List #164: What's New with You?

What do you say when you've asked "What's new with you?" I got this question a lot over the past week. From former acquaintances and old friends. And each and every time I was at a loss for a serious response. 

So often this question is presented to me at a life moment: a wedding, a bridal shower, a baby shower, in front of newborns, visiting someone in the hospital, and sadly, sometimes a funeral. And no matter what I say just seems to pale in comparison. When a friend is telling me that their baby just started speaking in full-sentences, it feels awkward to tell them about meeting friends from Twitter. Or when a friend is telling me about the installation of a new bathroom, it's strange bridge to gap and start talking about being on local news this summer. 

This isn't to say that I am embarrassed by my own news. Or that I think it's less than their news. It's not. I am having a great summer. My life is not perfect, but it's filled with a lot of engaging and rewarding experiences. But it just doesn't feel that my accomplishments are ones that I can boast.

But I'm tired of feeling that way. I've been underplaying my own interests too often lately. And if this is how it's going to be in my adult-life, I just don't think I will be happy. Everyone we know has a different life, a different set of struggles, and I am proud of mine. It's just not true that I can't share my own news every once in awhile. It doesn't have to sound silly. Because it's my life, and though I am often silly, my life isn't. 

  • I pledge to myself to answer the question "What's new with you?" with a strong response. What I have to say to this question has value. Even if it's different than what the inquirer has going on in his/her own life.
  • I'm going to share a little more about what I do at work. You know what? Some of the programs I line up and host are a big deal. My circ stats? Amazing. My involvement in a huge grant-funded summer game? Kind of ground breaking.
  • I'm not going to walk away from these big events feeling sad that I don't have what someone else has. I don't know why I may ever need a relish tray, but that doesn't mean I won't ever get married. And it doesn't mean that I'm a lost and hopeless girl just because I'm not dating. And I'd rather get asked "What's new with you" than "Anyone special in your life?" So take that as a blessing.
  • I'm going to keep pushing towards tomorrow. No one knows what the next day's news is going to be. But I am going to try to work towards making it the best that I can. This is cheesy, this is cliche. But I need to know that I have some control in my life. 
  • I am going to continue to listen to the news that other people tell me. Pay attention and care about their answers. And hope that they are reciprocating these good vibes right back to me.
So dear readers, when someone asks you "what's new" how do you respond? I am open to all advice and tips.

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