A reflection on hometown pride, gratitude, and identity.

Since moving to a new place, I find myself navigating a world where my perception of my home province, and the view that others have of it are vast and different. I have always felt so much pride in being a Newfoundlander and never imagined a life where I did not reside there. How do I maintain a sense of pride for my home when most people around me don’t know that’s where I’m from?

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Salmon Arm, B.C.

Upon arriving in my new home, I had multiple remarks of “You don’t have much of an accent”. I found it interesting this was the chosen defining feature of a Newfoundlander outside of their province. I found myself jokingly replying, “That’s good, I was worried I would stand out”, although my dialect should never be something I feel negatively towards or get looked down upon for. A few times I wished I did have more of an accent so people could outright identify my home.

The main thoughts, that surprised me, but ones that I’ve been struggling with the most are, “Should I have left?” or “How do I find a balance between pride for my hometown, but making room for a new home?”. How do I balance making room in my soul for a new place when I constantly compare it to the scenery, people, and feelings of my hometown. Are these mountains as wonderful as the mountains in Newfoundland? Is this trail as great as the ones I walked in Newfoundland? This beach is kind of crappy and full of rocks and there’s a train running by it…At least in Newfoundland there are no trains by the beaches.
Was it smart to leave all of my family and friends for a job? Will I ever meet new people? Should I audition for that community musical? Can I meet people that way? Is this town too small? Should I have moved somewhere bigger?

So, when my brain gets on roll, it full on tumbles down the hill like a snowball. I remind myself that doubts will happen and are normal. I remind myself that this is truly what “past Erin” felt I needed, and still need to grow as a person, learn more about myself and truly discover where I might belong.

Overall, I’ve been awesome. The weather here is phenomenal. The food choices greater. I’ve already been to two yoga classes and plan on taking more. The downtown area is adorable and I’ve been twacking* twice already! There’s great coffee shops, interesting people, and two great used book stores. There’s this majestic-as-hell wharf that I love to walk to in order to people watch. Between the tourists and the “Pokemon Go” players, it never disappoints. I’m adjusting to my new job and have a wonderful boss who is so supportive and encouraging. I’m *finally* getting my furniture tomorrow and I’m beginning to make my cozy apartment feel like home.

My goal for the week is to do all things with love, think gratuitously, address and let go of the thoughts of questioning, fear and regret and fully embrace this very exciting time in my life!

-E

*Newfoundland term for “window shopping”.

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