So I had enough today with the forecast & any type of cast in this country. I mean it’s only fair to write an article about Canada’s weather. I’m certainly not planning to move to Alaska so that is the worse I will ever experience.
So we had an unbelievable cruel hard core winter. It’s mid March & out of nowhere the sun not only decides to appear on it’s full scale but with an amazing breeze of fresh air above zero. Repeating: above zero! Then all of a sudden you pull out of the darkest corners of your closet your Converse, you attempt to go out with a t-shirt/sweatshirt, zip down your parka & even wear sunglasses. You walk in the hood & all of the sudden, the ‘how you doin?’ looks are all back! I’m talking about a nice, sunny, breezy day where even some patios had their virginity taken away. You’re positiveness is back! You start to plan like crazy for city-breaks & how often you wanna take the boat for daily escapes to the Island; I mean the one across Toronto, not the one from the ‘Lost’ series. You plan to buy pick-nic accessories, visit sight-seeings for real this time & how beautifully you’ll be cycling around the city with a baguette & tulips on your front basket.
On the mean time, you fall asleep fully developed from joy & future plans.
So you wake up the next day, around noon, feeling heavy as hell for no reason & there’s a strangely white-ish light coming from your window. You wonder. You wake up like you had a hangover, having body aches & you barely care to drift from bed. Hmm, I’m sure it wasn’t the Pilates. I’m successfully on a 3rd week training & no pain is required. While having inner talks with myself & walked towards the back door to see the view on the backyard, I faced the awful truth. Everything was white. I repeat, everything has turned into white. Again. It’s snowing like no tomorrow & anytime Santa & his sleigh will land on your porch. I mean SERIOUSLY? After all those dreams & plans, the reality of ‘Canada’s Winter Wonderland’ hits you right on the forehead.
I thought Spring was here to stay! I thought it was getting prepared for a show off & we’d all be smiling & joining the parade! What on earth is this now? Suddenly the baguette & tulips are crushing the pavement & caving in for few more weeks is the least you wish or expect. Once you have that view, you automatically cross out all of your plans & the only thing you’ll do is to go to your kitchen & treat yourself a hot coffee. The rest is history. You feel dull as a polar bear & you don’t wanna bother until all this crap is gone.
I tunned in to facebook to scroll down the news feed, hoping to find someone feeling the exact same way. My eyes got stuck on a post from a Dalai Lama’s quote about yesterday & tomorrow & we can only act today, to love, believe, do & mostly live. I can proudly believe that Dalai Lama didn’t have Canada in mind & hadn’t pictured the landscapes here. Excuse me to say, but I’d rather re-imagine yesterday & cry out for a better tomorrow.
So for today, my few outdoor plans are cancelled. I’m talking about exercising 4 blocks away & having dinner with a friend 5 blocks away, but all seem so hard to achieve when walking like a Polar bear is not my thing anymore. Oh & by the way, my Converse are here to stay!_
P.s I can only dedicate this post to my friend Kayle Evans who shares my pain.
I keep giving glances to it time to time. For this freaking quote, we’ve ended up here. Here is Toronto, Canada. I followed my husband, he followed me, all I know is that we’re here. It’s been almost 10 months & I fear it will be years in no time without realizing it. The hardest that someone goes through a beginning of his/hers months or years if they are sacrificed for a higher purpose, are literally indescribable. I haven’t seen a book so far that warns you for the first tough months of your life once you go along with a tough choice. All are a helping hand from this point & beyond. Man, the sacrifices are way too big. I can even believe it still. I fight with that every day. You are away from anyone you love of you feel home, you are fighting day in day out, you loose your old self, you are in uncomfortable places, you dream the soft comfort past, you miss your land, you miss any familiarity, you live away from somebody you love, you miss the last moments of someone who will leave this world soon, you miss someone that just joint the world, you keep on living your everyday life getting familiar with missing something all the time. This is not a place kids would survive. This is why we loose the fun from our lives either we admit we do. Who wants to choose this really? But we do. Many of us actually do. Time pays a bad part in all this. Time zones matter & with the media I don’t know if they help us at the end. You see your loved ones digitally every now & then & you realize how apart you are. It keeps reminding you that every time you press a video call. Probably at the ages of our grand -grand parents, that would see one another after many years, it saved them the daily torture. You tend to forget if you don’t see something for a while. It might live within you, but it’s not scooping your heart slowly.
So I really can’t recall who’s the real Enemy, comfort or separation?
Why Achievement has to come with such sacrifice?
Why couldn’t we get our lessons along with Comfort?
Why we humans couldn’t maintain the heavenly lessons as they were?
Why did we have to make them so complicated?
All I know is if you train yourself to live with something as a fact, that’s his fact forever.
And my fact is living for my purpose & its achievement. It’s way too loud to ignore it. I build it way to high, way to strong. No matter how hard it is, it’s like I was born this way.
Please correct me. Please tell me that I’m wrong so I can go running towards my Comfort. It will save me, a hell of a lot effort & pain._
The moment has finally arrived where we decided, me & my man, that we’ll both get a family membership at our local YMCA gym. I would suggest it many times to him, while I finally dragged him for a ‘just-give-it-a-look-for-God-sake’. We went, we had a tour, we found all of the options we wanted & of corse the punching bag! So while getting in a research for new training shoes, as usual, I found my ones within a week, tried them, liked them, debit-ed them. Now. We scrolled around some athletic stores, he fell in love with the new lines of Nike, who wouldn’t?
Regarding my training shoes, I found the colors in current fashion, similar style, just from another brand. Once they are the colors I want, the style I would wear & anatomic for my feet, there’s just nothing more to analyze. It’s just for the gym & wouldn’t walk around bouncing them with proudness. But my dear beloved one does mind! I showed him similar ones, Nike ones, but no way. He just fell in love with the specific style ‘Free Trainer 3.0′. To be honest it’s a cool style & in awesome colorings. It’s just that the price was too expensive for only few days at the gym & only for the gym. Anyway, he explained me why, I explained him why & we where not gonna skip this transaction.
Even though my guts where upside down, because I know how the stores, chains & outlets work here in Canada, I just knew that there was a pair out there for him, in his desires & needs, only half the price, just because a different supplier sells them. So he was gonna buy ‘em on his next day off. That counts down to 2 days & 12 hours. I didn’t lose my faith & I knew there was still an alternative case hanging there for me to grab it & once more scream ‘A-ha. I told you so’.
So one of my dear friends calls me & invites me to hang out with her on her day off & scroll around some malls outside of Toronto. Big ones & so American ones. Once we get there we already meet traffic, can’t find a spot & wondering where did all those folks came from. Aren’t they working? There are quite many to have the same day off altogether. Anyway, we manage to park & long story short, once we entered the mall, the answer ding-ed our heads like an inbox mail. It was Black Friday! Oh Lord, such a wrong wrong decision on a day like this to scroll around a mall. Well, we side-hanged our bags, roll-up our sleeves & started slowly but surely to drift around. We were having a conversation, paid to little attention to the stores, while I feel this breeze coming from my right hand side. I turned my face in slow motion & there it was like the shinning star of Bethlehem. A Nike store/outlet! I remained calm & invite my friend to give it a look & check what are they’re offers. There was like the paradise of all Nike trainers. I was in panic, I must admit. But I focused on my goal, to find the trainers my husband wanted in a reasonable price.
I started text-ing him, sending the style names so he could Google them & give me a hint on what I was supposed to find through my ‘Nike Mission’. He informs me it’s a trainer style. So I struggle to find an assistance through that craziness. I was looking through the aisles, giving the thirsty look to unknown customers, ’till I see him & made sure to seal a conversation with him. The trainer styles, thank God, where only few to choose from. So I text him the final details & color combination & I just prayed it would be one of them. I was in a confusion between 2 styles. One for the upper design & the other one for its sole. So he tells me to go for the ‘Free Haven 3.0′ the one I had a fair memory of that it might have been the one. So we both agreed on that one, I find a size & I proceed to the counter. I paid a sweet price of only 69.95 plus 13% tax, while the Free Trainer 3.0 he wished to purchase, was for the un-sweet price of 139.99 plus 13% tax.
Once we were leaving the store, me & my friend, made sure about their exchange policy & believed that he would most definitely like it. If not we would exchange it & I’d be defeated. I then later on received a text msg that he really liked it through the images of Google. (Alleluia for Google) I waited to get home & google it myself & remember what was the first so-desired-trainer-style. And I did & they even had them both on the same page, same results, right next to each other. Only they were probably made 3-6 months in difference from each other. Now you tell me, if the price difference of 70.00$ was worth paining for & if I was right from the beginning on having ‘objections your honor’. The Trainer one has crossed lines & the Haven one little triangles. There are few small design differences, which a designer would notice, but not for the big price difference that it’s given. So I relaxed & reassured myself that when my hubby will arrive home from work, will definitely love his new trainers & I will tell him out loud ‘I told you so.’_
I mean, I’ve been a fool since day one, that the clothes I brought with me in this new continent of the world, would be just fine. Apart from the clothes I already have, the new ones I’ve checked in stores, here & there, would be these classic, semi-protective styles. I had second thoughts if they’d be wintery enough & thank God I had them, because 3 weeks later, I realized that they would only be an awesome piece in my wardrobe & nothing more than that. The weather increases week by week & I ended up wearing 3-4 layers, even 4-5, in order to survive out there. So all my european winter-like clothes where not protecting me enough from the cold. Actually not protecting me at all. So I narrowed down the brands, I dismissed all the european brands from my shopping options & I got to the final conclusion of: Not-having-a-style-at-all-for-5-months.
I accepted the fact that I have to look for the eskimo-native type styles, big heavy boots & duvet type coats. In October, I would laugh & declare that there is no way I’m wearing these. In November, I canceled my declaration & proceed forward. I will invest in these wide styles, these absolute enormous protective outwears. Or else I will freeze to death. Maybe they’ll find me frozen at a streetcar stop dwelling on a Starbucks seasonal beverage. I was checking around the trespassers this evening, when I left the gym around 5:45 & I could see them buckled up with all kinds of wintery & even ski equipment. You even have to consider & combine ski equipment. That says it all.
I know the designers had made an amazing work for this seasons outwear. Even if it wasn’t in style this season, ‘cocooning’ is the essential option for Canada, translated to an ‘onion-ing’. There are a lot of styles, brands, models, mannequins to get inspired from, but for myself, I would mostly get inspired from these ‘National Geographic’ photographers at the Arctic, Alaskan journeys. Yes yes indeed. They know best about wild weathers & hard core climate calculations. Imagine that last week, it reached -13C with a real feel of -18C & I could not stand the cold more than 20 mins. That’s like a dog walk & once I’m back I try to find my normal body Celsius for 20 more mins.
I would love furry details or even a fur coat up to my ankles. I am a no-no person when it comes to dead animals. I even started considering that though. This weather is bringing out my bad-bad self, who sends radioactive waves at fur stores. Still I’ll stand tall & go for duck feathers. May we survive this winter, with or without a style._
I believe one of the most uncomfortable moments, are the ones where you see your loved ones repeating their own mistakes. Once they’ve been through a lesson in the hardest version of it & you see them re-living it again & re-questioning themselves A-gain, then it’s a moment where silence will help the most. Trying to help or advice will only make things worse. Because they already had enough from the first time & they don’t need your lecture once the trial is re-visiting for the second time their doorstep. They are more annoyed & you’re like more in wonder with an awkward smile on your face. Once they are requesting their situation, ‘What is the reason this is repeated?’, probably they didn’t learn their lesson.
I mean, once you see even the slightest common-ish applies, on a human or a situation, then what are the reasons for not dropping it immediately & go for something else? While you reconfirm yourself ‘This one is the same with that one, so I don’t need this again’, then it’s the moment of immediate action. Why this commonness allows you to give one more chance? One more day, one more phone-call, one more delayed situation? Just drop the freaking thing & go for another option. You are just caught in these cases, believing it’s too late to make another move. The too-late-present-moment, will be when giving repeatedly opportunities every next time & at the last chance of all, you’ll be left with no other options & plan b’s or c’s & probably admitting that, that person shouldn’t been given opportunities. It’s better to have 2-3 opportunities or situations hanging than hanging one that busts your balls & is going with the speed of a turtle. No surprise, by the end of that situation, you’ll be left with wrecked nerves & maybe even hanging on a wrecking ball like Miley Cirus.
Sooo, whenever you see a common situation or human being, coming towards your life & plans, it is time to alert yourself, act completely different & show to the universe that you’ve got the lesson & you are treating it completely different by NOT repeating your old self. And there you go, the situation is kicked out of your options, you have new ones to run for & activate yourself, without remaining paused. Opportunities & people do not always deserve a second chance. Not all ‘right timings’ cooperate altogether for your convenient outcome._
So we’re in a new place, in a new spot of the world & we’re trying our best to make it happen. It’s never easy, I’m telling you. In times like these life is not easy on you. Conversely it busts your ego & it crushes you, so your outcome will be brilliant. It’s like it’s set to be like this to reshape human beings always & forever.
It was a sunny day, walking down town with my man, he had a day off, & we were scrolling around to our favorite neighborhoods; to get some sun, look future things we wanted to buy & start to get to know the life in Toronto. I don’t remember now why, but there was a tense going on. I was annoyed for some reason I forget to recall right now & I had an uno-conversation going on in my head. While we were walking, as I told you, I raise my head & for the first time I saw those red letters on that building popping out. I should’ve seen them a long time ago, walked by many times, but I guess I never raised my head on the right timing. I guess this was the right timing. They penetrated me. I took several pictures & that was the best my i-phone could receive.
I was stuck with these words ‘AS LONG AS IT LASTS’. Hmmm what could’ve been the true meaning of that?
-Even if things get shittier, the outcome is important, as long as it lasts.
-Try to do your best wherever you are, as long as it lasts.
-Enjoy it, as long as it lasts.
-Shut up & enjoy it, as long as it lasts.
-Keep calm & go on, as long as it lasts.
-Have a good time, as long as it lasts.
-No matter how hard some days seem in your new beginning in Toronto, keep in mind to enjoy it no matter what, for as long as it lasts.
That was actually the one that applied in my head. I thought it was a helping sign. To relax & remind myself how silly was the reason I was annoyed by. That once more life is not certain & it can end anytime. That we are here both struggling with our own individual reasons & as a couple that got into deep in a common decision. That all of this makes us stronger as humans & together expands our limitations. That right here right now, we’re living & we’re fighting to expand in this world.
We always wanted it, we always dreamed of it & we are recalled to do it together in this present moment. It always seems easy in the beginning & you always make it better than it is in your mind. But once you walk in your choice or plan, you start below ground & you got to fight for your way up. And when a chapter of our lives finishes, we’re thinking
‘Damn it, I should’ve enjoyed it more & stop finding ways to be annoyed or disoriented’. So even if it’s your hardest times of a choice you made, just enjoy it for as-long-as-it-lasts.
Hand applause x 5 times.
© Copyright Nastazia Q-laffa_Toronto_Canada. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Nastazia Q-laffa_Toronto_Canada. All rights reserved.
There’s a trend which I hate. I mean I totally hate & refuse to support it. It just gets on my nerves & I refuse to adopt it, even though I’m supposed to, because it’s the evolution of things. For example the iphone is out, everybody runs at the Apple stores (don’t get me wrong, I’m a Mac freak!). It started with iphone 3, then there’s 3s & then 4 & then 4s & then 5 & now I’ve stopped counting the numbers & the letters for crying out loud! The worse thing is not that they are produced & launched at a short period of time, is that you go to a store & all the accessories are for the latest iphones. So once I am still a holder of 4s, I can certainly call myself a vintage holder. Already! Yes, even though it’s been a year since it was out on the market. ‘What do you expect?’ They’re upgrading faster than the earth’s movement! I’ve recently upgraded the software for IOS & after few weeks, there’s a new one waiting for me to press-on-it. I mean I’m still trying to manage & learn the new one. It has become something like fashion’s 6-month catwalks. I feel everything it’s given a lifetime of 6 months & after it goes to the old-fashion list. By the time you finally saved money to buy it, there’s something new to replace it.
‘Oh, this is from the previous season.’
‘No, It’s still the same season for me damn it!’
I mean, when I love something, when I totally love it, I wanna give it lots of time & I wanna cherish it.
I can’t just drop it & go to the next trend. I think this whole ‘fast-trend’ is out of my league & it will remain for some time like this. It’s such a masses brainstormed way of living which most accept without a second thought of processing it. That’s why we’ll have flying cars way before we calculated their arrival. Some of the things that my mother taught me, was to enjoy my ride, what I hold in hand, while it lasts. Then you can jump on the next on, just enjoy it for the present given time. I believe it’s a disgraceful position for any new invention. You gotta dedicate some honorable time; to your favorite lover, to your favorite object, to your favorite moment.
So bring down those iphone 5 cases, or add next to them, the ones for iphone 4 & 4s, please. This craziness for newness every-next-week or so, has become boring, really. Enjoy what you have & give it some time for God’s sake. Stop wanting the next version of everything.
It has been one of my first nights ever actually being sleepless in Toronto. I don’t know_ It seems to me everything shuts quite early here. Even the metro was all night long open for the public. ‘Nuit Blanche‘, sponsored by Scotia Bank, was a unique experience, more funny than intellectual. Some Contemporary Installations just didn’t make sense or were way beyond my brain-ic level. We had fun. We got inspired & that’s the most important of all. We saw all kinds of people. The artsy, the rebellious, the sophisticated, the party animals, the curious & the wonderers. You can simply enjoy yourself around the city probably more than any other night in Toronto. The main roads where shut & the art installations where spread every 30-40m away, all the way further down to King Str. By far one of my favorite art projects, was ‘Mariner 9, 2012′ a Video Installation of Mars Planet in life-size, projected by 3 media, perfectly placed in an altogether 12-metre-long panoramic view. It was incredible & vibrant. Who ever missed it, lost a chance of getting closer in an intergalactic surrounding. When I landed in Canada, I had a different opinion about the Arts in general. There’s a lot going on after all_
1. Mariner9, 2012_Kelly Richardson_Whitley Bay,UK
2. Forever Bicycles, 2013_Ai Weiwei_Beijing, China
3. Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013_Tadashi Kawamata_Hokkaido,Japan