I was born in the city. I grew up in the city. I live in the city. Not just any city – Canada’s third largest city. But I’ve never really liked the city. Sure, its a fun place to visit perhaps. It’s fun to meander into through sidewalks, alleyways, buildings and the seawall of course. But I don’t feel that it’s me, that it’s my space.

My spirit bounces uncomfortably off the buildings, walls. It’s trapped in tiny spaces full of strangers. I hate small places. I hate strangers. The scents of asphalt, gasoline, exhaust and garbage faintly linger in the air as I try to ignore them. Horns blare, vehicles rumble, people shout and sirens scream. It sounds like chaos but it’s not quite chaos, just merely at the breaking point of chaos. Still, I can do without it.

I literally bounce between walls (and bed, heh). There’s not enough space. I’m restless yet listless. It’s hard to think within walls. I find I have the most poetic thoughts when I’m outside. I wander in and out like some sort of domestic but independent animal. A cat perhaps.

I don’t remember when I first realized that I didn’t like the city but I do remember complaining about it, even when I was young. Perhaps, I realized it when I was young, by my grandma’s house and wandering in the tiny patch of woods. Sort of like a sample offering of wilderness, a demo you might say in the form of a trinket of woods at the park – but oh I wandered that path so many times. Ran through it. Cycled. Or perhaps it was when I started liking and riding horses (since horses are usually in the middle of nowhere). I love the smell of pine, pulsing water and horse. All different spaces. All away from urbanity.

But with nature it’s different. My spirit doesn’t seem to bounce of the trees, the bushes, the gurgling creeks, the sway of the ocean and animals. But rather, it seems to seep into them, into their roots and into their flow. It’s an anchor into the earth and an anchor into being. Where my spirit can explore. Where I can explore. Travel. Move. Where I’m not stuck, bouncing off the walls (sometimes literally). Where it is quiet and not full of strangers wanting to greet you. There is a certain tranquility to trees, rocks and water – a certain feeling of connection, of being.

I hate malls, aside for the purpose of climate controlled wandering. There’s too much people. Too much stuff. Maybe I’m weird since I’m a girl. But on the whole I hate shopping (save for electronics, horse stuff and stuff that I actually want). I especially hate shopping for clothes and shoes. My idea of “fun” is certainly not spending a day at the mall, trying everything on. No, I tried an afternoon of that for my high school grad and that was more than enough to make me irritable. I hate shopping. I use stores for wandering. Weird, I know. I’m not fond of most windowless elevators either. Actually, I hate machinary in general. I hate the noise. I hate the smell. Ugh.

Sometimes, I rush out of the door like a starting gate, obvious to anything else and lost in the rush of freedom.

I don’t know where I’ll be or live in the future. But I do wish it’ll be somewhere away from the city. I wish it would be somewhere nestled in the woods or whatever the natural ecosystem is. Wandering underneath the trees.   Somewhere where there is space. I also wish for a pony. I’m not kidding. We’ll do some ringwork, of course – enticing lands doesn’t mean we should be lazy, perhaps even an occasional show for the heck of it. But our main pastime would be exploring these natural lands astride my trusty (i.e. non-spooking) steed. Maybe that’s why I like large mammals. We need space. (I’m not very big myself though).

But I don’t know if that will ever happen.

For now, a weekly riding lesson, a daily (or more) wander under the planted trees and the occasional short hike will have to suffice.

Yes, for me basically anything outside is a hobby (well, excluding ice-skating which due to our climate is not often possible outdoors).