed feelings I received the news that my folks are planning on selling it and moving into something smaller. They currently live in a town house with three floors, so I totally understand that as they get older, and since their kids have all left the proverbial nest, it only makes sense to downsize, but I will be quite sad upon my last visit to that home.
There are all sorts of memories there. Good, bad, ugly, the works, but the fact remains that it was the longest time I have ever lived in one place and considering I went from finishing up elementary school when we first moved to then graduating from university (Twice! Hollah!) before I moved to TO that was one hell of a time of my life full of change through which this one constant remained.
The folks have just recently started the process so it may still be a while before they move. Also, I realize that “home” is really so much more than a physical structure with four walls and a roof, but nonetheless attachment to a physical thing or place can be very real. I am trying to think of something I could maybe take from that house (oh god! Not the load-bearing screw!) to keep with me after the move. I haven’t thought of anything yet, but if anyone has any ideas send them my way.
I know this is obvious but this song is Just. So. Good.
Home is wherever I’m with you