seeking a friend

Okay so it isn’t the end of the world, but sometimes when you’re the new kid it feels an awful lot like it! (Side note: Best movie ever! Specially the last scene). Making new friends can be a long, slow, and intimidating process so I thought I would share a few things I am learning along the way. If you end up in an unfamiliar place and need some new people in your life who are up for coffee dates and drinks on the patio, here is my advice to you:

  1. It’s all on you. The people you meet have lives and friends and family – they aren’t necessarily looking to add you to the mix. So you need to be a confident, friendly, outgoing person 24/7. It can be frustrating, but it pays off. I have learned that just because you’re “new” doesn’t mean people realize you might be entirely alone. I always try work this into the conversation so people realize I might like to hang out, but I do it without putting on too much pressure for an invite!
  2. Always say “Yes!” Sometimes you will want to sit alone at home and feel sorry for yourself, but now isn’t the time. If a friendly stranger invites you to hang out, say “YES PLEASE!” Take a chance and get to know someone new. Maybe they won’t be your new bff, but it means one less lonely day for you and a chance to become more settled.
  3. Don’t rush. The best friends you have back home are people you spent several years getting to know. You shared laughs and tears and everyday told them a little more about yourself. You cannot just jump into that again. This is the toughest part for me, but don’t act desperate and lay out all your darkest secrets as soon as someone smiles at you. Take your time in learning about people until you find the friends that are meant for you!

Homework: The next time someone “new” shows up at your work or school – please say hi, introduce yourself and offer to help them out. A little kindness goes a long way to someone who is feeling lonely and overwhelmed.

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”?

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).