Secret Beach, Toronto, Ontario

I keep a little journal to write in when I have big feelings.

Last April, I escaped the monotony of working from home in a teeny apartment, during what ended up being one of the world’s longest lockdowns, to the western coast of Canada. The three months I spent between Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia gifted me with a lot of big feelings. I would write in my journal about immense feelings of joy. I’d ask. “How can I be so overwhelmed with joy?” and describe how, “My heart is full of love.” After those three sweet months amongst the mountains, I begrudgingly left BC. When I came back to reality in Toronto, I found myself pulling out that journal to write about some different big feelings.

80 days post-return…

I’m on a rock at Secret Beach. Turns out, Secret Beach is actually the beach Behzad and I would escape to two summers ago and think of as our secret beach – and that is exactly what this beach is called. Secret Beach.

Turquoise blue lake, crashing waves, glistening water, green, green trees breaking up the deep blue sky. Classic Ontario in the summer. Yes, September still counts as summer here.

I’m sad to not still be in BC. I miss it dearly. Everything about Toronto is annoying me. The humidity, the smells, the work-all-the-damn-time culture, the TTC and the construction.

The stark contrast of being overwhelmed with joy in the spring to now being straight-up overwhelmed with work and this sweaty, smelly city.

I want to hike.

I want to be in the forest. Give me the pouring rain, make my legs jelly from being out there too long. I want to breathe in a full, big breath of clean, juicy air.

I knew this was going to happen when I wrote in April, “My heart is filled to the point it is heavy. Boom, boom, boom. Like a cynic reminding me that nothing this good lasts forever”.

Since coming back to TO though, I have so many things to be grateful for:

  • A closer relationship with my friends (and now neighbours);
  • Climbing – a new hobby I am completely obsessed with;
  • Living in my favourite part of the city (Hello Leslieville), and;
  • Solidifying my future plans…

The sheer difference in my feelings towards life out West vs life in Toronto completely confirmed for me that I don’t want to spend another minute being away from the place that I belong.

I belong in BC and I can’t wait to start calling it home.

That was it.

When people say trust your gut, to me it means, acknowledging and acting on your feelings. What are you doing when you feel most happy? What lifts you up and gives you a load of energy? Follow those things and do more of those things.

You’ll never leave where you are until you know where you would rather be.

Experiencing life on the west coast helped me realized I was exhausted of my current lifestyle. Toronto is an amazing city – one that I had to move 6,000 miles to come live in. Yet, it’s never felt truly sustainable to me. Five years of tweaking routines, switching neighbourhoods and getting rid of the commute but still, I felt like I was always running to keep up. It’s been an incredible experience but now it’s time to breathe.

What was this post for? Secret Beach! Well, it wouldn’t be very secret if I wrote about that…

Here’s some photos from a summer evening spent there. It’s simply gorgeous with an “ends of the earth” type vibe. Go for sunset, jump in for a swim and stay all night.

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