My current partner is very good at a lot of things, but one thing in particular is randomly pointing out just how easily my ex partner “kicked me to the curb” and “just threw me away“. Says she would never do that. Says that’s not what people do when they love each-other.
Recently, and totally at my instigation and obvious unhappiness here in Barrie, we’ve been looking into moving to southern, less wintry parts of Ontario. We even considered Vancouver as Kate has family there, a new grandson she hasn’t met, and as everyone keeps telling me, “You’ll LOVE it there!” But, for reasons too numerous to mention, the Universe has clearly said NO.
Last week we had a talk about how few opportunities there are for me to do pretty much anything here in Barrie. It’s so spread out. You need to drive everywhere to get anywhere. I don’t drive. And the transit system here is merely a suggestion.
Winter is coming and the idea of being buried under 6 feet of snow for 5 months is starting to fucking stress me out.
It’s a thing.
During this conversation, I mentioned Toronto and it’s attributes. I could see she was getting agitated. Again. We’ve had this talk before. What can I say? Toronto is my home and will always be my home. I was born there. Have lived 3/4 of my life there. And I miss it. I have family, friends and familiarity there. And to be fair, I gave this Barrie-in-the-fucking-snow-belt thing a go. For three…going on four winters now. It just isn’t for me!
I want out.
She, on the other hand, is a small town girl and has lived much of her life here and in Alberta. She’s used to the long ass winters and mountains of snow. And hates the rush and noise and negative energy of the big city. Any big city. Especially Toronto. And I get it. I’m reaching the point in my life where I’m not super thrilled with the idea of fast-paced-big-city living either. But I also believe that wherever you live on this beautiful planet, YOU get to choose the pace of your life.
I don’t want the city rush and noise and negative energy back in my life, but I do want the feeling of connection. The feeling that I am a part of something. I don’t have that in Barrie. But I do have that in Toronto.
I also have independence.
Barrie has starved me socially. Isolated me physically. Nearly broken me spiritually. And I have to rely on Kate to take me everywhere and anywhere. A thing I am soooo not used to at all!
I hate it here.
And have, pretty much, from the moment I arrived.
She knows this.
Yet, last week when I mentioned Toronto for the umpteenth time, and all that it potentially has to offer, not just for me, but for her as well, she simply said, “Trish. If you need to go back to Toronto, then go.”
I gave her a look which couldn’t have said more clearly, “Reeeaaally???”
She shrugged her shoulders. “I have no desire to move back to Toronto.”
And that was that.
I knew this already. We’ve had this conversation before.
But I think what really surprised me this time around was the finality of her words. I really heard them. Maybe for the first time. She has said them to me before, but this time something rang different. Deeper. Truer. No room for negotiation. Whatsoever.
She said, “Trish. If you need to go back to Toronto, then go.”
But I heard, “I’ll love you as long as you stay here with me. Wherever here happens to be. But I will not love you in Toronto. If you need to go there, you’re on your own. Bye bye.”
And as I stood in the doorway watching her lying in bed, our eyes met in what felt like an unwavering challenge. A gauntlet had been thrown.
I mentally picked up the glove and studied it carefully.
Every scratch and scar and bump and bruise. The ragged rips neatly stitched back together. The leathery palm worn thin in places from endless emotional swordplay. The fingers soft enough for a lovers touch, but sharp in the slap of outrage. Yet the hidden lining remained bright and colorful, cleverly concealing the darkened stains of tearful betrayals.
I finally understood.
Fuck that shit.
Never. Ever. Again.
I am worth so much more than that.