Those Victorian women, the ones who wait patiently for their lovers, writing them letters and contenting themselves with weekly, supervised walks around the garden or group tea time in the study, are stronger than me. Much stronger.
Remember many months ago when I revealed my engagement photos to you and discussed how my fiancé and I were intending to wait until our wedding this upcoming December to move in together? Remember a few blog posts ago when I mentioned that I had some exciting news to share? Well, here we are – the big reveal: my fiancé and I have moved in together! I no longer live in the small suburban town just east of Toronto where I lived since birth. I am no longer sleeping in the childhood bedroom my parents furnished and decorated when I was just a toddler. I am no longer a girl in that small suburban town; I am now a girl merely from there.
How did this all happen? It was a whirlwind, truthfully. Being away from SS was becoming absolutely excruciating in a way I never expected. I truly believed, when we first began planning our wedding, that we could last a year and a half, that we could hold out and wait to live together until I could call myself his wife. But, it turns out, it is remarkably hard to plan a wedding from two separate homes, in two separate cities, and it is even harder to confine that planning to weekends. You see, due to our work schedules and how far apart we lived, SS and I only ever saw each other on weekends, and it became a source of anxiety and depression to have to go entire weeks, busy and stressful days at our jobs, without seeing each other. I tried very hard to be that Victorian maiden who can live on a few words of update every once and awhile and weekly, scheduled appointments and visits, but it turns out that my mentors and role models were more resilient women than I could ever be. I guess I am more of Jane Eyre’s ilk: she was happiest when living with Mr. Rochester, at Thornfield Hall, and in that year when she was separated from him, her life was full of unease and sadness. It made me feel better to think that even Jane Eyre had lived with her beloved prior to marriage – it made me feel less weak and more romantic.
It is a sad casualty that moving in with SS meant leaving my parents, my brother and my childhood (read: forever, until today) home. SS and I did manage to find a condo that is only a half hour drive away from my hometown (it is so strange to speak of that well-known place in that way), and it is remarkably within 20 minute’s walk of my workplace, so the condo itself couldn’t be more perfect. But, as I sit here, drinking my tea on my grandmother’s couch (handed down to my mother first, and now to me), this place does not yet feel like a home. It’s certainly getting there – SS and I spent much time this weekend decorating, unpacking all our things and making the place feel distinctly like us. Waking up in a strange room, however, using an oven that is a tad temperamental, taking my clothes out of a very different walk-in closet, all that is making me feel hugely sentimental and nostalgic for my original home. Don’t misunderstand me, I was and am so ready for this huge change and adjustment, and I am overjoyed that SS will be returning home from work today to me, but I am still getting used to this idea that I am a woman with a condo in Toronto, that I am a wholly independent and free spirit, that I can do as I please, whenever I please.
I know that within a few weeks’ time, it will be as if I never lived anywhere but here. But, the fact is that I did live somewhere else, and as much as I complained about being from a small town and having to take a 50 minute train ride just to get into Toronto, I do believe it was the best possible place for me to grow up. And, more than that, my parents created the most incredible home for my brother and I in that small town, a home with so many memories. I know logically that my relationship with all three of them will only grow stronger because of this distance, but I still feel sad for those times that are long gone, even if they were times from my childhood that I would never get back anyway.
With that in mind, I’ve created a list of the things I will miss about my hometown, and the wonderful home in it…
~ making giant snowballs in the backyard with my brother, BBG
~ wearing my kilt and socks to my high school, without any tights underneath, in the treacherous winter weather
~ “doing homework” at the local hockey arena, but really just scoping out hot guys with my best friend
~ March break, playing the videogame Prince of Persia with BBG, and marathoning the entire thing so we could beat it in one night
~ Friday morning breakfasts with my grandfather, who then drove me to high school
~ nightly walks with my mother, discussing school drama
~ rainy walks through the schoolyard of my elementary school, with a golden haired boy and my mint green shoes
~ running to my old high school, then doing 1 mile on the track there, then running back home – a nearly 12k run that I did to prove to myself that although I couldn’t run at all in high school, as an adult, I could do absolutely anything I put my mind to
~ swimming at the gym where my mother works, in their gorgeous outdoor pool
~ making and grilling my own homemade hamburgers in our richly foliaged backyard
~ eating McDonald’s on a towel on the floor in front of the TV, with BBG – our yearly Halloween tradition before trick-or-treating
~ that corn maze I did with my family one year, which we promptly got trapped and lost in
~ babysitting my grade 12 teacher’s children on Halloween and seeing their adorable Spiderman and Dorothy costumes
~ driving into work with my father or to the bus stop with my mother; sitting with them to watch TV every night; hearing BBG call me from his bedroom, next door to mine, because he needed me to proofread his essay
~ the sounds and smells of home, surrounded by the three people I will always love uncontrollably and with all my heart ❥❥❥
Having said all of this, my new “home” is gorgeous and, as I said, is located in the most convenient and adorable part of the city. The surrounding neighbourhood has such a European flair to it, and it reminds me so much of the street Henry Higgins lives on in My Fair Lady.
With a view like that, how can a girl not be happy?
Stay tuned for more adventures of the Girl with a Green Heart in her new home!
Janille N G
Girl with a Green Heart