It’s tough being the new kid. Starting over, meeting new people, trying to figure out what other people are like, trying to let them figure you out through nervousness, maybe shyness, and sadness for these new people not being your old people. Thinking I wonder what they like to do in their free time, what do they want to talk about, will they think I’m weird if I just go up and introduce myself and start a conversation, do they have kids, do they work at home, out of the home or are they a stay at home mom, do they like wine? All.of.the.thoughts.
I hope you have figured out I’m not actually talking about my kids. I’m the new kid. I’ve been the new kid, quite a few times in my life. The new army wife when I had no experience with the military, the new kid in class at 24 years old, the new wife to an army team-meeting them when all of our husbands were away, the new physical therapist assistant in a tight knit clinic, the new mom at story time at the library, the new mom at preschool with a feisty 2 year old and brand new baby in tow, the new girl in a town that seemed as if everyone already had “their people”, and on and on.
We all have had a new kid moment. It can be an exciting, frustrating, sad, and confusing time all rolled into one. We all have those moments where we leave comfort and enter an uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory. At some point we have to pull up our big girl panties and just jump in, right?! Make the introduction, ease into the questions, discover similarities, hope they don’t think you’re crazy and go from there.
It’s a wild ride. I’ve experienced the good and the bad with new people. There are those who have been in your shoes before so they try extra hard to be welcoming, there are the “mean girls” (yes still at this age), and then the ones that just don’t have time for you right now.
Every new situation I’m in, and this has gotten way easier as time has gone on, I pretend I am the one welcoming others in. I don’t wait for them to welcome me. Maybe they are thinking oh she’s new-I don’t even know how to approach someone new.
See the thing is your new kid moment, is not everyone else’s new kid moment. Your main goal in your new kid moment is to assess the situation and see how best you can make the most of it and fit it into your new life. When it isn’t their new kid moment, they are just entering their everyday routine-probably just trying to survive the day and noticing the new kid is not on top of their list.
Looking at it this way has made being the new kid so much easier. It is my job, not anyone else’s, to make being the new kid a good thing. Take control of your new kid moment and make the most of it!
You will meet those people that welcome you and I guarantee it’s because they have been there before. So remember that when you get the chance to be the seasoned one at something, there is always a new kid amongst us and while they are trying their hardest to hold it together, maybe be the one that can give them the sigh of relief that makes them not feel so alone. Welcome them, and for that moment they can begin to see the glimmer of hope that being the new one may not be as scary as they thought.