Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Movin' on up

Well, I've finally found somewhere to live that met with my approval. I went to look at it on Thursday night and pretty much made the decision right there and then. I should be able to sign the lease next week.

It's in the Yonge and St Clair area, a neighbourhood I've always liked. I discovered Yonge/St Clair and Summerhill the first year I lived in Toronto. I was living in the Forest Laneway complex, way the hell up in North York, and commuting to work on the Yonge line every day, and there's a stretch between Davisville and St Clair where the subway is above-ground. You can see Mount Pleasant Cemetery and the Belt Line bike/walking bath and those big apartment buildings on Lascelles. And I thought it looked like an interesting neighbourhood, so one Saturday afternoon, I took the subway to Davisville and walked south and explored the area, walked up all the side-streets and looked at the houses, went for a stroll in the cemetery, went down into the ravine, came up out of the ravine in Rosedale, gawked at the houses there. And then I just started coming down to Yonge and St Clair every weekend, just to walk around and hang out at the Starbucks near the CHUM building. It was summer, so I would sit on the patio and read the newspapers and watch the world go by, and it was great. Bear in mind that I didn't know much about Toronto at this time and I was living at Yonge and Sheppard, which is a cross between a suburb and a downtown area - not flaneur-friendly at all.

I ended up renting my current apartment partly based on its proximity to that neighbourhood, but I stopped hanging out in Yonge and St Clair and started hanging out in the Annex because by that time, I was at the Faculty of Information Studies working my tail off every weekend, and FIS is in the Annex. So there you go.

I was up in Yonge and St Clair after work about a month ago, apartment hunting on foot - you know, taking note of For Rent signs and amenities like grocery stores and dry cleaners - and I thought, "You know, I really like this area. I want to live here." It has everything I want, anyway: grocery stores, a Toronto Public Library branch (Deer Park), parks, cafes, restaurants, a book store (Book City), a health food store, biking and walking trails, access to public transit. All the good things in life.

And of course the local rentals come with a matching pricetag. I didn't think I'd find anything in my price range in the area. I wanted an above-ground, one bedroom apartment, preferably with a balcony, 5-10 minutes away from the subway, for $1000/month or less, including utilities (heat, electricity and water). I wanted to stay away from highrises (there's something soul-destroying about living in a box in a concrete tower full of identical boxes - been there, done that), carpeting (a bitch to keep clean), northern exposure (kind of gloomy in the daytime), and obnoxious landlords/superintendents.

Well, I found it. A one-bedroom, 6th floor apartment in a seven-storey building, five minutes' walk to the St Clair subway, with parquet floors, southern exposure, a balcony, heat, a/c and water included in the $995/mo rent (I have to pay for the electricity), and so far, the super and her husband have been really friendly and helpful.

If all goes well, I move in April 1st. And I'm not foolin'.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

We were on a break!

I guess you can tell that I used to watch a lot of NBC in the late 90s. How many posts have I titled with a catchphrase from Must-See-Teevee? Too many. I don't watch television any more. I got a DVD player and a flat-tube TV for Christmas and I watch DVDs of Curb Your Enthusiasm when I get home from work, which is almost always in the late evening, like, after 8, because I go to the gym and/or get stuck in snowstorms. Occasionally I rent movies and today I'll probably crack open the first two seasons of Seinfeld that my dad gave me for my birthday.

About my birthday. My thirtieth. It was a bit of a watershed for me. It is for a lot of people, women especially. Because biology makes it a watershed for those of us who want children before we are officially classified as AMA. Advanced Maternal Age. Or, my personal favourite, "elderly primagravida." And do you know when almightly medical science has decided that is?

Age 35.

Thirty fucking five.

Still young, in my humble opinion. But that's when having kids becomes a much riskier enterprise. Not overnight, of course. This stupid biological clock crap, tick-tock, tick-tock - please. Everybody is different. But it gets harder and riskier and that's just somewhere I don't really see myself going. Somewhere I would prefer not to go, if I can.

Anyway. So now that 35 is that much closer, and I've been with the same guy, my best friend, for four years, and I have a great job (actually, jobs plural - I'm almost done consulting on one project and have been approached to consult on a second), and I'll be starting management courses soon, and I'm well on my way to the joys of saving for a downpayment on a condo and retirement planning and other joys of grown-up life, I feel it's time to make a decision and take some kind of action. Because, even though I love this guy, I am unhappy with the current arrangement, which was tolerable when I was 26 and had oodles of time and no money and no career. Of just living day by day and not making plans.

And we've talked and talked about it and cried buckets and argued, and this has intensified in the last six months, the last year, and now we've reached the breaking point. I can't wait around much longer. It is not fair to me. It is not what I want anymore. It is not what I ever wanted. It was enough, before. But things are very different now.

Actually, despite this, this...blip, this not-broken-up-not-on-a-break-yet-not-sure-if-we're-getting-married thing that has me waking up at 4 in the morning in floods of tears, life really has never been better. I am not inflexible. I am willing to make compromises. But not if they're going to make me miserable, or bitter, or angry, in the long run.