It is GOOD to be here: Finally Finding Peace About My Life in Toronto

Something clicked in me this weekend. Nothing in my physical life has changed, but inside, I feel like my car has finally found the right roads and now I can sail through into the endless, open horizon. Let me explain. These words keep echoing in my mind:

“My whole life is a gift. I live in paradise now. I have been blessed with a life full of adventure and travel and I now live in my life’s greatest adventure thus far. I am living in my life’s greatest adventure. Everything I have now is a gift from God. There is so much goodness here. There is SO much goodness here and I’m going to see more and more of it.”

It feels like my soul was inching it towards the place for months, and suddenly I’m close enough to the dock that the rope reaches and I can bring my boat into place, and finally stand on solid ground. The place I am speaking of is the place where I can finally be genuinely grateful for my life here in the city of Toronto.

anita wing lee toronto dance

If you’ve read some of my past blogs or Instagram posts, you know that I’ve been struggling with feeling at peace and grounded here. This weekend, it’s like I crossed an invisible realm and I’ve finally arrived. I’ve already written and several times about the challenges of life in the city and how I try to stay focused on the positives. I wrote those thoughts down because I, too, need those reminders.

When I wrote this article and made videos (like on The Joys of Having A Job), it was a conscious attempt to tell my soul that it’s a blessing to be here. My mind could justify it with logic and reason (aka. I am surrounded everything material that I could need), but still it felt like my soul had one foot in the Neverland/Paradise and it didn’t want to fully arrive here. I had one foot in both worlds: one foot solidly grounded in Toronto and the other foot waiting at the staircase to a proverbial airplane to a society of freedom, love and harmony. Since I came back to Toronto two years ago, I knew I was here to stay for a while, but my soul resisted it, constantly wondering when I’ll get to leave.

This conflict in my soul has been exhausting at times. I wanted to exude the positivity, passion and purpose that resides in my best self, but my part of my soul clung to the dingy for escape.

Why I Struggled To Be At Peace In Toronto

I finally realized, while writing a few weeks ago, that I wasn’t letting myself be happy here, out of the subconscious fear that God would make me stay here forever. I was afraid that if I was too content, God would say, “Oh she’s quite happy in Toronto now, we won’t give her more travels and adventures. We’ll just give her a steady job and a suburban home with a mortgage to lock her in for 25 years. Done with her now!”

I was constantly peppering God with my requests, “Hey!!! You created me for travel and adventure, remember??? When do I get out of here! It sucks here!” As if my disgruntled ness at this situation would compel heaven to get me on a plane faster.

This imaginary conversation has been going on in the quiet vast spaces in my soul for some time.

Then in the last two days, it feels like a new day dawned on me. I had the sudden, silent realization that, “I AM living my best life right now!” This journey of self-discovery and self-awareness, I’m on? THIS is my grand adventure.

I KNOW it now. I can embody it now. My soul has stepped all of the boat that is waiting to set sail and it has arrived:

“My whole life is a gift. I live in paradise now. I have been blessed with a life full of adventure and travel and I now live in my life’s greatest adventure. I am living IN my life’s greatest adventure. Everything I have now is a gift from God. There is so much goodness here. There is SO much goodness here and I’m going to see more and more of it.”

It feels like the message has finally reached my cells.

There is this deep all-encompassing feeling in my soul that I AM FREE. I am here and I am so free, so blessed. My whole life here is a gift.

All the blessings that I’ve been deliberately counting on paper, in writing and in videos, they are finally truly mine. I believe that I am blessed. I can look at the totality of my life situation right now and KNOW I am blessed.

I am no longer a traveller trying to convince herself that “life in the city is greeeat” while I secretly roll my eyes as I inch along rush hour traffic.

I KNOW now that I live in a form of paradise. I DO see the good here. (I do see the bad too, but I actually BELIEVE the good too now, and this is a huge shift.)

I have arrived. I have arrived at the very place I wanted to be. As much as I love living in foreign countries, a part of me knew that I’d do a season in Toronto at some point in my youth. I could spend ALL of my 20’s and 30’s abroad, but what’s the harm in spending a few years in a place where I don’t have to worry about visas, where jobs come easily and has all the perks of first world living? Deep down, I wished for something like the life I have now. Living for a year in Portugal, for example, would be a grand adventure, but so is living in Toronto!

I am here and it is GOOD. I feel lighthearted and calm. I even feel excited about my adventures in the city. I’ve written previously about how I don’t really want to be here - but I am here anyway. It now feels like I’ve finally grown through that stage. I am beyond a touch beyond it now. I can finally be genuinely grateful for my life here. I can finally speak of the GOODNESS of my life here, genuinely, not just of harm, malice and sadness. I feel like the edge of sorrow I used to have about the city has evaporated like mist in the morning. The sun quietly heats the earth until one moment, you look at the window and it’s gone! Dawn is gone and the fresh morning is here!

It has been two years since my body first flew back to Toronto with a one-way ticket. I’m curious as to why it took my soul so long to arrive, so let’s unpack this shift.

How I Finally Arrived At Being Happy In The City:

There must be a number of factors that have allowed me to finally arrive here happily. Here is what I can see:

  1. Reading a section of Brian Mclaren’s book, The Great Spiritual Migration, where he reiterates the goodness that is here.

    He writes about how even though there ARE lots of problems with the church, every Sunday, good still happens. People have babies. People get new jobs. People live, fall in love and thrive here. Hearing someone focus on all good here really touched my soul. (I don’t hear it often in conversation here, so reading this was powerful.)

  2. I made a conscious effort not to “force” myself to be happy here.

    I knew the conflict I described above was going on inside me - and I let myself take time. There was no sense in forcing it on myself. I even heard who recently moved back to Ontario, Canada say it would take them 10 years for this to feel like home. I gave myself permission to experience the slow process of finding joy here.

  3. I Wrote out the good things about life here so I could hold them, remember them, focus in on them.

    Writing about the positives of life here that most people take for granted also helped not get sucked into the hedonic treadmill of first world living, where we want more more and more and never feel content. I WANTED the contentment. I remember what it’s like to live without easy access to wifi. I remember what it’s like to be stuck in humidity 24/7. I wanted to HOLD on tight to the positives here!

  4. I actively did what I could to make this place feel like a home to me.

    I turned my bedroom into a little creative studio but investing in a few pieces that would make the room cohesive and look tidier. I made it my little haven. And now I can say I have creative studio, something I didn’t have while travelling! I even put some of my postcards from travel into frames, and this helped me to treasure the life I have lived, not lament it.

  5. Most of all, I started to make videos again.

    Making videos is a deep form of joy and sharing joy for me! I knew it would be a lot of work, and it has been, but it’s one of my favourite uses of time. I remember the travels where I was filming most acutely. If I’m going to live here in Toronto for a few years, I want to remember it. I want to know that I did my absolute best to savour, maximize and grow in it! Making videos and vlogs of my chapter here is THE best way to make these years come alive to. I especially remember the experiences where I film!

My Heart For This Piece:

Today you may find yourself in a place that you don’t necessarily want to be. You are in that transition of the soul. You may be be a student when you’d rather get on with life. You may be a mom while you miss your career. I want to give you permission to take it slow. Savour in the old memories and let yourself integrate the new ones. Take your time — it’s a beautiful, sacred and precious thing for the soul to arrive. If I had tried to rush my happiness - pasting a smile on when I felt deep sorrow about my life in Toronto, I think I would have created even more internal conflict.

Now, I feel reborn. I do not feel like I cut a part off myself off, but that I integrated it into me. Now all of the insights I’ve gleaned from my travels are part of my life toolkit - and it will come out again when it needs to. Meanwhile, I focus in on growth, progress, training and living in joy while I live in the city! 🙂

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Thank you so much for reading! 💛 Your presence here means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.

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