It's an odd feeling to stand in the space you've called home for the better part of four years, with everything you hold dear packed into boxes. This weekend I'll leave, and aside from the unfortunate orange colour I for some reason decided to paint the kitchen, there will be no trace that I was even here.
Alixandra Gould Photography was just getting off the ground when I lugged all of my stuff up to the third floor of my "palace" on Ossington. It was the first place I called my own. There was no one to blame when the dishes weren't done, or no one to remind me I had left my camera in the living room. . .again. It was the place where the fierce, independent, artsy person I had always wanted to be could finally be realized.
The neighbourhood was bursting with independant cafes, boutique stores, art galleries and restaurants I couldn't afford. On countless mornings, I took my laptop up the street and sat there, making a latte somehow last two hours. I was surrounded by all those places you see on BlogTO. Lady Gaga went shopping at a store RIGHT across the street from me! In the throws of my mid twenties, this all seemed very important.
It was perfect.
Then, as always, times goes on. The artsy side of me met the business side, and photography went from an expensive hobby to my living. I shot countless weddings, and got a work space that wasn't two feet from by bed.
Relationships came and went; some with heartbreak, some with relief. And I admitted to myself that coffee actually hurts my stomach, and realized that a great vintage shop does not make up for the lack of a nearby grocery store.
The area changed too. In true Toronto gentrification fashion, a Shoppers went up across from a Starbucks and condos were built, while Sam James and Gravity Pope (still the dumbest name ever) came in to elevate the area from up and coming to up and came.
I feel like we grew up together. We went from attempting to find who we were by trying on many different identities, not realizing that it was our crazy mix of everything that had always defined us.
So now I move on to live in a condo, yes a condo, in a neighbourhood I once thought was reserved for yuppies who cared more about granite counter tops than filling their lives which the richness of culture.
But you know what? I'm REALLY excited about my counter tops. And I'm okay with that.
I'm also really excited about sharing my space with the most wonderful, patient, football obsessed man who doesn't judge me when I cry and makes me laugh, like REALLY laugh, every single day. I proved to myself that I could be fiercely independent, but it's time to let a bit of that fire cool, because it can burn you out after a while. And I've realized that the sounds of Mario Golf (insert eye roll) coming from the other room are more comforting than the sounds of a band I've never heard of before spilling out of a bar that's too cool for me.
So this era ends. It was a time in life when I was caught between the thrill and the loneliness of facing it all on my own. It's bittersweet, but mostly sweet :)