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How moving cities can change your identity & self-perception
I haven’t written to ya’ll in a solid month and a half — if you follow me on the ‘gram though, you’ll surely know why. ‘Tis the summer season of fun, and in the midst of music festivals, spontaneous exploration, and food upon food turning me into a foodie (who is she?!), it’s been hard carving time to sit down and just… write.
I’ve missed this stillness, and am so happy to be back, just as happy as I was in the chaos of being always on-the-go. Balance. ;)
Today, let me share with you my take on moving to a new city — and why it can absolutely, totally, utterly transform you.
(I’ve only been in Toronto 2 months, but hear me out.)
(Also, I was catching up with a friend via call the other day, and I think I convinced him to move to Europe for the same reasons hehe.)
As much moving cities isn’t a magic fix, we can’t discount the massive influence of our external environment — not just of our home, but also the people in proximity, places we go, things we do, routines we follow. Moving to a new city is the surefire way to disrupt status quo.
I like to think of us as avatars. Not the blue people. Like, imagine life is a video game, and “your human” is your avatar you get to choose the adventure for.
When you plot your avatar in a brand new environment, they’re going to have to rebuild from scratch. It comes with stress, uncertainty, and a load of unknowns, but that’s the whole point — you’re no longer following your old subconscious program, and have to rebuild.
Beyond finding new fav spots, making new routines, and total physical readjustment, you’re also free from the expectations that people in your old space had placed on you, which inevitably influence your self-perception — whether you’re conscious of it or not.
Whatever perception/identity your friends and family hold of you, will continue to self-fulfill until you choose to create a new one.
Also, if you were playing a video game, isn’t putting your avatar through such situations the only way to truly level up? So why not do it in real life?
Here’s an impromptu reflection on what I’ve experienced…
I love my Vancouver self, and am still just as much her as I am Toronto me — but being in Toronto unveiled parts of me that Vancouver Meg couldn’t have predicted.
Moving out, and absolutely loving the “mundane” of groceries, cooking, cleaning, self-care, quiet nights alone. Finding joy in fine dining, in contrast to Vancouver Meg’s “I’m not a foodie and never will be” mindset. Being more materialistic (city girl things) — not in a bad way, but rather as a means to treat myself with love: nice clothes, hair care, and shoes (not Vessis for once!) that are cute both in-office and on the streets. Getting comfy with meeting new like-minded people I have absolutely no mutual friends with (huh?!). Healing my relationship with food (no more restriction) and exercise (no more obsession), by way of just going with the flow and learning I could trust my body all along. Embracing even more of an “I don’t give a f*ck” mindset in how I show up (and I mean in an authentic empowering way), because people here are simply jarringly REAL (people pleaser who?!), and it’s a much more freeing way to live.
Most importantly, unlocking newfound self-respect, self-love, and self-confidence, as a compound of everything these past two months have taught me. All a bit tough to put into words, yet the shift is evident.
…and it’s only been two months.
So… have I convinced you yet? ;)
P.S. goes without saying — no amount of external change can replace the internal work required to make meaningful change in the first place. So journal! Go to therapy! Meditate! Self-reflect! Do the inner work. External is never the only solution.
(Also, I’m back in Van for the Winter, but in Tor again next Spring… just tryna milk the best of both worlds, both city-wise and identity-wise LOL)
Love from Towono,
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Short n’ simple, because tbh, my Instagram posts/stories/highlights do be showing most of it…
Summer in Toronto is a blast. CNE, beach days, food fests, rooftops, clubbing, meeting new people!
I decided to put my condo up for rental come October, because ya girl needs that $$$. Plus, I need my winters in Van with my homies. Maybe I’ll experience Toronto Winter one day… but not this year.
I’ve learned so many new recipes at home, and can now “whip up whatever’s in the fridge” — finna make my momma proud :’)
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