Life In The City: 10 Things To I'm Learning To Love About It
I’ve been making peace with the city. We’ve had a complicated relationship.
First up, a little back story:
Somewhere in my university years, I developed the belief that cities were full of people brainwashed into believing that a job and money were life’s most important things. On my travels, I’d had such life-changing experiences, that my soul found it hard to process how people could stay in one place and work in the same job for decades.
Thus, I spent the first few years after university figuring out how to build a career that would allow me to keep traveling and do work I loved.
Looking back, I clearly made a lot of judgements and assumption. Life has a way of always making sure that we face our shadows and this was one of them.
In 2017, after six years of off-and-on travel, I was called to come back to the city of Toronto and grow here. (More on that story here.)***
I ended up getting two jobs in the creative industries, which means that I’ll be in the city for a while. This has been a season where to stop judging, look at my strange assumptions and learn how to bring my sense of joy and wonder here.
(Of course, there are downsides to living in the city too, it’s my practice to learn from whatever situation life gives me, so here’s seeing the glass half full!)
I think back to times when I was traveling and wifi was shotty, I am grateful for the fact that I never, ever, have to look for wifi here. From coffee shops, to workplaces, shopping malls to train stations, wifi is everywhere. I remind myself often that it is blessing to get to share inspiration and connect with all of you here. Wifi makes all possible.
2. The Hub of Innovative Ideas.
When you're building something, the city is the place to find and connect with like-minded peers. It’s hard to have a coffee date with friends and colleagues when you're in the mountains with no wifi. As much as I receive life from spending time in nature and ocean, I also receive life from the flurry of ideas and projects that are alive in the city.
3. Inspiration Heaven
Connected to wifi and the network of people who are creating things, I have ample inspiration. I find myself naturally discovering more news, ideas, companies and organizations that are doing innovative work, just because I’m plugged in here.
4. The Blessing of Routine
Routine can be so yummy! Coming from someone who loves to keep things fresh, this is saying something. There is something about a regular routine that actually keeps my inspiration fresh. It took me a year to find my feet here and settle into the routine of my jobs, but now that I have that foundation, I have the creative energy, time, headspace and heartspace to write and publish again! Now that I don’t have to worry about the in’s and out’s running a business, I can simply create the work that was always in my heart.
5. Increasing My Discipline
In order to really maximize the blessing of city’s routine, I’ve had up level my discipline. I am forced to work around my office hours. While some might argue that their job is in the way of their creativity, I decided to use the structure of my job as an advantage. I am more and more disciplined every week and it’s made me happier. Discipline has improved my life in dozens of ways including my physical health, mental health, focus, energy, personal joy and fulfilment.
6. Amazon (and the ability to order anything!)
I can order anything I want or need. This one is so easy to take for granted, until you don’t have an address and can’t even order a spare battery for your camera! While I am always conscious of not going overboard on this one, my time on the road definitely makes me more grateful that I can get whatever I need, when I need it.
7. Be grounded
“Bloom where you are planted.” Travel is like taking the plant of my soul and constantly putting it in a different pot. I can still grow, but there is something about staying in a larger pot and growing for a long period of time. It almost feels like my cells are more settled. I can think clearer and more long term, because I am not as worried over my basic needs (where am I going to live next month).
There are things about life in the city that are challenging for me, but all in all, I am grateful for the opportunity to flex and grow in different ways. I can appreciate cities and the wonderful people I’ve met in cities so much more now.
Do you live in a city right now? What kinds of things do you love or appreciate about it? Please feel free to share below! I’d love to hear from you!