At the airport in Zadar, typing this out on my iPhone. Frustrating as fuck.
What’s even more frustrating is going back to Toronto. I began to feel anxiety about it a few weeks ago when it hit me that 16 months of traveling was about to come to a (brief) end, with me returning to where I’m from.
You know what it is that’s stressing me out? It’s the people. Not the city, it’s the fucking people inside of it. Granted most of my friends in the world are in Toronto, the people I love the most, or whatever, the people I get along with the most. The people I like the most, can stand the most. Of course, of course that’s true — it’s where I spent 35 years of my life. Just based on the numbers alone, Toronto would have to be the city where I know the most people, hence like the most people.
But the other side of the coin is this: it’s also the city where I hate the most people. Those that I despise. Who stress me out, who bother me, who keeps me up at night thinking, “Why am I friends with this person?” There’s a lot of them. Maybe half?
Ugh. 16 months of not thinking about these people, or if I were to meet their counterparts in Asia, I had the pleasure of walking away, no harm done. “Alright, gotta go,” while they’re in mid-speech. No worry about looking rude or like a big meanie-face.
God, that felt good, to not waste my life having to be around people I don’t like.
That doesn’t happen in Toronto. I have to suck it up and take it. I have to listen to opinions and unprompted advices. Hear peoples’ philosophies on things I don’t care about.
Okay, so, this isn’t an issue with Toronto. It’s more an issue with friends-who-think-we’re-closer-than-we-actually-are. Which I suppose makes it my own fault, that the relationship got to where it is.
I bet someone will say this: “Well I love my life without traveling. I don’t need to run away from…” I bet someone will say that to me, when I’m silent and minding my own business and talking to a friend about an episode of the Simpsons. I’ll feel a tap on the shoulder and it’ll be someone who has a need to put down my lifestyle — and really, I try not to compare mine to anyone else’s, like, to each their own — and that person will say, “Oh yeah? Well I have this and you don’t have that,” a fierce, snarky comeback to something I didn’t say, that reveals more about them than me.
I really don’t mind shit like, “Grow up and move back here and get a job.” That’s actually an okay statement. I’ll giggle and say, Naaaaah, and we’ll move on. That’s just a difference in opinion on how life should be lived, and everyone’s entitled. My mom says that to me every day.
It’s the snarky ones, the ones that come over aggressively, sleeves rolled up, ready to fight. The ones that think they’re right and I’m wrong — or that anyone can be right or wrong about life. That I’m on the same race track as them and behind. That we have the same goals, the same endgame.
That’s a Toronto thing. I don’t have friends like these in LA, New York, Hong Kong. Because I have the opportunity to not be friends with them. I had the opportunity to walk away. But not in Toronto, where relationships solidified with so many of the wrong people.
I don’t need people to support anything I do — I don’t need cheerleaders in life — but goddamn, I don’t need detractors. And while most of the people I like in the world are in Toronto, it’s where all the stress in my life is.