On June 20 this year, I did the most adult thing I have done since turning 18. I packed up my car and drove five hours away to a brand-new city to start a new life alone.
I asked for a job and life sent me to Windsor.
Two days after my move, I signed a lease to begin my first solo-living experience. I bought all my furniture, assembled it myself and began settling in days after I moved in.
How are you liking Windsor? I get this question a lot, and I never know what to say. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel after moving to a new city, and what constitutes as good or bad. So I always make something up and talk about how everything else is, except for my feelings about Windsor.
All my life I’ve been moving. From one house to another, one city to another, one province to another, one country to another. Every move is just another move.
I figure out where I want my bed to go and where I’m going to put my stuff, then I consider myself settled. It’s not supposed to be complicated.
But I think this whole time I haven’t considered the city I live in to be an important place. My home is an important place, but not the city that holds my home.
And now that I’m a working adult with so much free time outside of my 8 hours, and living in a city without my support network, I can start to understand why people keep asking me this question.
I guess moving to a new city is a big deal.
And to answer that truthfully, Windsor is fine.
There’s good and bad, like every city I’ve lived in. It’s got its quirks I can embrace and quirks I can’t embrace. It’s close to some stuff and far from some other stuff.
The proximity to so much water and major American cities is a plus. The vacant storefronts and eerie railways are not a plus. No traffic any time of day is great. Not enough traffic during evening hours is alarming. Everything feels very close by is wonderful. Cars parked on the road everywhere is not.
And to be my most honest, I don’t think the fact that I moved to Windsor matters that much at this point in my life.
I came to Windsor after a year of precarious work and moving every four months. I never knew if I was going to be jobless the next month. My job applications weren’t getting me anywhere. My body was tired from sleeping on an inconsistent schedule. My car felt more like home than my actual home.
What I need is not to fall in love with the city I’m living in, but to have the time and space and energy to fall in love with being an adult.
There are weeks when my dishes remain unwashed for days. And then I’ll eat chips for dinner on other days. I’ll borrow books and it’s time to return them before I’ve even cracked open a page.
Sometimes I wake up and I feel like everything is pointless. Other days I go to work and I can’t stop wanting to cry. And just yesterday I locked myself into a 7-month YMCA contract, but with slim hopes that I’ll still be going in two weeks.
And then there are days when I have so much energy I can go to work, go to the gym, go get groceries, meal prep and still have enough in me to smile. Sometimes I drive down Riverside Drive and I am so happy letting the other drivers hear my bad singing.
There are times when I’m giddy all day thinking of the food waiting for me at home. And there are moments when I’m so excited to be alive that even abandoned buildings around the block look beautiful.
To say it bluntly, if I’m happy, then Windsor is great.
And because I’m only doing okay on average, Windsor is just fine.