I sometimes take joyrides to escape the monotony of unemployed life; yesterday’s destination was the eastern end of Queen Street in Toronto. After taking the 501 streetcar to its last stop, I walked further east into a beautiful neighbourhood with many beautiful houses.

While walking on a street in said neighbourhood, I encountered an 18% grade. I initially wasn’t going to risk walking on it; if I hit a patch of black ice (this street didn’t have a sidewalk), I’d end up making a fool of myself. However, after running into a nearby dead end, I took the risk and ended up safely reaching the bottom of that grade.

After further exploration of said neighbourhood, I encountered another grade. I don’t think this one was as steep as the one before it since there was no warning sign, but exercising caution was still de rigueur. When I safely crested this grade, I looked behind me. I didn’t turn into a pillar of salt, but thanks for asking.

Instead, I said to myself, “Wow…I walked up that?!”

I thought of my unemployment and the looming specter of financial ruin. Long story short, I told myself that if I can navigate two steep grades safely, surely I can pull myself out of this darkness.


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