As of yesterday I’ve managed to survive three years in Toronto. I didn’t know if I’d last this long, but this last year has been the best by far, mainly due to three reasons:
- Leaving my government job to work at home again;
- Work-related opportunities to spend more than two months in Vancouver to see my family and friends and travel more;
- Meeting people in Toronto who make the winters here a lot more enjoyable.
It’s been an interesting ride, the past year. It was really good timing to work in a home environment again, especially since I’d recently acquired Beano and Xena after Arliin passed away and it allowed for plenty of bonding time with my new housemates.
I also made five trips to Vancouver in Year Three, which amounted to more than 60 days! In Year Two I made four (?) trips to BC, but they were short by comparison — mostly long weekends — and I didn’t get to see many people in that compacted period of time, mostly my nieces and nephew. In Year Three I was able to see friends as well as family, and many of them more than once on a trip.
Year Three was also the first full year of using Couchsurfing.com (I joined in Oct ’07), which introduced me to many other travel-minded folk. I started hosting CS brunches in February of last year, and had a summer brunch and one in the fall. I hosted more than 30 people from all over the world (Australia, Colombia, Germany, USA, Mexico, Austria, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Brazil, UK, France, Mexico, and Slovakia), and also surfed couches in Oslo (June), Quebec City (September), and upstate New York (October).
In Year Three I took photography to a whole new level: not just learning how to take better pictures, but also learning software, buying hardware, and figuring out a business model.
Year Three was also the year of website development. More heavy-duty learning and creating opportunities for myself in digital work.
In Year Three I slowly — albeit very slowly — started to give away David’s belongings to people I felt understood what it meant for me to do it.
In Year Three I also went on something that might’ve… sort of… possibly… resembled a date. It was a surprise, but it wasn’t in Toronto so my life continues as before. But at least I crossed into that territory again, which ought to count for something.
Later in Year Three I discovered The Brides’ Project, which gave me a whole new set of opportunities, not just to create another website or have another place to show my photos, but to volunteer for a cause that’s very close to my heart.
I’m sure I’ll think of more things to say about Year Three (my ‘Year in Review – 2008’ is still in draft mode!), but Beano keeps climbing over my shoulders and lap, so I’m going to post this now before he starts jumping on the keyboard!
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