Day 4: C’est nöel

AnnaSarayna

This Christmas was a little very different for me. I spent it in a new town in a new province in a part of the country that’s still very new to me.

When I made the decision to move to New Brunswick, Canada, it was a decision I made based on the potential opportunities I foresaw. And while those still exist, there’s a part of me that wasn’t fully ready for the loneliness.

Being new anywhere is hard—a new job, a new school, a new town/city. It’s all hard. And I think being somewhat nomadic since 2018 didn’t quiet prepare me for this kind of hard.

The move has not been without its challenges, and somehow the holidays have exacerbated them a bit. Seeing others celebrate with their loved ones makes being alone a lot harder.

This is by no means a doom and gloom post. It’s more meant to be a reflection of the day’s events with some observations sprinkled in.

I ended up spending the day with 2 friends from school— C, who also lives in my apartment building; and R who brought her boyfriend. It was a nice small gathering or strangers getting to know each other while individually navigating the challenges of relocation. All 4 of us are new to the province. R and her boyfriend are new to Canada, while C is from Saskatchewan.

It was nice to be out of my apartment spending time with others, and it didn’t hurt that the food was good too. 🙂

As I reflect on the evening, one thing that stands out to me is how we all had some experience of feeling like outsiders who didn’t quite know how to navigate forming friendships and acquaintances in this new place. R was open and vocal, a side of her I didn’t experience at school. And I suppose I too, was way more vocal in our small group setting that I had ever been on campus.

What’s even more interesting was that this gathering was something I wanted to do but hesitated to ask R because I wasn’t sure she’d be interested. Turns out, she also wanted to invite people over to her apartment but felt unsure about doing it.

By the end of the night, we agreed we would get together again some time soon—perhaps for a games night.

Coming out of this experience I think I’ve discovered it’s almost always a good idea to take a risk and put one’s self out there. Many of us are shy and awkward in some way, unsure if the stranger we want to approach will respond in kind or be an asshole. But more often than not, that stranger’s a) not an asshole, and b) also wondering the same. So I’ll be doing more of that in 2023.

I’m in a new town, province, and country. And with that comes the opportunity to forge new friendships, meet new people, and discover new things about myself.

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