This is a complicated blog post as I attempt to write to my past self without a time machine or app to make it easy. If you get lost in the Matrix, at least you get to hang out with Keanu. So to summarize, 2015 Michael is writing to 2014 Michael. Got it? Good.
Dear Michael of 2014, how’s it hanging?
Are you loving the 2014 NBA Playoffs? Sorry about the Raps. Losing like that in Game 7 sucks. Call me an asshole for spoiling 2015, but you won’t any happier come next season. Want to make some coin? Bet on the Warriors.
I wanted to write this post and send it back in time from the future. Not too far, only a year (2015), but I have the best news.
You made the right choice. You and your family love Toronto. So if there is any doubt in your head about what to expect, stop. It’s pretty wicked. Every battle has been won and life is pretty great.
Sure, I have to say, you will miss several things about your Halifax life, such as the ocean, the bridges, your house, Cheese Curds, the friends you made and surprisingly you are going to miss driving. Driving? Well, yes because you simply won’t be doing as much once you move. You will quickly get used to TTC life again. Sadly it’s the same as you remember from 2004, just add waaaaaaay more people.
To help remove some stress, I want to give you the head’s up that somehow you will end up back in your old neighbourhood of High Park. This time, closer to the now-trendy Roncesvalles. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will also point out that you should chop down any money trees you have and bring them with you. The housing market her is crazy-stupid. Sorry Harry, I meant silly.
Since I don’t want to spoil too much of the “where” you will end up, maybe I will just focus on “how” everyone is doing.
Toronto has been an adjustment and it’s certainly not a complete story yet. I will tell you that the boys have blossomed here. They are so happy with the city, it will touch your parental soul at how well it has worked out. Harry is a boy. He could not have turned out better. You know that shy kid that is probably watching a Cars movie as you drive across Canada? Well Toronto has opened up his world. He is very much the extrovert now. He is such a caring and compassionate guy, I could not be more proud. His first crack at school has been a fun ride as well. He is so close to reading and writing. Just keep providing support, help and fun ways to learn and he will pick it up. Harry and school are like PB and J. The kid is a sponge. His hardcore interests are nature and birds. If you can, invest in a pair of binoculars. I could go on for 5,000 words on how amazing Harry is doing in Toronto, but that’s not fair to you. I want you to live it. He is well. He is happy. He is Harry.
Charlie. Oh boy. This kid. He is going to be trouble. He left Halifax as a baby and currently he is going on three. The talking, the potty training, the attitude and all the personality traits that are very different from his older brother. Charlie is a lucky guy. He will always be able to say he was born in Halifax, but he will live a huge part of his early life in the biggest city in Canada. Charlie is a challenge. He will push your parenting patience to the max. He will own your heart with his soft-spoken ways. He is also very happy. He is ready to explode. He is a joy to be around even when he is screaming.
Now for Katie. Yes, the girl you followed out to Halifax in the first place. Katie is enjoying and excelling at her job. That’s good since it was kind of the whole reason you moved back right? She is carrying the heavy load for the family. For you, reestablishing yourself career wise will be tough. So please remember to thank Katie a lot for keeping the family afloat. I know it’s a team, I know you will even the deal one day, but you sure got lucky when you met her.
You are probably reading this long post on your phone while driving from Montreal to Toronto. You are probably part excited and part nervous driving into the unknown. Yes, Ontario is home, but there is so much still unanswered a year later.
Your sister will have a tough year. She is holding on and keeping her tiny family together. Friends will move back to the city and leave again. Cost of living will make you shake your head and wonder why you moved in the first place. The sheer amount of people will be a constant stress whenever you go somewhere.
But…..nothing has yet to counter all the good that has come out of making the move back to Toronto. There are no more boring Sunday mornings. The amount of quality places to eat is limitless. Having family near makes it that much more possible to go out without the kids and have classic Sunday dinners.
Like I have been saying since my first go around in Toronto, just walking out the door is an adventure and that has not changed.
Oh, this has nothing to do with the move, but TV has gotten so much better. The amount of quality shows is mind-blowing. Yes, we are paying for cable again.
The past 365 days have been exciting, stressful, tiring, frustrating and generally less rainy. I am happy. The family seems happy. We are doing it. We are living life in a city that I think we were born to be in.
The job will come. The house will come. All the stuff you want in life will come. But I just wanted to write to you and let you know that you don’t have to worry about moving. You are happy in 2015. You are excited about what the future holds. You are so busy watching your boys grow up in front of you, there is no time to dwell about what life would have been like without moving.
Like I said, I miss driving over a bridge. I miss smelling the ocean and I miss how sunny our house was on a crisp winter day. But I will always have those memories to go with all of the new ones Toronto has brought.
To close. It’s too late to tell you but your Big Green Egg will be broken when you go to help the movers unload. Shit happens. But you have a new one and you cooked your first brisket on it and it was AMAZING.
The rest I am going to leave to you to live and experience in real-time. You are a lucky guy. Don’t screw it up.
Oh one last thing. I won’t tell you how, but at some point you are going to get to go to New York City for free. Yeah, let that one stew in your brain.
Keep it real,
Your friendly self
P.S. Please don’t wait to play Cards Against Humanity. All I can say is Dick Fingers.