"Sorry, I'm new here," has been a common phrase for me these days. I am surrounded by new places, new faces, new events and new work. My name is Kelsey and I recently joined the staff here at the The Reporter and The Democrat. I'm also new to the town of Emmetsburg as my husband, Matt, and I relocated here in November when he accepted a new job at the hospital.
Growing up, I always wondered what it would be like to be the new student in class. My husband and I lived in Creston, Iowa our entire lives until we went to college but even after graduation, I was able to move to Des Moines with a group of close friends. At 28, I'm finally the new kid.
We moved here from Ankeny where I worked as a graphic designer for Meredith Corporation. I worked primarily on publication design for the Kraft Foods magazines so I have been fortunate to find work in a similar industry. Aside from work, the move hasn't been too big of an adjustment since we have lived the small-town life before. It didn't hurt that we had visited friends in Emmetsburg on a couple different occasions for the St. Patrick's Day festivities.
The last month has been action-packed to say the least. Turns out packing an entire house and then unpacking it in an unknown place within a two-week span is no small task. It could quite possibly be the most manual labor I've performed since helping my dad on the farm. Now that cable, electric and internet necessities have been taken care of, I am faced with daily tasks of figuring out where to go for items like printer ink and greeting cards. I'll admit I'm guilty of using MapQuest to find locations around town.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans move each year with the average American moving 11.7 times in their lifetime. Our fingers are crossed we come in below that average. I would be perfectly fine if I didn't have to build or tear apart another cardboard moving box.
Aside from a semester of studying abroad in college, Emmetsburg is the farthest from "home" I have ever moved. I went to school at Iowa State where coming from "south of (Interstate) 80" jokes were fairly common among my group of friends. Matt's grandma even made the comment to us, "You're about three overcoats too far north." Although we know she just wants to keep us close, her comment did not go unnoticed from a practical standpoint. New snow boots and a winter coat have made their way on to my Christmas list this year.
The last two weeks have been filled with introductions and names I swear I'm never going to remember but I'm optimistic it will get easier and everything will fall in place. In the meantime, I can get away with looking lost and Matt can enjoy his favorite pastime of trying new restaurants. The staff here has been extremely welcoming and informative. For instance, they have let me know I can claim being new for up to five years. Who knew? That's precisely what I plan to do. "Sorry, I'm new here," will remain my go-to approach to all new adventures.