#415 The moment when you’re not the new guy anymore

The first day was scary.

When you opened the door everything was a giant swirling abyss of new teachers, new faces, new rules, and new places. So you tiptoed in smiling and shaking hands, learning passwords and policies, and staring around the busy cafeteria holding a red plastic tray trying to find someone to eat lunch with.

It wasn’t your fault but you were last to join the team, you were last getting in the game, you were last one signing in, and no one knew your name.

So you just put your head down and gave it a shot. You tried and tried and tried. You felt like you didn’t belong here so you worked a bit harder than the next guy. Maybe you organized a neighborhood garage sale, maybe you helped the bullpen in the clutch, maybe you bailed us all out of a big meeting, or maybe you threw a backyard party … with a special touch.

(Special touches may or may not include: big bowls of fizzy punch teetering on wobbly picnic tables, veggie hotdogs cooking to a crispy finish on their own grill, or baking anything rich and chocolaty for dessert.)

Soon you noticed you were starting to fit in and there were beers after the ballgame, lab partners in chemistry class, and new friends in the cafeteria. Somebody asked you for help one day, a nickname slowly evolved, and a dirty inside joke got everyone laughing for weeks.

One day someone even newer than you started up and while they squeezed nervously beside you at the lunch table it slowly hit you.

You aren’t the new guy anymore.

You fit in just fine.


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