From skyscrapers to sourdough

Lord knows how many months the world is already facing those circumstances; I start to miss what used to be and what won’t be for a long time. I breathe in the fresh countryside air contemplating which bottle of wine I should open that night and when I should start my new sourdough. This time around, a year ago, I had just moved to Toronto and was more lost than in a long time. I had dragged myself to do that step, cause deep down I knew that it was that one chance I’d regret not doing and I hoped to grow from it. So, when I arrived there, I felt so lost and out of place, and I did not even have the mental capacity to imagine that I could benefit somehow from this experience. But somewhere between culture shock and adaption, being busy and slowing down, asking questions and finding even more answers, I grew to like this place.

Canada, especially Toronto will always be the place to me, that pushed me to every possible edge of mine on a daily basis, but also the place where I finally, after years of avoiding that side of mine, found the confidence to write again. For years, I was empty, I couldn’t create a sentence, avoided bookstores and the only sentences I read were Instagram captions. I can’t exactly recall how my return to writing happened, it was just there. For years, when I felt this emptiness inside me, writing things down felt like the most unnatural thing to do. And from one day to the other, this ability, the ability to create a whole new world with just words and imagination had to get out. From that day on, it felt like the most natural thing I could do. No matter how alienated, lonely and lost I felt in that giant city full of skyscrapers that millions of people call home, it brought me back to my true passion, which I will be eternally grateful for. My time in Toronto, or Canada as a whole will always play a huge role in my story, as in retrospect it feels like a time, where I truly got to know myself and some of the most interesting people I have ever met, and that is priceless. It might be true or not, but maybe I had to get lost so deeply in order to find myself. Now, when I look at those giant skyscrapers of that city, I say to myself, wow, that’s mad, you used to come back to this after a weekend trip and called it home for a few months.

Now, sitting here on my balcony, still thinking about the wine and the sourdough, I would give everything to be back there. Why? Simply because my soul finds the most comfort in the uncomfortable, the unknown, the anonymity that a new city in a foreign place can give me. In the past six months, the only real push I experienced out of my comfort zone was a somewhat weird determination to get my ass up and start to do a daily workout. Did it last long? At least two months. Do I miss it? Not as much as I miss exhausting plane rides, meeting new people, hugging strangers in a bar and seeing a different night sky than I am used to.

It seems like I got so comfortable with this lifestyle of being free and building up a new base every year or so, that I forgot how it feels to be at home.

I forgot how it feels to leave your house and recognize people’s faces. I forgot how it feels to have a clear routine, which is not depending on occasional freelance jobs or mini weekend getaways. I also forgot, how great it can feel to have an evening to yourself, without any kind of FOMO. Great, honestly. The other day, whilst I was dreaming my thoughts away, I came across this article by Jerry Seinfeld for the New York times (google Jerry Seinfeld New York Times if you fancy a read), and honestly, it has been one of the best pieces I have read in a while.

What we are experiencing now, is not a temporary circumstance, it feels like the beginning of something very new, unknown and more permanent than we want it to be.

Even though I can’t stop thinking about the day when I put my feet un unknown pavements again, I still cherish how I came to be from being one of the most mentally messed up people pre-pandemic to now, starting to actually like myself and the person I became (which is a big deal for someone like me, who has spent around a decade declaring war to themselves on a daily basis).

Trouser: old Topshop, Blouse: Vintage, Book: Swallowing Geography by Deborah Levy

Anyway, I hope that whoever is reading this, is healthy and takes as much care of themselves as they need.

Also, here are some songs I have recently adored very much:

This just needed to get out.

All the love,

N.

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IMAGES FROM THE ARCHIVE SHOT BY CHLOE DAVIES

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