Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Appreciate You, Toronto.

"To feel as though you are cast out of the world you were cradled and raised in, is a death of sorts - a death of innocence, belonging and identity."

Lots of goodbyes have been said (and tears shed) in the last week and there are a lot more to come in the next few days. I am so blessed to know so many amazing people <3

Three years ago, I was kicking and screaming and doing everything in my power to not leave California. My heart was there, but there was a force much greater than me pulling me to Toronto. After wrapping up the last of my contract roles, I was still not qualified enough for the field I had my heart set on jumping into. Soon the bank account started shrinking and the idea of traveling and seeing the countries I wanted to see grew further and further away.

So I gave in. I packed up my things and moved 3000 miles away from the place I call my home. In hindsight, that "greater force" turned out to be the combined strength of six amazing goddesses -- two I knew, and four I was about to know.

A lot has transpired over these past few years. I got into the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday; I traveled to amazing places like Thailand, Ireland, Sayulita, Montreal and Vancouver; I earned the skill set I needed to finally land (and thrive in) a role in the field I wanted to be in; I had an amazing opportunity to really bond with one of my soul sisters; I made a ton of friends all over the city; and I formed amazing relationships with the people I work with.

But the most life changing moment of all: I met four sisters I never knew I had. What a mind-f*** to go from thinking you knew the world around you and accepting the things you just couldn't understand or change to finally finding the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Ah, clarity. Clarity is such a blessing. And with clarity came a lot of change. Who I was as a human being on this planet was completely deconstructed. I began challenging the confusing things that never made sense. I challenged the "norms" that had been drilled into my head since childhood. I refused to accept awful treatment, harmful lies and cowardly deceit. I stopped doing anything out of a sense of obligation and took a step back to assess how I truly felt about my situation.

For the first time in my life, I sat down with myself and said, "Hi, Neesha. I'd really like to get to know who you are today." I finally understood why my life had been so difficult. I finally pieced together how physical, emotional and psychological abuse had affected me both negatively and positively. I finally gave myself permission to feel every emotion on the spectrum, even though I had been conditioned otherwise, and honor their existence. I finally had an opportunity to deconstruct who I am and attribute the different pieces of "me" to where they came from. I finally had the voice and power to choose which pieces stayed and which no longer served a positive purpose and could be released.

Who I was when I left California is certainly not who I am today. A lot of the characteristics and qualities are there, but I am a much stronger, much more grounded goddess; an improved version of myself.

As I am about to leave Toronto for California, I understand now why I was brought to Toronto. Toronto opened my eyes to what was real and transformed me in a way I could never have fathomed. Toronto gave me deeper understandings of "strength" and "resilience." Toronto taught me what boundaries are and their importance, while also giving me the tools to assert them. Toronto taught me how to speak my truth. Toronto allowed me to finally know where I came from and how the "weird" things that made me so unique were actually "normal." I may never regain my innocence, but I certainly have gained my belonging and identity.

And for all of this I am extremely grateful. I appreciate you, Toronto. I appreciate you and all the people residing in or near you who are or have become such an important part of who I am today.