Day 35 - Juliana

Day 35 - Juliana (2nd person I approached)
February 04, 2015 - I admit it. I still on occasion, get a little weird or uncomfortable even, when approaching strangers. Some days more than others. Today I saw Juliana sitting in a restaurant by herself. I decided to go in and as her to talk to me. I had just walked thirty-five minutes from downtown, and was sweating. Yes, even when it’s cold out, I perspire. So here I am, a complete stranger. I come into the restaurant out of the blue, sweat running down my forehead, asking Juliana to chat with me about her life. And still she said yes. 


Juliana was born in Toronto.

“I have one sister, she’s seven years older than I am. I’d say we get along much better now than when we were kids,” she told me. When she was about six years old, Juliana’s parents signed her up for painting and drawing classes.

“I always liked doing art stuff. Drawing and painting, using acrylics. I went to a high school that offered an enriched program. That meant they taught things like woodwork and other skills. I was able to take double art classes. The teachers were encouraging too,” she said.


“When I finished high-school, I went to Ryerson University,” said Juliana. Ryerson has a focus on applied, career-oriented education.

“I went there to study Fashion Communication. It covered all aspects of design, graphics, web design, marketing. Everything needed to run advertising campaigns, exhibits and magazine editorials. I went in with an idea of becoming a magazine editor,” she said. The Fashion Communication program was four years long.

“In my final semester, I realized that I was more interested in the graphic design aspect. I had been working on my final project. It was a year-long process and I had been doing a lot of designing. I realized just how much I liked it,” she told me.


After graduating from Ryerson, Juliana moved to Montreal.

“I moved there and worked for a (shoe company),” she said. When I asked why Montreal, Juliana gave me a smile, telling me it was “a long and complicated story.” She was dating a guy from Quebec, and that was part of the reason for the move.

“I lived there for three-and-a-half years, before moving here to Vancouver,” she said.


“I’ve spent most of my time here looking for an apartment and applying for jobs. I just got a place to live, and hopefully I’ll get word about a job soon,” she told me. I asked why the move to Vancouver, and Juliana replied,

“Why not? I originally wanted to move to Australia, but my parents weren’t so keen on that. I’m still far away from them being here in Vancouver, but at least I’m still in the same country.” Australia’s sunny, warm climate were part of the appeal. I could only compare it to being in Palm Springs in November a few years ago, where it was an average of 32C during the day. 


Her takeout order arrived. I didn’t want to keep Juliana any longer and have her dinner get cold. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I took a few pictures and had to have Juliana look at them to make sure they were in focus.

“I’ve only been in Vancouver for three weeks, so I haven’t really had a chance to socialize much yet. But so far, I like it here,” said Juliana.

“I just came from a job interview, doing web design. I’m working freelance now. I hope to hear about it tomorrow,” she said. I wished Juliana good luck, and asked her to let me know how things work out. Fingers crossed. #notastranger