I seem to have fallen out of my rhythm this week.
I skipped yoga all week because I did something to my foot and had it on ice most evenings. I hate missing class and I felt all stroppy and out of sorts. I know that at this time of year routines get smashed to smithereens always, but I don't want to lose all structure (it's so hard to get back!) so I want to meet some minimum goals over the next week and actually feel good over the holidays instead of groggy and disoriented.
Here's something I've been thinking about: Usually when I travel, I plant myself in that place. While there, I live this little "if I lived here" fantasy. If I'm staying with friends, I imagine their place is mine, I carve out my hypothetical coffee shop and grocery store. I take on a bookshop as the one I would be loyal to. It's a little fantasy game I play, I suppose, but also a way of understanding how I relate to the city, of stretching beyond being a tourist and creating a more subjective, personalized experience.
I loved being in New York. It's a beautiful city. But I wasn't inclined to play my old game this time around. I felt the same way in Dublin (though could see it to a less extent because I already know all my familiar favourites there). And it's not that I was less engaged with those places. It still broke my heart to fly out of Dublin and I was acutely aware of what - and who - I left behind. But I take the fact I seem to have stopped playing my little hypothetical mind-game as a good sign. And a surprise really.
I have often questioned Toronto, me-in-Toronto, city versus country and all that jazz. But I seem to have stopped cold. Of course, there are still other places I want to go. And I can say many negative things about Toronto. But, for better or worse, it's become my unquestioned home. This is huge for me; I've never had this all my life. And it's something I've chased from place to place and I imagine all those fantasies were a way of trying on different places too. But while I wasn't even thinking about it, it sneaked right up on me: Home.
This weekend, I'm going to bring some greens into my apartment and plug in some fairy lights. I want to do a little gallivanting and, as friends begin to depart for their homes, I'll be kicking off those miniature celebrations that are really what my Christmas is like. I'm really so protective of my time, I'm glad I can't be sucked into family obligations. For the most part (much-missed Irish friends excepted) I'll be eating, drinking and spending time with precisely the people I want to be around. And that, I suppose, is a wonderful luxury.