So, with my priorities in order, here we go:
On being the new girl.
I find it a strange thing, being the new girl. I realize that I have never really had to be the "new girl". Because my parents still live in the same house from when I was 2, I went to school with the same people from kindergarten up until I graduated from high school. I mean, I guess in some cases I have been the new girl, like when I went to college, but so was everyone else. Plus, my college experience was not one in which I lived on campus. I lived at home, worked full time, and went to school full time. Everyone was doing that where I went to school so we all kind of just came and went, trying to balance school and work. So being the new girl wasn't a real experience. We were all on equal playing ground-no one knew anyone.
In these situations, I find that I do quite well. Put me in a line that is long, where no one really knows each other, and I will eventually meet some people around me, talk to them, and somehow find common ground. The lady that voted in front of me has a 4 year old, a new 6 week old baby, moved here about 4 years ago from St. Louis where she had lived all of her life, and had bought her first house 2 streets over from her parents. My best friend always laughs at my ability to do this with complete strangers. It makes me look like a regular old social butterfly with very little insecurities wrapped tight around me. I just really like learning about people and their lives. I don't believe that I'm nosy-I just truly like learning about people. I love questions-I find they open up a whole world in front of you.
But don't let that fool you.
Put me in a room of people that know each other, even a little bit, as the new girl, and I clam up. I immediately want to become a wallflower. I'm sure my facial expression looks quite uninviting; however, I don't intend to be. I remember visiting a church here, and someone told me I looked terrified when I walked into the Sunday school room. "Well, thank you. I'll take that as a compliment."
But the truth is, I am terrified. I immediately feel completely out of place, as I watch friends talking and sharing life. I imagine that everyone knows each other so well and has no place for a new friend. I know, I know; my nutcase wraps tight around me when I walk into a room of people that know each other. It tells me that they don't really want to know me, and even if they did, they probably wouldn't like me. Besides, they already have their friends.
I'm sure this isn't the full truth, and I'm probably making being the "new girl" way more complicated than it has to be.
But our culture doesn't really help the "new girl". Everyone is so busy with life that it does seem like no one really has time for new people. I guess the lie in this is that the truth is no one really has that much time for anyone, new or old. People stay so busy for various reasons, especially when kids' activities are involved. It seems community is lost, replaced by dozens of activities that just seem to leave everyone involved tired, over worked, and ultimately empty.
Isn't it ironic that our lives can be so full and yet so empty?
But I digress.
The funny truth about me though, when put into a room full of people that are at least acquaintances, is that if just one person would come up and talk to me and help me feel included, I would be fine. I wouldn't have a problem carrying on a conversation, because remember, I love questions. That's not to say that I wouldn't leave worried that I said something dumb. I would, but I would have at least talked to someone.
Now, some would say that by the age of 37, I should be able to do this on my own; just walk right up to people and introduce myself, full of confidence and completely unaware that they all know each other and I don't know a soul. I'm sure Tim could find all kinds of
Whatever the reasons may be, I just can't do it. Not now anyways. Maybe one day when I'm all grown up and wearing my big girl panties, I'll be able to.
But not now. Nope, I'm no good at being the "new girl".
Which is precisely why I ran out of Bible study.
That story tomorrow.