Last weekend I finally said goodbye to my twenties - even though I’m closer to 35 than 29.
Our Toronto condo – the one that we purchased when we were still unmarried and childless – closed on Wednesday. After eight years, our time as downtown Toronto residents is officially over. Although, really, it was over a long time ago.
Ever since our sweet little Addy arrived, we’ve seen more of the inside of that condo than the awesome city in which it resides. We’ve spent more Friday and Saturday nights curled up on the couch than at the bars. More nights watching Jays games on TV than at the ballpark across the street. More evenings at the grandparents’ – outside of the city – than in the city, as I took advantage of free babysitting to get some work done.
About a month and a half ago, we moved to Guelph. We bought a four-bedroom house, shortened Brad’s commute and gained access to cheaper childcare. Basically, despite our love for city living, it just no longer made sense for us. We couldn’t make it work.
There’s a part of me that’s heartbroken about this. Ever since we were both kids – living completely separate childhoods -- Brad and I wanted to live downtown. There’s something about its vibrancy and history and energy that gives me goose bumps. I love the way the city smells at night. I love how there’s always something to do. And, most of all, I loved that, for a long time, we had friends who were just a phone call away – able to hop on the TTC and join us for an impromptu party or a night on the town.
Needless to say, with Addy in bed at 7, I haven’t smelled the night air or had an impromptu party in a while. And while I occasionally miss that lifestyle, it’s hard to be too sad about it when I look at my two amazing kids and the kick-ass house we now live in.
And I guess that’s why this transition – one that I thought would be greeted with tears and nostalgia – has instead been greeted with, um, something else. There are a lot of things that, since the move, I haven’t missed all that much. These include, in no particular order: Having only one bathroom; Living knee-deep in toys; Navigating the endless construction; Dodging crazy hobos; Doing the bedtime/dinner routine all on my own (because of Brad’s horrendous commute); The lack of closet space, outdoor space, living space – okay, let’s just say the lack of space.
The move has also been a lot easier because, well, most of our friends left town long before us. Our get-togethers now are fewer and farther between. And when we have them, it’s nice to have some extra bedrooms so we can really make a party out of it.
I did shed a few tears last weekend when I was removing leftover dishes and cleaning supplies from the condo. This is where we lived when we were married. We brought two babies home from the hospital to this place. We made plenty of dinners in this kitchen. I opened the door to this cramped and overflowing “pantry” thousands of times.
But truth be told, the tears were barely tears. They didn’t even leave my eye sockets. If I have any advice for someone who is debating on making the move to the ‘burbs, it’s this: wait until you’re ready. Wait until the city you once loved now drives you up the wall. When it’s actually a strain to live here. When it’s more work to stay than go. Wait until it just no longer makes you happy.
If that day never arrives, congratulations! You’re a tried and true city person. But for us, well, we hung on as long as we could.
So long, T-dot – we had a good run. See you on the flip side (when we’re retired and our kids have moved away).
So long, Toronto condo...
Hello new house! (This is a pic of when we purchased it back in June...hence my rockin' pregnant belly!)