The Heart of the Matter

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness”
― Sylvia Plath

Whenever new adventures and risks are taken, there can be negative consequences. I quote Sylvia Plath above because that’s sometimes how one feels after moving to a new place, having to leave behind everyone and everything they know. And sometimes, that someone is me. It’s not just me though, because my friend who recently moved here from Alberta feels the same way. So, we’re alone, together?

Moving somewhere new can easily bring loneliness into someone’s life, and especially around this season, it’s easier to be lonely. Usually, I’d be having lots of festivities with friends – birthdays and Christmas parties, and then I’d see my family soon enough and celebrate Christmas with them. Truthfully, my university friends made me like Christmas again. It’s not a favourite holiday of mine (as my one friend calls me “Scrooge”), but with them, Christmas turned into something great. Fun and stress-free. Not having that this year is hard, to be honest.

But of course, moving to a new place (or for that matter, starting something new, doing something unconventional, etc.) brings about sacrifices. Hopefully those things will create growth, strength and character, but it’s still always a risk. I know that I would have regretted staying in Hamilton and not coming out west to experience things here and just try something new. But what do you do about the loneliness that you sometimes find yourself in? I try to occupy my time with hobbies, my idealist ideas, work, and of course, friends.

But no matter what I do, I still left it all, just as my friend from Alberta did. We miss the places we come from, and the people we surrounded ourselves with. We talk about it. We go can on and on about it, but still try to encourage one another during the tough times of transitions, and try to see the greater good from our experiences.

In the end, although hard to admit, I think the danger that comes with the move toward new horizons and far directions is worth it, even if we can’t see it at that moment. So, here’s to new things, new places, new people, new traditions and a new journey.

Dear Ontario Friends

Not so long ago, you asked me about how the winter was going and how much snow was here and how cold it was. I’d like to provide you with photographic proof that there isn’t much snow, despite the fact that it is getting colder (I know it’s cold today because Beatrix wouldn’t come out on the balcony with me while taking pictures).

I know this is unusual, and I kind of fear that next winter will be horrible and I won’t be so prepared for it because the weather has been awfully nice here so far. Anyway, knock on wood, because I’d like it to stay this way.

Barely any snow here

Some packed snow and ice in the parking lot

A small amount across the road…

The tiny amount of snow left on my balcony

As you can see, things aren’t really as torturous in Manitoba as one may think.

Easing Myself Into Manitoba “Pride”

I’ve been a long time proponent of Manitoba. I have loved it here for several years, spending summers here since I was 18. Spending the summers here at a camp near Boissevain is what made me fall in love with this province in the first place, so I’ve always felt like I had the love, but did I have the pride? I was still an Ontarian at that point and I love(d) my former city of Hamilton fiercely (partly due to the fact that it has a terrible reputation – love you, Hamilton – always will). But the more time I spend here, the more comfortable I’m getting with the idea of being a “Proud Manitoban”. I think in my head, I will always still consider myself mostly Ontarian…at least at this point in my life. That could very well change in the years to come.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge sports person, but find myself getting going to more sporting events and even watching sporting events (ahem, Grey Cup…). When that game was on, I was obviously rooting for the Bombers. Why wouldn’t I? It made sense. But really, it was one of the first times that I actually felt a sense of pride to be a Manitoban. Our team was in the Grey Cup, and we gotta represent! Ha! Despite the loss, and the poor play throughout the game that got me all riled up and a little mad, I had to step back and say “Woooah. What are you doing? Are you coming to terms with the fact that you’re a Manitoban now?” Weird how those transitions happen when you don’t really think they will.

Oh, and let’s talk about the Twitterverse being all abuzz about “#snow” or “snow in Toronto”. I had to laugh. My Manitoban side was coming out. Really, Toronto? Really southern Ontario? We got snow in the beginning of November and no one was crying about it (except me – but that subsided, as did the snow). At that moment, I got why people dislike Toronto out West. It really DOES seem like anything that happens in Toronto/southern Ontario is the be all and end all and all other Canadians must be experiencing the same thing. So I found myself slightly annoyed, and slightly amused at everyone’s freak out. Through this small process, I also found myself becoming a more “Proud Manitoban”.

So here it is: I think I might be a Proud Manitoban. I say think, because I don’t want to commit to anything too soon. Also, this isn’t without its hardships, which will come in an upcoming post. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not Proud Ontarian either.

How about Mantario Pride?