First Impressions...

Amid all my nervousness about our move, one of my dear friends assured me that I should be excited. Why? "It's a chance for a new you." (I choose to believe that was truly meant to be encouraging, rather than a subtle hint that a "new me" would probably be beneficial to my social persona. Ha!) I've thought about her words a lot over the past few weeks. As I've mentioned before, I sometimes struggle with the fact that I'm not what you'd call "sweet" or whatnot, and that my personality lacks (in my mind) any noteworthy qualities except sarcasm and the occasional round of jolly humor. (And the penchant for using words like jolly. So, there's that.) A new me? Think of the possibilities! (And I did!) I could move to New Bern and start over with brand new people. I could turn on my very wittiest charms. I could demurely answer the bazillion many questions that people ask about the move. I could meekly praise my husband and marvel at the good fortune that is mine because I am his wife. (Actually, everyone else does this for me.) And if I faked it long enough played my cards right, I'd have all our new acquaintances saying, "My goodness, that Ashley sure is a sweetheart!"

Hmm... Maybe not. (I can hear some of you snickering through the screen. That's okay, let it all out.)

First of all, my husband and our best friends Blake and Brook would quickly see through this ploy, if I in fact decided to use it. Then, I'm fairly certain that it would last all of 2.4 minutes because, as you know, the jokes are a disease with me. They pop out before I can stop them. Same with the movie quotes. Yes, I know it's a serious moment, but there's a line from Mary Poppins that goes soooo perfectly right here!! (Yes, I'm a child.) However, I'm quite aware that first impressions are very important and that I need to make friends with these people because I will be hanging out with them, teaching their children, and, if nothing else, seeing them a minimum of thrice weekly at church. (Maybe if I want to make friends I should eliminate words like "thrice" from my vocabulary.)

So, I'm sure you're dying to know... Have I unleashed myself in full-out Ashley mode to these poor, unsuspecting New Bernians? (I assume that's what they're called... If not, my deepest apologies.) Here's the thing... I'm afraid I don't quite make a good first impression. For one thing, I'm actually (brace yourself for something shocking) kind of shy. A closet introvert, if you will. It's not that I'm actually terrified of introducing myself (choir tour cured me of that) but the stress of analyzing everything that comes out of my mouth. (Case in point: am I sharing too many details? am I asking too many questions? does it matter to this stranger how many sisters I have? should I have acted more delighted to meet that person's child? etc. I'm pretty sure all of these things have crossed my mind in the past seven days.)

This whole first impressions thing makes me nail-bitey. (And makes me make up new words, apparently.)

It's not that I'm terrible with people. It's just that my nervousness, along with sarcasm that people don't always "get" at first, is not exactly a winning combination. And while I feel perfectly comfortable with people I know well, or writing on here, I can't exactly hand out a business card when introduced to someone and say, "Please, visit my blog and get to my know my charming online persona before you judge my nervous, awkward real-life one." (I guess I could, but I might come off as slightly bipolar-ish, to say the least.)

How should I handle this problem? I feel like I've been myself for the most part, just a version of myself on its best behavior. (No Nacho Libre quotes just yet.) Another coping device I've relied on is to let Brook (sweet, meek Brook) do the talking for both of us. Better known as appearing awesome by association. (Hey... Brook cooks and is super crafty. I bet Ashley is too! They never have to learn the truth... see? =) Oh, and for the record, MY first impression of everyone here has been super... they've all been very nice, welcoming, friendly... more than enough to make up for my shortcomings.

Well, friends, I suppose that's the end of my weekly self-evaluation. I'm sure you're growing increasingly anxious for the next one. (NOT... seriously, I haven't felt particularly clever lately, so if anyone has a blog topic/rant/pet peeve you'd like me to address, feel free to suggest it.)

Happy Monday! (I felt it would be appropriate to end with an oxymoron, just for fun.)



  1. You know, I really thought about starting a blog a while back, then I stumbled upon your's a few weeks ago and realized I was grossly under prepared to begin blogging! Glad you have had a good first week!

    1. Girl, you're crazy! Go on with your bloggy self... You can do it! :)

  2. Please don't quit using words like "jolly" and "thrice"! :) I love your vocabulary!


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