As previously mentioned, I moved to Newfoundland knowing no one. The people I work with are very nice, and they made me feel very included and invited me to parties, BBQs, movies, etc . . . But I find it’s very important to have a strong social network separate from work, so my entire life isn’t always connected to work.
So how do you make friends in a new place, outside of work, when you’re no longer a student? Well, I tried meeting people through the magic of the internet, and that definitely worked out . . . but there’s something to be said for making random friends downtown!
So my very first day of work at the clinic was a Wednesday, May 6th to be exact. The fellow I mentioned before, C, had a friend visiting from out of town and another friend playing live music at a bar down on George St. He had suggested I come down and check it out. The bar, The Fat Cat, is a great lil’ place. The musician, Chris Kirby, plays a lot of Wednesday night’s there, no cover, not a bad way to break up the week. I made it a pretty regular habit to head down there on a Wednesday after that first night – pretty sure I didn’t miss one of Chris’ Wednesday shows for the first six months I was here. The Fat Cat holds a special place in my heart because of that first night, as does Chris for that matter.
That first night, C didn’t show up until quite a lot later than he said he would. So I was there by myself for some time . . . at least until I made a new friend.
I noticed this poster on the wall shortly after arriving, caught my eye because The Wooly was a favourite spot in Guelph for some of my friends. Felt like some kind of positive omen to discover this after my first day of work.
So then I’m sitting at the bar, enjoying my G&T, and there’s this girl sitting there chatting with the bartender. She says something about the Wooly poster, being for a bar in Guelph, and knowing people there. So I shift up close to her and say “Sorry, couldn’t help but over hear you mentioning Guelph?” and long story short… random woman at bar is now one of my very good friends. She was there because she’s friends with Chris, and we hung out that night while I waited for C to show up, and exchanged contact information to get together again sometime soon. She soon introduced me to her gang of friends, and I was quickly accepted as part of the family.
The group of friends are dubbed the “pants family” and they all have pants names – and they called me “doctor pants”. Looking back at that first summer, I’d have to say I laughed harder and more often with that group of hilarious people than with anyone else. I’ve never felt so completely accepted for who I am no matter what by anyone, and in record time.
Not the first time I’ve gone to a bar alone and just chilled, not the first time I’ve struck up a conversation with a random stranger. I highly recommend both activities. You never know what kind of friends you could end up making! I’m pretty sure I was brought up to never talk to strangers, in theory, and I’m actually really shy. . . but every now and again I strike up a conversation with a stranger, and if nothing else I get a good memory/story out of it, sometimes I even end up making a new friend! Maybe even a fantabulous friend I couldn’t imagine life without. I heart you, Ashley. You had better be reading this.