It looks as if I’m almost at the end of our history, for now…
To say that starting life in Toronto has been easy would be a lie. Some days here are really good, and some are really bad, and sometimes we exist in between and sometimes it is really, really hard to keep going. The point of saying that is that I feel we’ve become stronger as a couple since being here. So many things have been much less than ideal, and yet we have become so much better because of it.
We did not really have a break between arriving and the start of school. I think we arrived on the first, and we had an exam on the third. Our belongings were still not here, so we were living out of the contents of 6 backpacks/suitcases. Fortunately the apartment was semi-furnished (bed, table & chairs) and there were pots and pans and silverware in the kitchen, so we could at least cook. We ate a lot of salad and fried meat for the first couple of weeks. I have fond memories of the two of us sitting on the living room floor, watching the BBC “Anne of Green Gables” on David’s laptop for relaxation in the evening. We didn’t have internet access or anything (it took almost a month to get internet) so we spent our evenings, after homework, watching shows and reading.
Meanwhile, we set about seeing if we could improve our living situation. Unfortunately, the poorly worded language of our lease which suggested we could move out within 60 days was not honoured by the Tenant’s Board. So we contacted our Landlord, who said that we could move IF we found someone to rent the place. David and I talked it over. It would mean that we had to a) find a place for ourselves and b) find a renter for this place that c) had to coincide so that we wouldn’t be stuck paying rent on two places, something we definitely could not afford. On top of that, it would mean doing extra work for this and then moving in the middle of a very busy semester. And so David, for the sake of my peace of mind and first semester at grad school, sacrificed his physical comfort and ease so that more stress would not be added, especially for me. That is true love.
Beyond that immense sacrifice when we first moved here, there is little more to say. Our stuff eventually arrived. For those of you looking for more disasters--three of our boxes were water damaged due to something leaking from the next compartment over. I was out when our stuff arrived so David had to deal with all the insurance-claim information on his own. He did well. Fortunately nothing irreplaceable was wrecked. My mum came for a visit in late September, to help us get settled in (Ikea trip) and just to visit. It was a very nice visit, although we didn’t sleep much! The three of us went to Niagara Falls one day and that was very lovely.
Aside from some fun in September, life has mostly consisted of school. The program here is very intense, and we were both far busier than we’d thought we’d be. With both of us in school and working long hours and spending our free ones worrying over school and stressing, it has not been easy. Although we spend much of the day in each other’s company, it is often just doing work. We started working on this toward the end of the semester, purposefully spending more time together alone. It’s been nice, and things have been much better this semester.
As December approached, we both made plans to go home for most of the month. This meant that we would be apart for most of it. I noticed that things were incredibly different from other times we’d gone away--I think we talked on the phone for at least an hour a day this time (much longer than before). I had spent two days in Victoria, but after I left up island the weather turned bad and David was unable to come visit me. So we spent YET ANOTHER Christmas apart, which we are used to, but unfortunately this year I couldn’t even be with him on his birthday.
At home, meanwhile, the usual discussions about when I thought I’d get married would take place. I think by this time everyone was getting used to the idea that it probably wouldn’t be any time soon. It was fairly obvious that this couple would be taking its time. I had one bit of news, however, which was that before we left on vacation David had taken one of my rings “just in case” he found something that needed sizing. But I was trying to not put much hope this.
To make up for missing his birthday, Christmas, and him in general, I had decided to go down to Victoria for New years. The night before I left I was feeling very lonely. I had gone to bed and was laying in the dark with my cat for company, enjoying the cold air and the quiet of the country, and trying to remind myself of my own strength in the face of loneliness and challenges. I was not particularly looking forward to my trip the next day, for although I wanted to see David I didn’t want to lose any time with my family. But that was that. Fortunately I was keen enough to go that I’d set a backup alarm, because our power went out (yet again!) that night and I had an early bus to catch and hadn’t fallen asleep until 3 or 4. By 8am I was on a bus heading south, and somehow in the night healing had come to my loneliness because I was feeling adventuresome again and looking forward to seeing my boy…