It was time to leave.
I’ve spent my entire life living in big cities.
I spent the first 24 years my life in Toronto and the last 9 years keepin’ it real in New York City. I don’t know how many times people have asked me why I decided to move to an even bigger city than Toronto, especially with my level of anxiety and panic. Why would I, someone who has had hundreds of panic attacks on subways, want to live in a city that pretty much relies on subways? Why would I, as introverted as I am, want to live somewhere where there is no such thing as personal space? I know where I should live, NYC!
Well, I somehow managed. At least for a little while. I kept busy with school and relationships. For the record, school is a good way to experience NYC and not be trapped in the rat race of trying to make enough green to survive. After school ended, that was the official start of my race. And it was tiring.
This past year my husband and I were given an opportunity to leave NYC. It was the most exciting thing to hear. Our original plan was to head west immediately, but we decided to make a stop in Connecticut for a year. The place is located in a lovely beach town off of the Long Island Sound. The house is surrounded by trees and trails. I saw a deer scamper off yesterday and just now, as I walked the dog, I could hear the owls hooting away. For a few moments, I turned off the flashlight and stared up at the stars. There are so many. They are so dull in the city. It was great to know they still shine bright.
Everything is beautiful.
It’s quiet. It’s empty. It’s a breath of fresh air.
In one day I cycled 15km along the beach and hiked two trails – once on my own and once with my 9 month old puppy. I didn’t have to think about how I was going to manage taking the subway. I didn’t have to worry about what kind of horrible thing some guy would say to me while I was out minding my own business. I didn’t have to think about what I would do “this time” if I ran into someones ex, or my own. Instead, I found a quaint bookstore that was ridiculously amazing. Nothing overwhelming or stressful about that. Today was me, the ocean, my bicycle, the dogs and a store full of books.
I’ve only been here for 5 days and I should have done this years ago.
I know my panic attacks and anxiety aren’t solely caused by my choice of city to live. But I can’t help but think that by changing the pace of my immediate surroundings that it may just help influence how I’ve been pacing myself.
It’s time to stop spending all my energy on what’s happening outside and it’s time to take care of what’s inside.