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Being a naturally shy and introverted person, stepping out of my comfort zone has been a difficult thing for me to do, particularly as an international student in Canada. So luckily for our “Talking to a Stranger” activity I got a chance to have something to talk about for this week’s process post, thanks to an invitation to a friend’s book club. Even though the prospect of entering a room full of strangers made my introverted self a little nervous, the shared love for reading acted as a common ground, like a bridge that made my second thoughts  more manageable.

During our literary discussions, I found myself engaged in a conversation with a girl named Dahlia. The small talk we had about our favourite genres and authors at first quickly switched into a more personal realm. To my delight, beyond the books and reading, we discovered a shared passion for horse riding and cooking. As we exchanged stories about our experiences the conversation flowed effortlessly and I actually made a new friend out of this activity.

After this unexpected experience, I have learned that sometimes the most deep connections can emerge from seemingly ordinary circumstances. The book club, initially a source of my anxiety, became a source for a new friendship. The shared love for literature acted as a sort of  “entrance” to discovering shared interests beyond the pages of a book. It was a reminder for me that stepping out of a comfort zone, even in small doses, can lead to unexpectedly beautiful connections.

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