It was so hard to leave last night. Everything felt so rushed… Even though the place was practically empty, it still felt like home. I didn’t want to leave it. Tying so many tiny loose ends (and leaving many others to friends, because frankly, I just couldn’t have finished this task alone - both physically and mentally) seem to take forever and I came to terms with the notion that it will be yet another sleepless night in a series of very sleep deprived and work-loaded months. I went room by room and it didn’t feel right to leave. Even with all my furniture and belonging gone, it still felt cozy and sweet. Like all the friends I hugged before going away, there were tears in my eyes and a whisper in my ears to not go.
As I finally made my way out, it felt more like saying goodbye to a friend. A massive-sized friend that housed us in her belly for almost twelve years, and has provided much more than just shelter - it has been a source of comfort and coziness, warmth and connection whenever everything else fails. nothing could have prepared me for how hard this is going to be. I never lived in a place this long. And I have gone through so much in this place - like several lifetimes, really.
It was a place where friends could stop by unannounced for a cup of tea, or to stretch and chat by the fireplace, break bread or pour their hearts at the piano. It was a steady home and a friend that was always ready to receive me, no matter how harshly I mistreated it. It was a place that sometimes I would not leave for many days because I was broken hearted and struggling with depression - and a place that was actually not that bad to be locked up in even through five months of debilitating back injury that forced me to look up from the window from a lowly place on the floor. It was a place I was proud to call home and celebrate so many happy occasions, make new friends and I think also other people made new friends in.
In this place I was able to finally bring to fruition the vision I had to my business - simply because it provided the right space for that. I was able to create a little bit of community around me, in lieu of the family I missed so much. And to whom I am now returning.
I hope I am not going to regret this move. I certainly am going to miss living in this home and the life in the West End and on the West Coast. I am thankful that this neighbourhood has been my home for the last 18 years. It allowed me to grow as a human, artists, and to raise my daughter to the best of my motherly abilities. I don’t think I would have been able to start my business and build this life for my daughter without that elected exile of 18 years. And this is exactly what also enables me to return back to my original home and family.
As I contemplate this feeling of leaving the house, and feeling the house’s heartbeat - I realize this pulse is a reflection of all the love that we carry around us. Despite much suffering that I’ve endured in this space, it has been filled with love, laughter, friendships and was always a welcoming place for those who needed it.
My only regret was not being to pay due resect to the old piano… I was so happy when I got it and that my daughter was benefitting from it too. But I have not been playing it much in recent years, and it has become more of a symbol of stability than a musical instrument; an anchor in the household. I was unable to find a new home for it before I left, and had to send it to the recycling station, which is practically a piano’s grave. I am so sad about this and feel that this was very ungrateful of me. My only consolation is a vague hope that maybe someone picked it up from there and is playing it right now…