Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On Being a Newbie

I'm a very proud person. I don't like not knowing things. I don't like admitting that I'm wrong. I am stubborn. I'm someone who will act like they've been there before, like they know it all too well, and you definitely do not need to explain anything to me (because, you know, I know everything). On top of that, I'm also very well versed in the art of being the "New Girl". In my life thus-far I can say I've lived in four different countries, I've been to eight different schools, I've travelled alone for extended periods of time and also my parents were part of the sadistic few who sent their child to camp every Summer even though said child knew absolutely no one. Who knew Summer camps had pre-established cliques made up of childhood best-friends and camp regulars.  #kidsarecruel 

The issue with being the newbie repeatedly is, while you develop some great befriending skills and abilities to comfortably eat alone (the cafeteria will suck you in when you are most vulnerable), you begin to resent it. You don't want to be the newcomer who doesn't know as much as everybody else, who is in a vulnerable place and consequently has to rely on others to get by. You want to know what you're doing, where you're going, how to go about things. And questions are possibly the most daunting idea, you really just don't want to think about it. You definitely do not want to admit you may need some help. But it's time to let go of that, because its fundamentally contributing to your own close-mindedness. 

Being a beginner, a novice, a newcomer – it's perfectly okay and everybody goes through it. It doesn't make you any less intelligent, independent or mature. It's easy for people's advice and insight into your situation to come across as condescending or belittling when you are focused on the negative aspect of being new to something. Sure, sometimes people are proud to show off their know-how, it makes them feel important (and useful). But if you go deeply into it, their advice was born out of the mistakes they made, the lessons they learnt, when they were a newbie. In a way, this is the way they validate those lessons learnt, they pass down their knowledge to someone who could use it. And that advice could be absolute gold. It could also be absolute shit, let's be honest young adults don't always have the brightest ideas. But it could be gold.

So fight every single inch of pride you can feel inside of you, accept their advice and think for a moment. Asking for help, listening to advice, and accepting your current rookie status will do a lot more good than maintaining the facade that you know it all. Because the truth is, you don't. Nobody really does. 

Sometimes you need to suck it up and realise that there will always be something you haven't tried, you haven't experienced, that somebody else has. Starting a new job, going to university for the first time, learning a new instrument, travelling to a new place, being a parent...You will never be done with being the new kid on the block, no matter how old or what stage of life you're in, and (at the risk of sounding sappier than your favourite soap opera) wouldn't life be a lot less interesting if there was nothing new to discover?

Don't hate the corn, appreciate the truth in it.

// Margot Ana 

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