Monday, October 22, 2012

Home is where the heart is

When I was 17 my Father’s job took my family to the United States. Due to conflicts in the school systems, it was most practical for me to stay behind in Canada. The house was sold and my Dad, Mom, and Sister moved to Toledo Ohio. I moved out on my own and finished high school and college, in the process moving seven times between Peterborough and Toronto, taking up residence in apartments, basements, and rooming houses.
Without a familiar place I could go back to I felt like I was in a constant state of transition. I felt like I no longer had a home. So, when I was twenty-one, and after a year of working I was determined that I was going to buy a house and begin to build a new home for myself.
After a short search I found a place. It wasn’t in the best neighborhood but I fell in love with the house and made an offer. In June 2001 I moved in to 215 Stewart St. and set to work making it my own.
I decided to rent out a room to help pay the bills. After a chat with an old friend one night at the Red Dog I had my first tenant, Pete. It was Pete who affectionately coined the name, “The Tenderloin,” which my house came to be known as by all our friends.
The Tenderloin became a gathering place of friends and neighbors. It was home to a family of misfits, several of which would come to do a stint as a resident at some point or another. For me as I assume is the case for most, your twenties are a decade of ups and downs but I always had one constant, my friends and our home.
After 12 years and many life changes it’s time to move on. This week I’ll be handing over the keys to someone else and walking out of the front door of The Loin for the last time. The move is more then just a change of address and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am a little emotional about it. The change represents a closure to a very wild and more carefree period of my life.
As I close one chapter I open a new one though, and this is a positive change. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I feel in command. I finally feel physically, mentally and financially stable. The highs may not be as high but they greatly outnumber the lows, and are generally of a more satisfying nature. I’m confident and content, and ready to take on the responsibility of making my next home reflect this new place in life.
When I hand off my keys I’ll be acquiring the keys to beautiful house in my desired neighborhood. Like 215 Stewart, 430 Donegal is a century home with lots of charm and character, and once in there I know the transition will be an easy one.
Although I won’t be branding the new house “The Tenderloin II,” the spirit of The Tenderloin lives on as I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without it, and of course the people that made it what it was are still my closest friends and will always be welcome wherever I may call home.

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