I have only lived in Winnipeg for four days now. It is such a short amount of time in the big picture. So when these thoughts rush through my head… “I need to start viewing apartments” … “There are no friends I can call to hang out with” … “I should be busier doing things” … I need to stop, breathe, and take a moment to remind myself it has not even been a week yet.

I think the fact that I just graduated is affecting me too. I usually spend my weekends agonizing over homework which is no longer a worry. There are plenty of hobbies I want to take up and new places to see, but it is hard to feel like starting these things when my home is still just temporary.

So I went for a walk tonight. My first new tradition that gives me a little “me” time and a chance to just enjoy the beauty of the city I am in. It fills the evening and I can remind myself of how much progress I am making. Time to just reflect on the good that happened that day.

What do you do when you need to breathe? Do you have an after-work tradition that slows you down?

 “I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself

and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.”

- An excerpt from “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I am five hours away from Winnipeg now and loving the big skies I get to endlessly stare into everyday. I think I may just love prairie-living.

This is a pretty crazy move for me. I will be three provinces away from home and living on my own for the first time and in a city I have never seen before and I only know my four family members there. So why take this chance?

  • The simple reasons: I am young, single, recently graduated and ready to start my career.
  • I desperately wanted to continue my career at United Way and specifically for this office. I truly believe in the work United Way is doing in Canada and Winnipeg is one of the most progressive in trying to solve the tough issues.
  • I don’t want to regret this moment. There will be plenty of times in my future when I have to make decisions based on much more complicated priorities, but right now it is simply just me and I need to take advantage of that.
  • No one ever says “no” to me anymore. I am fortunate that many people know me in Kamloops and I have enjoyed much success. But that luxury means that I simply am no longer challenged the way I should be. I have met people’s expectations and there isn’t as much to prove anymore.
  • I want to know if I can successfully “start over” again. There is something incredibly satisfying about showing up somewhere with no reputation or friends and being able to build yourself back up and surround yourself with wonderful people. I want to do that again.

And just like the above quote says, I need to find my empty moments. This is my “me time” to learn about myself, solve my own problems, and discover what I want for my future.  While it will be awfully lonely to start, that is kind of exactly what I was hoping for.

Do you enjoy your empty moments or do you prefer to seek out the “hustle-and-bustle”?

Even though it’s late-night, it is still technically Friday so I have a chance to kick off my weekly series of Favourites. I’m sharing the sounds of my roadtrip to Winnipeg this upcoming weekend. Fingers crossed my roadtrip actually happens, right now both highways into Alberta are flooding. Sending love & light to all those affected.

I like to sing loudly and drum on my steering wheel so this is a pretty upbeat list:

Little Numbers – BOY
Inner Ninja (feat. David Myles) – Classified
Take You Higher – Goodwill & Hook N Sling
Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie
Counting Stars – One Republic
I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding) – Calvin Harris
What I Wouldn’t Do – Serena Ryder
Feel The Love – Rudimental
One More Night – Maroon 5

And I’ll be reflecting on this idea as I drive across the Prairies…


While this has become a whirlwind week for me from signing the offer letter, wrapping up my work and packing up my life, I knew a new job and move was likely coming for quite some time. So even though I was in limbo, for the past four month I have tried to find the time to let myself reflect on the early career lessons I am taking with me to my first “real world” job. (We aren’t talking MTV’s The Real World here although I am sure these lessons would still apply. Plus an additional lesson on the benefits of therapy and recommended wine consumption levels).

Thanks to a wonderful 1.5 hour empowering and tear-stained exit interview with my inspiring managers/mentors, here are my top three take-aways:

  1. Be teachable: The first thing my manager always asks about any new job candidates is “Are they teachable?” They may be smart, skilled, and personable, but if they aren’t curious and willing to learn we probably won’t be finding them a desk. My passion for United Way means I am constantly asking questions to expand my knowledge. Moving forward I need to be confident in what I know, but make myself vulnerable enough to continue searching for answers.
  2. Show up as yourself: I take my career seriously and so for me, I pride myself on remaining professional and respectful in my role at all times.  It is important to me to represent my organization well and always present myself in a positive light. But since we spend most of our time at work and are often contributing alongside very talented people, there is value to be found in opening yourself up and sharing pieces of your life. I have found a way to bring “myself” to work and incorporate who I am personally with my professional approach.
  3. Learn to say no: As someone so new in my career, it can be scary to say “no” for fear of missing out on opportunities or burning bridges. Saying “no” though has given me the chance to focus on things I am passionate about, use my time in a more efficient manner, and share myself in a much more meaningful way. While I encourage you to say “yes” to everyone at the start, find a way to begin scaling back and only showing up when it  makes sense to.

If you could hit “rewind” and revisit the moment you started your career, what advice would you tell your younger self? What skills are you still trying to master in your own career?

Thanks for taking an interest in my sparkles and/or talents! For several years now I have almost started a blog, only to decide that I hate to read my voice on paper (or screen) and felt totally unsure of where to draw the line on Too Much Information. But since I have now graduated from university and I am about to jump into my career, I don’t think I have many excuses left.  The extra free time and lessons from my new adventure should give me enough material to say something worth sharing.

I went with “Sparkles & Talents” because I want to write about the successes and mistakes of my career climb, while still feeling like it’s okay to throw in some sparkles every now and then (ie. cupcake recipes, home decor ideas, or my latest favourite Pin).

Born and raised in BC, I am headed out east to the land of “Friendly Manitoba” to start my new job and make the prairies my home. Please jump in my car for the road trip and the eventual first day of work, apartment hunting, and all that is to come…

Disclaimer: I can guarantee we will get lost along the way, do you have a map you can bring? (I’m old-school, I don’t generally trust GPS).