Word of the day: dec-ade (noun) A period of ten years
On my way home from work today, I happened to land on a subway car full of froshies. At first I was a little annoyed at their constant yelling and stomping and cheering, then it hit me - that was me. Ten years ago. That's right, 10. Ten years ago this month, I moved from my teensy home town to the big bad city. (Okay, so I only moved to York University campus, but to a girl from a town of 6,500, a campus [CAMPUS!] of 50,000 is like a big bad city.)
I almost can't believe that it's been 10 years since I came to Toronto. A lot has happened in that time: the schooling, the apartments, the roommates, the jobs, the schooling (again), the friends, the boyfriends, the career. The career is the important part because that is what's most likely to keep me here for a few more years, at least.
I never thought I'd end up moving to Toronto for school and especially never thought I'd end up living here. In high school, I wanted to go anywhere but the T-dot. I ended up here mainly out of spite; my mom wanted me to be a journalist and, despite getting accepted to Carleton, I didn't really want to be a journalist. I could have gone to Guelph and lived with my aunt but I didn't want to do just an English degree. Now - what do you know? - York has a concurrent education program...so I'm going to be a teacher! So I went to York.
I'm not a teacher now. I will never be a teacher. During Reading Week in first year, I started filling out my concurrent ed application and the first question was, "Why do you want to teach?" I spent the entire bus ride to Parry Sound thinking about this and never did have an answer at the end. And so ended my teaching aspirations.
Despite graduating with a B.A. in History (history? really?) I opted to stay in the city and work a few different jobs that a B.A. in History qualified me for: call centre, retail, receptionist, serving. When I finally discovered that I could parlay my love of books and magazines into a career, I was back in school and suddenly staying in Toronto. All the good publishing jobs are here, don't you know. (Okay, maybe not all the good jobs, but definitely the lion's share of the publishing jobs. And a girl's got to start somewhere.)
So even though I not only never wanted to live in Toronto but specifically said (in my teenage years) that I never would live in Toronto, here I am. And I really don't know where the past 10 years went. But this kind of retrospective is good for me, as I've been overreacting lately about my lack of accomplishments and not being where I want to be in my life. I've done some pretty fun/cool/interesting/random/ridiculous/flat out stupid things in the past decade and I wouldn't change any of it because all those things have made me who I am today, brought me to where I am today, filled my life with the people I know today and created a fantastic base to help me build who I'll be tomorrow. (That sounds a little more Oprah then I'd like, but I'm going to go with it.)
Ten years since I wore bright orange coveralls and tramped my way across Toronto, chanting and singing and discovering myself. Ten years since I was fascinated at the tininess of TTC tokens. Ten years since I really started nurturing my love of coffee. Ten years since I bought my first couch - it was pink and inflatable.
I wonder what the next ten years will bring.