Today, I had to go to Toronto for meetings. Not a huge deal, I used to have to do it all the time when I was with DE. I went with the one guy from work, he drove- which was very nice!
The office is downtown TO, on Adelaide, so right in the thick of things. We, of course, hit traffic and ended up about 20 minutes late for our first meeting. Wasn't a big deal, since the meeting still ended about 30 minutes earlier than was scheduled.
For lunch, we went to the Keg which was in the building on the main floor. There was 4 of us, 2 which normally work out of that office and me and JW who drove up from the sticks.
We chose to sit out on the street level patio and have lunch. It was sunny and nice, a bit windy, but lots to see and gawk at.
And this is when I started thinking.
First off, I am not a city girl. I have never in my life wanted to live in Toronto or New York or LA or anything like that. No way, not me, not in a million years. I am incredibly intimidated by the city. I find it noisy and confusing. It is fine to go for an event, like a play or a show or something, but I am always glad to leave. I was never the teenager that wanted to run away and live in the big city.
As I sat and ate my yummy salad and looked around me, I realized that I feel different than the people that live and work there. I make wild and largely untrue assumptions of the people there. I assume they are smarter and more ambitious than me (since I am really not overly ambitious, this is probably true). I assume they know more- about the world, and politics, fashion and culture. I assume that they are judging me and my small-town-ness. I assume that I stick out like a sore thumb. I think that they are maybe just tolerating me and that I have to work really hard, and shine really bright to make an impact, to even be considered equal.
Now, I have self confidence issues in a lot of areas, but my intelligence is not one of them. I am smart. I know this. I can be well spoken (when I don't let curse words get in the way) and articulate. I can dazzle and impress and, most of the time, I know how to play the game, walk the walk, talk the talk- pick your euphemism. But something about those city people...I just don't know.
So, there I sat, eating and drinking. My head swivelled when I heard sirens, when no one else's did. I looked at the homeless man begging and quickly looked away. No one else spared a glance. I looked at the people walking- women in impossibly high heels, men in suits, kids with multi coloured hair.
I finished the afternoon with a presentation that I did up last night, which they loved. They thanked me for coming and said they always learn so much from me. They want me again next week, and the week after and the week after. *sigh*
And as I drove home, after separating from JW, I turned on my oldies station on the radio. Bryan Adams- Cuts like a Knife. I was belting it out and laughing by the end. I passed my familiar places and moved quickly back towards my small town.
I like it here. I miss it when I leave.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Niagara- born and bred."