After growing up in the suburbs and living there my entire life, in June of 2015 I decided to make the move to the city, renting a condo in downtown Toronto. Home to over 2.5 million people, most of which (like myself) find themselves paying a fortune to be sandwiched into a tiny box in the sky, it has an energy the suburbs will never know.
And while living downtown undeniably has its perks — accessibility, convenience, and diversity being the big ones — it also has its clear downsides. Downsides so overwhelming to me that I once again find myself moving back out of the city and into the suburbs come September.
While I do think that the term “terrible” is a bit of an exaggeration, I also know the value in a good title. These days, it’s getting harder and harder to catch the attention of people long enough for your message to be seen and heard. Check out the infographic and see how many of them you agree and disagree with:
The first one to stand out for me was number three: the constant light messes with our sleep. I’ve always been a relatively light sleeper, but it wasn’t until I moved downtown that it reached a point where I knew I had to do something about it. Within months of moving in, I invested in blackout curtains just to be able to get much needed rest in the place I call home.
I also have firsthand experience with number four: the noise is too much to handle. Much like the blackout curtains, it wasn’t until I moved downtown that I had to invest in a good set of earplugs. From the nightly street cleaning, to the emergency sirens, to the early morning traffic, the city is consistently noisier than any of the more remote surrounding areas.
In addition to impacting my ability to sleep, the noise often hinders my ability to effectively meditate. I’ve found myself more dependent on guided or music based meditations to reach a fully relaxed state, by comparison to preferring silent unguided practices in the past.
Number five also really struck home: everyone’s always rushing. The biggest proof of this for me is the sheer number of car horn honks I hear daily — heck, even hourly! Everyone always seems to have somewhere to go and they have little to no patience for anyone or anything that is impeding them from getting there.
As a relatively busy person myself, I can certainly relate to wanting to get places quickly, but it’s even more apparent in major cities where there are more potential people and incidents to get in our way.
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Adding A 9th Reason
A ninth reason that I would like to add to this list is the amount of wifi and cell towers that cities expose us to. While virtually the entire world is rapidly becoming a wifi zone, the sheer quantity of what we are exposed to in cities is flat out frightening.
From my condo alone I get wifi signals from over 10 other units and can see two mini cell towers located on the top of the retirement home across the street. While it makes for incredible internet and phone service, it also makes for a killer combination that is proving to be more and more deadly by the day.
Despite these reasons, living in a major city is undoubtedly the ideal fit for many of us in this world. If that is the case for you, let this article simply remind you of the importance of disconnecting from the hustle and bustle whenever you can.
Schedule time out in nature daily, and if possible try to not bring your Pokémon catching cell phone with you.
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