We’ve all experienced some form of being the new kid on the block. Whether it’s a new school, a new job, or moving to a new state. That feeling of alienation and discomfort is usually a good sign, it means you’ve got the cajones to step outside your comfort zone and try something new and daring. You are choosing to make yourself vulnerable to invite possibility.
That being said, it does come with feelings of alienation, anxiety, and sometimes panic. You have to awkwardly step through your fears and hold-ups to meet others on the far side of this challenge.
This idea of being the “new kid” has been bouncing around my head since my husband and I moved from Metro Nashville, where we’d been for three years, to the country 10 miles outside a small town.
I’ve been casually spying on the neighbors, observing the community, listening to the accents. Trying to find my way in. First, I baked cookies for our closest neighbor and wrote a little note. She responded well and we’ve been friendly since. But she was easiest, we share part of our driveway, can wave from our yards, she’s also relatively new to the area, she’s around my age and has a small herd of dogs. Success, but I still talk myself out of why it was successful.
Now I’m stuck, frozen. To connect with the other neighbors I want to do the same, bake some cookies and write a little note, leave it on the doorstep. But I am scared. I know they are older and more established, perhaps weird about people coming around. I’ve drafted the same note probably over 30 times in my head, to the neighbor with horses.
I am a horse-crazy girl. I had a horse in high school, but haven’t connected with that part of myself since. It would be easy to come off as someone who is weirdly fan girl-ing about your horse. I don’t want to scare them or weird them out, but I am enthusiastic and a total weirdo!
In my heart, I know that all I need to do is take that step, to reach out. To make the neighborly gesture, write a short note that includes my interest in their horses but also in their boundaries as the owner, and leave it at that. Ball in their court. But I’ve found myself paralyzed by the fear of failure. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, unwilling to start a task without a clear idea of how to ace it. But that’s not how to live my best, most authentic life! I know that being human, imperfect, honest and courageous will be ultimately more fulfilling and relatable than being top of the class.
I am learning that lesson in starting this blog, too. Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to try, just put yourself out there—it doesn’t need to perfect or polished. If we wait to be perfect to share with others we will always be waiting. We will always be on the edge of the room not talking to anyone. We have to be willing to be ourselves, flaws and all, and willing to be a little daring. Willing to fail because we know that is part of the journey to being more fully ourselves and immersed in our community.
So thank you for reading this! Comment below if you’ve had an experience of being “new here” and been able to move through it, and how. Or maybe you’re still in that experience, as I am in this new town, so please share your experience below.