It’s never easy being new. New job, new city, new university. Luckily, I’m currently tackling all three simultaneously and can let you know that it isn’t as hard as one may think. Actually, aside from the awkwardness of having to make new friends at work and uni, pushing past the stresses of peak hour public transport, it’s kind of nice to know you know nobody.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve encountered some very new things in my life. I’ve had to try and set up a home from scratch with my housemate, which includes things we take for granted as hapless teens – like internet and electricity. Between consistently calling the real estate to do something about the dripping taps, lack of flyscreens, new security key, busted phone port, and rusted out hot water tank, we’ve had to buy a new modem, hook up our electricity, organise a broadband plan, and battle against mosquitos, moths and cockroaches.
So after a couple of weeks of living in a brand new flat with neighbours that seem to do renovations all day and then fuck each others’ brains out all night, another whose mother has lost her marbles and throws out everyone’s mail, and another who is a massage therapist and has bailed to Japan for a week, I’ve learned that sweet necessities like the internet, television, and clean, hot water keep me relatively sane.
As for knowing nobody and nobody knowing me, it’s kind of nice. I’m starting to not worry if people see me pick out my wedgie on the train (unless they write about me to MX) or if i have a tactical nap in the park. I don’t really mind if someone sees me trip on nothing (which I seem to do often) or when my skirt flies up in the wind.
At this point in time, not many people know who I am in this city. Not everyone knows everything about everyone else. You can get away with a lot in a big city, and it’s incredibly liberating.
The trick to being not-so-awkward in new places is to have confidence. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, fake it. Fake it till you make it. I tend to just talk a fair bit, probably a little too loudly, and ask a heap of questions to confuse everyone else and incite a kind of awe in them that one would typically give to monarch-types.
Mind you, after I finished this and went to walk to my next class, I bumped into an old workmate of mine. Oh world, you are so small.