After the move to Toronto I was up here for about six weeks. I was renting a room in an apartment complex in the northern part of the city. At nights, I was looking for a place for our family to live. Over a period of six weeks, the family came up to look at various places to rent to figure out where in Toronto would make the most sense. Trying to find a place that was relatively close to my new job was easier said than done.
For anyone that's familiar with the Toronto housing market, it's absolutely insane. In parts of the U.S. where a home would run from $150,000 to let's say $250,000 or $300,000, that same home in Toronto would be anywhere from $750,000 to well over $1,000,000. There are bidding wars to get those houses. It's absolutely insane up here.
From our situation anyway, we had to rent because of course, coming right off of the losses and everything that was going on. We weren't prepared to be able to get another mortgage because we already had a mortgage on the house that we had down in the Windsor area.
After six weeks, we were able to find a place. We loaded up moving trucks, which there's nothing more painful than dealing with moving. I'd rather have root canals done on every one of my teeth than move. It is absolutely painful. I hate it.
Long story short, we moved everything up to our place in the east end of the city of Toronto. After we got everything moved in, we realized that we had forgotten the ladder for our daughter's bunk bed.
I was going back to the Detroit area in a week or so and I was going to stop by the house that we were going to be putting on the market to sell and pick up the ladder because I knew where it was. It was in the basement or somewhere. Maybe in the closet. It was in one of those two places.
Visited my brother in the Detroit area. Then, after that I was heading back to Toronto, but I swung by the house to go pick up the ladder and anything else that we may have missed with the move.
When I approached the house, I pulled up into the driveway and then I opened up the screen door and I saw the largest padlock I have ever seen in my life and a note indicating that our home was in foreclosure. At that moment, I felt the greatest amount of peace I have ever felt in my life. I know that may come as a shock to many because that is an emotional component. You go home and you realize that the bank has taken it away from you.
The reason I felt so much peace was because I knew that was the last domino. I had a heart attack and survived. I lost my job. I found a new one. My family vehicle was repossessed. We still had a vehicle that was paid off that we could keep. Then, finally, the home that we loved and thought that we would be spending several years at was no longer ours. I thought, "I've survived everything to this point. What else can they take away from me?" Short of my life, which I dodged that bullet, there was nothing else for me to lose. There's a certain element of confidence that comes when you are in that place where you've survived so much.
Since then, we have a beautiful place that I live in now. It's convenient. It's close to work. It's close all that Toronto has to offer. Again, it's been a challenging journey these last years after these events. I still learn from it. I think that anyone that goes through any type of loss or, hopefully not to the extreme of the losses that I had in 369 days, that you learn from it and you figure out ways to navigate it.
I was interviewed for The Mindfulness Mode podcast recently. We talked about how I navigated through those 369 days. For me, it's just the spirit of getting back up and doing what I need to do to get past this. It's something that I've had to learn in my adult life because my childhood was freaking awesome. I know many people, unfortunately, have had lousy childhoods. Mine was absolutely amazing. I have zero complaints about it. Got everything I ever wanted. My parents were able to provide. Even though they were struggling, you don't know that as a kid, but financially they had challenges with jobs and everything else under the sun just like most of us, but I have this spirit about me that just says, "I'm going to brush myself off and I'm going to pick myself up". That spirit is within you as well. You may not know it. You may not sense it, but it's there.
Oftentimes, we refer to this as "The Hero's Journey". It's used in movies and books a lot where someone faces adversity and then they come out of it stronger and better than they were before. That's within you. A way to find it is with boundaries, is to really protect yourself, protect how you go about your living, protect the choices you make, learning how to say, "No" and learning how to say, "Yes". It's not something that's learned overnight, but I have learned it and my life is amazing now. Yes, there's challenges in my life. I face them daily, but I know I can get through them because I've gotten through so much before.
Think about the losses that you've had in your life and how you've been able to overcome them because I think we're all in this together and we can learn from each other. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more and more tips on how to introduce boundaries in your life and how to recover from setbacks or losses.
Until then, be well.