Dear Winnipeg,
I’m sorry, but I’m leaving you.
For too many years you have been cold to me, colder than any other (okay, there was Churchill, but that was short-lived), and I just can’t handle it anymore. And even when you were warm, your warmth was fickle, changeable, not to be trusted. I often found myself holding my breath, hoping, This time, let it be this time, when I would be convinced things would change. But, no.
In truth, and this may be hard to hear, I have found another, much warmer, much greener, and very friendly. There are gay issues that cause me some concern (where you have almost none, and I love that about you), but I feel those things can be worked on. Indeed, things are looking very hopeful in that regard.
I loved you once, I really did. But I think, over time, what I really loved was the idea of you. Of course, the fact that I hadn’t really experienced any other didn’t help. Oh, sure, when I was younger, there was Texas, and California, even New Mexico, but they were so foreign, so far away. I couldn’t seriously consider them. But now that I am older, now, with my new-found freedom and experiences afar, I embrace distance, and what was once foreign is no longer.
You have been good to me, and good for me. If not for you, I would not be who I am. I doubt, however, that I have had a similar impact on you. In fact, I doubt I’ve had any impact on you at all. You will continue on in your slightly naïve way, believing that there is nothing wrong, that everyone loves you, and you can do no wrong. And that saddens me.

I have so many good memories of us: Summers! (Mostly awesome.) Walking through Assiniboine Forest (even though the trees are kind of short and unimpressive), the Zoo (okay, no, not the Zoo, not ever), the malls (though they lack the prestige of other malls I have visited, but let’s not get into that), the Wolseley district (even with those distasteful garbage bins, but let’s not get into that), the one-way streets which make the downtown so (maddeningly) easy to navigate. The MTS Centre (it was about time). The recent introduction of IKEA (too little, too late, sorry). The Festival du Voyageur (okay, no, I’ve never enjoyed that). I’ve even enjoyed your downtown (which, yes, has it’s negatives, but let’s not get into that either). The Jets! (Well, I’m not a hockey fan, but you deserve an NHL team.) Walking from one end of the city to the other. That was certainly a good thing. At least because I could. Not because it was beautiful or stimulating. Okay, enough of the good memories.
I came back to you, many times. Each time I left (and, as you know, I left many times), I told myself this was the last time, I would not return. Yet I did. I didn’t want to, but I had to. I had nowhere else to go. And you welcomed me. That was very sweet of you. And truthfully, I expected nothing less. But the time has come now for me to leave for good.
Please don’t take this personally. It’s not you, it’s me. Okay, no, wait, it is you. But that’s not your fault. You can’t help who you are. Changing is not in your nature. I accept that. I hold nothing against you.
It will take me awhile to get my things together. Please be kind to me during this time. I promise to speak well of you. I always have, and I always will. But you and I do not have a future together. And I am expected elsewhere. I am sorry I cannot say that I will miss you. I wish you nothing but the best. Because you deserve it. You really do. I only hope you live up to your potential. Because I see so much potential in you.

All the best,