I woke up this morning to a voicemail from my mom, warning me about what the weather was supposed to be doing in Toronto today. Yeah okay mom, I thought, you’re 3000 km away, just chill. But then I opened up the weather app and saw that it was -8 degrees; -23 with the windchill.
WOW that is cold.
Being a West Coast gal, I have never experienced that kind of cold before; anything below zero meant I did not leave the house. If I was lucky it meant I didn’t leave my bed! But of course now that I’m a real Toronto person, I had to get up and go about life as if I was completely unfazed.
Today was definitely the coldest day so far, but the last few weeks have certainly still felt pretty frigid; temperatures below zero aren’t even a shock anymore. And slowly but surely, this West Coast girl is learning how to survive (but definitely not thrive) this winter.
If any of you are experiencing a killer (apparently this is actually very normal, but it’s definitely killing me) winter for the first time right now, I got ya. Here’s what you absolutely must have.
1. a zippered purse. I really really love just carrying around all of my worldly possessions with me everywhere I go – kind of like a Tibetan monk, if Tibetan monks were full of anxiety and owned a lot of lipstick. Anyway the purse that I usually carry is a very cute (and very big) one from H&M, but it has no zipper or way of closing it. As I discovered last week, that is a surefire way to end up with a purse full of snow. Also a great way to ruin all of your class notes! So yeah, a purse with a zipper is essential – don’t tell anyone, but the one I’m currently using was 15 dollars at Ardenes.
2. hand cream. My hands were literally bleeding a few days ago because it is so damn cold and they are so damn dry. I bought a tube of Aveeno hand cream, and I swear by this stuff now. Officially can not live without it.
3. good chapstick. My lips were also definitely suffering – I had been applying burts bees like crazy but it was not helping. Time to pull out the big guns – Blistex, all day every day.
4. a toque. What do non-Canadians call toques? Are they just… hats? Whatever you call it, you need one, immediately. Pull it down over your ears and put your hood up for the ultimate cozy experience.
5. waterproof boots. Listen, no one looks cute in winter clothing, okay? But believe me on this, once your feet are cold there is no going back. You will wish you were dead. I mean it.
6. a blanket scarf. One of the most important investments of my life. Doubles as a cozy blanket for those late nights at the library!
7. those text-y gloves. I finally got a pair of these today. It was a little hard to text what with the snow that was constantly pelting my screen, but STILL better than nothing.
8. waterproof mascara. I learned this lesson the same day as the purse thing. My friend Kelly, who grew up in Ontario, was actually dying laughing at me. A quick lesson about snow: it will hit your face, it will become water, and it will turn you into that snapchat filter with the running mascara. Not cute. I’m currently using one from L’Oreal that I like a lot!
9. a totally shameless attitude toward keeping warm. In spite of the fact that I have literally never experienced weather quite like the blizzard I walked through today, I was actually really not that cold. Why? Because I was so damn prepared for it (thanks mom!). When it’s -20 you don’t get to concern yourself with looking cute. Wrap your damn scarf around your face, put up the hood of your parka, wear 8 pairs of socks and leggings under your jeans. I look dumb as hell in hats but you better believe I will not leave the house without one until I can finally see the ground beneath my feet again. I never look that cool anyway – may as well look like a warm dork, not a shivering/dying one.
All in all, I’m very much looking forward to hopping on a plane in four days and flying home to Victoria for a little reprieve from the magical winter wonderland Toronto is becoming. I love this city more than anything, but I miss my family, and the ocean, and being able to go out without worrying about losing my fingers.
How do you cope with winter – any real Canadians out there who can give me tips? Also, important question; why does walking through snow feel like such a damn workout? I’m over it.
On a slightly related note, I’m thinking this is going to be a new feature – “surviving (not thriving)”. Too many blogs are teaching you how to be the very best ever at everything !!! and that’s great, but I think maybe if you want to one day be the best then it’s important to first get yourself to the point where you are… well… surviving. So far in the works are posts about uni, moving out, and dating. Any other thoughts or suggestions??
I have an exam tomorrow (actually 10.5 hours from now, if we’re being precise), so I’d better go get a bit more studying in before I call it quits. I have to be at the school by 8am, which just seems cruel and unusual, considering the recent developments of my sleep patterns. Wish me luck!
Enjoy the snow – L