Tonight is my last night alone in Toronto. From tomorrow until the day I fly back to Singapore I will be surrounded by people. And for some reason, I wanted to have some time alone tonight. Just me… in Toronto.
I came to this city a curious and eager 19 year old. I remember the thrill of living on my own away from home. There was the initial loneliness, but how exciting it was to do everything on my own for the first time, and to realize that I could take relative good care of myself.
It was in this city that I fell in love with a friend.
It was in this city that my brother and I spent 4 wonderful years living under the same roof, laughing, crying, fighting, talking… bonding over milo and digestives and Archies comics and Friends…
It was while I was in this city that I watched my childhood friends grow up, fall in love, experience heartbreak… where we shared one another’s joys and sorrows over ICQ and phonecalls… where we traveled to be with each other.
It was in this city that I learned I could never have too many friends… that even when I’m so happy with the friends God has already blessed me with, that He could still surprise me with beautiful friendships in the most unexpected ways.
It was in this city that I had my heart broken, mind confused and spirit buffeted. I had never felt that helpless, or experienced such self-doubt before in my life as I did in the last year.
But it was also in this city where I found myself again and began to renew my faith. It was here… right here in this room that I began the long and difficult journey of self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
9 years I spent here in Toronto… it was somewhere here that I left the remaining vestiges of my childhood behind and accepted my womanhood. It was here that I learned that suffering and love are never far apart, and that there is nothing to fear but fear itself when it comes to loving another.
My last year here has been full of surprises and blessings. I got to do so many things I never did before. I was given so many opportunities to love others and to be loved by them. I am thankful that I did not shy away though my heart was so bruised, because in these last few weeks, I have finally begun to feel the warmth of spring enter into my heart again.
Toronto… I don’t know how to say good-bye. Maybe I don’t have to. For there will always be a part of Toronto that lives on in me and in the friendships I have made here.
Goodnight, sweet Toronto. Goodnight.