A wise person once told me: “You have to start by laying the first brick.”
Coming to Toronto has been a nice change. But it took a while to feel that way. When we first arrived a year ago, there was a period of tentative excitement. We knew we would love living here, but didn’t know how long it would take. New jobs, new city, new home. It can be fun and challenging.
With fewer outlets, social and otherwise, I started to feel like I was spinning my wheels a bit. Stuck in the mud. My routine became so predictable, the weeks just floated by without really noticing. My job was not interesting me, had few friends, and there was nothing to throw me off balance to make me take notice. I was bored.
I’m not very impulsive and loath the thought of launching myself into something new without having sussed it out fully and dissected every angle. But I knew I had to try something new. And so, when seeking advice about my predicament, I was told to “lay the first brick” … and it made sense. The idea is that we all have to start somewhere. You have to start by taking that first step in building your road that will lead to new place. For every road built, the first brick had to be placed. However small it was, it was the beginning.
That first step, or brick, is whatever new thing that starts the path. It won’t take you right to the end, but rather start the process. It’s pointless to try and see into the future, you can’t predict what the end of the road looks like when you haven’t laid your first brick yet. You just have to start building, and the road will slowly take shape.
My first brick? This great class I decided to take at UofT. Full of smart, interesting people all of whom have influenced me in some way and have helped shape my road. It may not be the centre point of a new life in Toronto, but it has pulled me out of the mud. I have traction again. I realise that as long as you keep building that road, even if you don’t know where it’s going at first, you are still moving forward, and you just might find something you’re passionate about along the way.
Whether you do nothing in the next 5 years, or if you do a lot in 5 years, 5 years are going to go by regardless. Might as well make good use of the time.