If you follow my Instagram you will know I love wondering around my city. I have no real plan and I just walk. It’s a great way to get in some cardio and what better way to find a story but to walk into it. The past six months have been a pretty crazy time for me. I’m sure those of you who follow this blog closely know that I struggle with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Last September my doctor and I decided I needed a break. There were literally just too many fires going on in my life that I wasn’t able to function effectively in the 9 to 5. Along with my own life stresses, my family was reeling in the tragic accident that took my Fathers only brother and one of my favourite uncles. It was either break now or pay later. I bravely walked away from the career I had to take care of me. While I was getting the psychological attention I needed, one exercise remained a beacon of hope, my daily and weekly uncharted strolls around Toronto, mostly an event I would do alone. I struggled with whether during this time to suspend my blog, but it was really the therapy I needed. It kept me engaged. Otherwise my condition could have caused me to become a sort of recluse. So many people suffer from some form of mental illness and I can tell you from experience good solid friends are difficult to keep because let’s face it, who wants to have to deal with the drama when there are so many other tasks to get up to. I guess that’s the long way of saying I lost a few friends this past six months and so all I had was time to stroll around and see if I could get inspired connecting to the concrete jungle. It’s amazing how isolated you can feel standing on the four corners of a city that’s bustling with human activity. Truth is the towering architecture is the only true friend you can have on a mentally dark day. People can be quick to run in the other direction during one of my emotional breakdowns and people don’t want you to talk about it. Don’t write your personal stuff on your blog, people don’t give a shit. Sorry, however one thing I’ve learned in the last six months while dealing with my panic attacks is that everyone’s experience and story shared is the possibility of helping someone who feels isolated or alone. Maybe this experience called life is better served not being ashamed of our struggles. No ones life is perfect and anyone posing to convince of the contrary is doing no one any favours. I was thinking about this stuff when I strolled upon the space that was a big deal Toronto landmark, Honest Ed’s. I stood there just looking at the empty land. The memories gone. The importance of its own existence now completely gutted. If something so historically relevant fall so completely, then how can I expect the fragility of bruised friendships to stand the test of time? I have to be honest it was kind of sad looking at that empty space that will no doubt miss it’s droves of admirers. Will someone rescue me from the wrecking ball? Honestly Ed, you are and will forever be missed. I’ve returned to my much loved 9-5 this past week and it feels great. Who knows maybe tearing down those old walls makes room for even better and bigger adventure.
A poem by Bruce Christopher
edited by Mary Ellen Monk