You know when you imagine and hope for certain things in your life? For some it may be the promise of a beautiful wedding and an everlasting love. Or a career and a social reputation that lives on throughout the ages. For me, troche it has always been to have a life full of love, site good food and good conversation — the stuff Woody Allen films are made of (including the over-scrutinization of relationships and their nuances). But there is this little thing that happens, doctor where your idealism often doesn’t align with your reality and causes intense unhappiness as a result — the Germans call it Weltzschmerz (or mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state). I think after the last 5 months of my life, I no longer suffer from Weltschmerz. 

In early May I hosted my first dinner party at my house. It was filled with a collection of some of my most interesting friends and was full of beautiful conversation and love — just as I had always dreamt. I made food strictly from Yotam Ottolenghi’s famous Israeli cookbook, Jerusalem. It was a night I feel like I had been waiting for for nearly most my life, and while it was a beautiful night, it made me reflect heavily on where I have been in the last year. 

I’m coming up close to one year since the flood happened. On July 8th, 2013, I was living in a small, crummy basement apartment in the Annex in Toronto and just barely surviving. Flip-flopping on where I wanted to go with my career (to law or not to law? That was the question. #Existential life crisis.); I was in a relationship that wasn’t meant for me at all, with someone who was much more detached than one person should be, and I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be here, right now, where I am today. At that moment I really felt that all the things I had hoped and longed for would never come to fruition; that I was doomed to always be marred by Weltschmerz for the rest of my days.

Following the flood I had to flee back to my father’s house. It was a devastating and depressing time for me, having lost thousands of dollars worth of items from books to cherished letters and love notes (I’m a sentimental old fool!), and having to go back home feeling like my triumphant departure from Caledon (and a house that is rife with negativity and hurt from the last 13 years) was ill-fated. Now I am here, in my new place — that I own, having traveled, in a new relationship — all this is unbelievably fulfilling, and I’m surrounded by old and new friends who mirror my exact values, desires and hopes. 

This is both a thank you and a love note. I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey for the last year. I have met some of the most amazing people, loved in ways that I never thought I could, tested resolve I wasn’t aware that I had, and persevered in a way that I am sure would make my Mother proud. I’m so thankful for the beauty and love that I have allowed to enter in when I could have so easily gone the other way. Following my Mum’s passing in 2001, I was forced to learn detachment through release of spiritual self and fear of death, but immediately turned to materials and possessions. 12 years following that, I was forced to recognize the transient nature of material objects – once again throwing me for a loop. But through having the people I had around me (especially my sister, as always) I was strong enough to make it here, to understand that it’s about the here, the now, the present. 

I am filled with joy, gratitude and understanding — I understand the hard-gotten joys and I appreciate every fibre and every iota. I love with abandon and open myself up to every person I meet. I have become a conduit for love and I can only thank those around me for filling me up with so much of it. Without you there is no me; I’d fade into in-existence. 

Thank you for loving and believing in me.