Shorter Days, Longer Thoughts

There’s something about the shortest days of the year that make them the toughest to bear. It’s as if their centre of gravity has been lowered, making them harder to push through.

This year, for whatever reason, feels a little harder than last year. But, then, last year felt worse than the year before it. And, so on for all the years that have passed. Maybe it has something to do with percentages: this last year was, percentage-wise, shorter than any other year of my life.

Oddly, this last year was probably one of the best of my life. I finally feel like I’m making some headway with my career. I’ve received recognition and support from people that I’d never thought thought about me. This – my career – is the longest that I’ve ever stuck with anything, and it’s starting to pay off. I feel rewarded.

But, I’m greedy. I want more from my life.

We had our first significant snowfall of the season over the last few days, bringing a silence to the city that encourages reflection. Things move slowly when it snows. Traffic, footsteps, noises, people, and thoughts. Even though it’s quieter, it feels warmer when it snows. That’s the comfort of winter.

Soon, it will feel normal, but, for now, it’s unique. It’s a strange time, when you’re given the opportunity to think because you’re still adjusting.

It’s funny how life comes at you when things start gearing up. All of a sudden you’re revving too high to be in fourth but can’t quite decide if it’s a good time to shift into fifth because you see brake lights ahead.

What makes this last year strange, in a way, is that it brought with it an aloneness that I’ve never had before in my life. I no longer seek out company like I used to. There was a time in my life when I would go out with my friends regularly. Barring that, I would find a table at a pub to claim for myself for the night. I had few reservations about making conversation with friends or strangers.

Now, what I want is the comfort of the space that I’ve created for myself in my one bedroom apartment, dirty dishes and all. There are fewer conversations that I want to have, but I want them more than any I’ve had in the past. My comforts no longer come from new experiences but from a routine that is self-reinforcing.

The world has become too big a place for me.

I moved to Toronto because the world was once too small.

Let’s be fair, the world is disproportionate.

Of course, there are moments of time when I want the comfort of the world around me. I’ve not completed an 180, and I certainly hope not to. I still make the same foolish errors that I used to, but with decreasing frequency.

When I go out in the world, I lose sight of it. I need to maintain a safe distance from the world in order to effectively manage my interactions with it.

There are times when I just want the world to notice me from across the room, walk over, offer to buy me a drink, and sit with me for a conversation. Later, after we’ve each had a few, there’d be an invitation for a nightcap and we end up just fucking the shit out of each other. We’ll exchange numbers in the morning, and it’ll turn into something beautiful.

Right now, it feels like I’m still paying for the rounds, but I’ve made her laugh a little bit so I’m optimistic about where things might be headed. I think I’m pretty funny.

If I had more self-confidence, I’d cancel brunch with tomorrow.

A good friend of mine once told me to never make a significant decision from the end of November until the beginning of March. It’s hard to make decisions in the spring, when you’ve no time to think.


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