Dating Your City: A New Version of Urban Medicine

In the phases I’m not traveling, I feel as if each new day competes with the last to further grow an uneasy feeling of routine on my skin. For a Sagittarius, the idea of a routine is synonymous with Toronto’s version of the Scarborough RT: gross.

Judging by the amount of content produced and relationships developed from our generation in the span of four university years, everything seems like a been-there-done-that, just in different places with different faces. Entering my last year, catching up with courses, jobs, internships, and graduated friends who have gotten their sh*t together, I wondered, is this it? Have my best of times passed me so early in life? This kind of negative thinking drained my creative outlets quickly, so much to even blog.

I remember writing because it was something I enjoyed when I started first year. I was inspired because I went to new places, did new things, met new people. On days like this, it feels like a necessity, a throw-up session because the walls of my lungs can no longer contain a leaking roof on the verge of a flood. I’ve outcasted myself to the extent that I don’t have time to reflect, like plugging in earphones on a long commute, not to avoid interactions with others, rather hush my own thoughts – at least overpower them anyways. A notebook and pen used to be a staple accessory to my outfits and now a constantly shuffling cell phone has become a permanent limb.

Coming back from Asia early this summer, I did everything in my power to reconnect myself with the city to recapture that inspiration. I took up summer school to avoid gaps of nothings and wrote a dozen cover letters to jobs I didn’t even want at the Eaton Centre. I found every pathetic excuse to be in Toronto. I get a rush like I’m a teenager sneaking out to meet my crush when I get on the TTC.

For me, Toronto performs as a liminal between my suburb and lands oceans away. It is my only feasible medicine to wanderlust. Commuting to Toronto gives me a sense of travel. I’ve pretty much seen and read every go here do that list, emerged myself in the city’s history, and memorized the subway map (which isn’t anything especially complex). This city is the only thing that keeps me a little insane and constantly moving in a suburb where everyone around me seems to have the same 9-5 routine.

Here’s to hoping I keep my will to keep telling stories.

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