When It Needed to Flood

Along with many good habits that went out the window for the last few weeks, I have neglected to update this blog on life events for almost a month.

I did continue to exist in Toronto since my return from reading week bliss in the United States of America, but some issues with my living situation continued to escalate until it became almost unbearable. I didn’t want to go home–which for me is a major problem. I try my best not to be a “home body” and in many ways, I have succeeded on that count in Toronto. There has hardly been a day that I have wanted or benefited (mentally, bodily, spiritually, etc) from staying at home for more than 24 hours without leaving to do something of substance out in the world. And yet, I need the place where I go to crash to be one that feels safe and doesn’t feel like a constant battle for space, respect, cleanliness, etc.

Thankfully right as I was about to hit my breaking point and yet still fighting to stay positive, the apartment flooded for the third time and everyone finally agreed enough was enough: I could leave and find a new place immediately. So this weekend, I did. I am now writing this from my new room in a new house.

I have learned so much in the past few weeks about being resilient, about reaching out, about taking care of myself by myself, and so much more. One of the biggest lessons I have to keep re-learning it seems is that life happens fast. We try to plan and nudge it all into boxes. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing (hint: as a graduate student in theatre and performance studies I keep learning how to break down these binaries), it just doesn’t work that way. Change isn’t one thing; it’s disruptive no matter what, but the same change that could spell disaster in one instance could lead to a mini celebration with singing and breaking of chocolate to be shared in the next. I’m trying to catch up from all the changes as fast as I can. I wish I had more time to sit and understand everything that has happened, but deadlines for final papers, presentations, and projects are fast approaching as this semester comes to an end.

Then again, maybe it’s not the time for reflection either. Maybe these changes are still “wreaking their havoc” or “shaping me into the person I am becoming” or whatever. I can’t predict it and now that I can breathe again, there’s nothing to do but keep exploring what the world puts in front of me.

One thing is for sure: when I signed up for adventure this year, I had no idea that this was going to be part of it. Then again, I never dreamed I could survive this either. Baby steps into the world . . .

I do love my new area. There’s a park across the street and it’s only a few minutes away from the beaches! It’s still too cold for that right now, consistently below 0 Celsius and all, but once the summer months it’ll be a prime location. Today it was enough for me just to be within walking distance from my favorite branch of the Toronto Public Library so instead of a 40 minute bus/walking/streetcar trek, I just walked 15 minutes up the road right outside my door and I was there. It also helped that today, St. Patrick’s Day, wearing a green shirt was enough to score me a free cup of tea from David’s Teas (which also has a location about 15 minutes away from my new living situation). It also helps that I have fantastic friends, one who had me over for tea and gossip at her lovely house which always seems to be a respite from the constant pressure of graduate studies. And another friend who was able to help me pack up the rest of my stuff, do a happy dance when we escaped the old apartment and its growing stench, and oohed and aahed when we pulled up to my new building and brought my suitcases of clothes inside.

It’s going to still be an adjustment getting used to roommates from all over the world coming in and out of the building. Sharing a kitchen with people who actually cook and many of them will be a change. I was a bit sad to lose the great space in my old kitchen. Then again, trading it for higher ceilings and a bedroom with a window . . . my soul soars. Then there’s boring yet important stuff like finding the closest grocery store and banking branch. And still selling off my furniture from the old apartment . . . (if anyone is buying, seriously, best offer!) The journey is not over, it’s never over. But at least now I can view these changes with excitement and hope that I can continue working with the people and environment around me so we can respect and share the world with each other.

More updates coming on school, writing, plays, poetry (yeah, I’m getting into that again huh!), more gratitude for my friends and “family” in Toronto, and the international boarding house (what I think I might start calling my new home). Back to writing my 35 page paper and developing a presentation on Peggy Phelan’s Unmarked for Wednesday . . .

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About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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One Response to When It Needed to Flood

  1. brian sulc says:

    Mom and I are so very happy for you. High ceilings, window, park….enjoying being in your own “home”.

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