Moving to a New Place

After living in Europe for seven years, my parents announced that my family and I would be moving to the United States. We all looked forward to this with great anticipation. What would people think of us? Who would be our new friends? I personally hoped to be the hero of the third grade class.

I was not disappointed. The third graders all thought highly of my experience, and I quickly became well known as “the French guy.” I enjoyed my popularity for a time.

However, I was not interested in many things my fellow classmates did, and it was hard for me to connect with them. I listened to classical music passionately, never watched TV, and rarely watched movies.

I did not have a common background with my friends because I grew up in Europe. I had few friends, and fewer good friends. In hindsight, I realize I was a bit of a jerk to many around me. I kept bragging about my quirks and thinking myself superior to those around me because I lived in Europe and they didn’t.

I had decided I wanted better friends when my parents announced that we were going to move again! I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get better friends, where people did not know of my unkind, perhaps pretentious past.

When we moved to California, I did not flaunt myself, like I had done for five years. I did not tell everyone that I lived in Europe, and expected no reaction when I did tell my friends.

I still listened to classical music, but I did not brag about not being main stream. I simply kept my music to myself. Nor did I try to become mainstream. Sure enough, I found that people enjoy the company of someone who is not typical but does not brag about it.

There’s no substitute for good friends, and if I had to subdue my temper and pride, it was well worth the investment.