After returning from my gallivants around Southeast Asia and America, I wanted to remain adventurous. I wanted to find adventure in what I consider ordinary life. Though most of you wouldn’t know because I went AWOL on my blog, I have.
As I’ve said before, meeting new people is one of my favourite things. People are so interesting. Someone can teach you something in less than a minute if you let them, if you’re open to the possibility of it. The beauty of these interactions is that they are temporary. Some of the people I met I have remained in contact with, but most have floated out of my life just as easily as they floated into it. That doesn’t negate anything they brought into my life, just forces me to recognize that some relationships have a very quick expiration date.
After I’d been back for about a month or so, people started asking me how it was being back in the real world. My response was that I wasn’t.
This summer, I changed up my routine of working full-time at the restaurant five minutes from my house and did promotion work. Despite the condescending comments I received when I told my friends about my work this summer (including being called a bimbo and having someone express a heartfelt apology that life had taken me there), it is so much fun, and so easy. I hand out free things, talk to people about the company magnanimously providing said free things and just have a good time with them.
Most of my summer was spent doing promotions for KiSS 92.5, a top-40 radio station in Toronto. I went to concerts, music festivals, the beaches, Pride Toronto, and other fun events with lots of people, took Instax (re-invented Polaroid), handed out stuff and talked to people. I played KiSS Pong (beer pong but with small garbage bins and volleyballs), massive Jenga, Hula Hooped and danced with strangers. And I got paid for this.
I had a blast and a half with these ballin’ ladies. The KiSS Krew was handing out swag at the beaches in Toronto, casually crashing all of the family and work barbecues (one work party actually gave us each a massive plate of food, vegan cupcakes and sangria). I was handing out sunglasses to this one party with these women, and they each asked me for about four pairs of sunglasses. So I obliged, but only on the condition that they take a selfie with me. Pretty sure it was their first selfie ever.
I might just dedicate an entire post to Pride Toronto, because it was a time and a half.
Yeah, this was my job.
Now, as you may recall from this post where I lay out what I learned while I was away this year, I love (and greatly missed) talking to strangers. That was one of my goals this summer, keep talking to strangers and keep having magical, spontaneous moments with them. I definitely did that with this “job” I had. My second goal was to discover Toronto.
I honestly didn’t like Toronto all that much (Torontonians, don’t hit me). I’ve lived in the suburbs outside of Toronto my whole life, minus my 4 years in Vancouver for my undergrad, but I never felt like I fit into Toronto. There are so many areas, and I didn’t know any of them well enough to know the nooks and crannies and the sweet spots to see. Well, my odd smattering of jobs all over the city really helped me discover bits of Toronto I never even knew were there.
So, in the next week, before my new Masters program gets too crazy, I’m going to post a story a day in Ordinary Adventures about the little happenstances that I was certain were insignificant, but now that my summer is over, these stories, these people, have really stuck with me.
I spent my last night in Toronto this summer at my friend’s condo at Front and John. It’s a beautiful downtown condo, floor-to-ceiling windows on the 36th floor. On my last morning, I watched the sun rise in the city, that intense orange glow that comes in the minutes before the sun surfaces bouncing off the glass buildings so the city was glowing.
I see now why people love the 6ix so much. You get attached to the little parts one by one, and those little parts get stuck together over time and blend slowly into one big part. You find little nooks that speak to some previously empty hole in your life, like burritos with soy meat and ridiculously hot sauce for $7 or bars with thousands of board games (Snakes and Lattes, go to it). Imagine what I would have found by now if I had started looking sooner.