It’s like the first day of school all over again.
That day when you don’t really know any one. You’re in a new place. A new school. You’re an outsider. You try to break in with someone, but it’s hard.
You’re the new kid.
That’s how I feel every day I got to work right now.
I hear my coworkers laughing and telling jokes.
I hear them telling stories. Asking for advice. Making conversations.
They are more than just coworkers. They are friends.
And I am the new kid on the block.
Three weeks. It’s been three weeks since I started. And still I feel like I am on the outside looking in.
I know (or at least I hope) that someday I will look back at this post and laugh at it ever having been like that.
But until then, I’m on the outside looking in.
I try to break in. But I don’t know how. I don’t know their jokes. I don’t understand their ways.
I hear them laughing from my office and I don’t know if I should join in or not.
So I wait. I hope someone will include me.
And often they do. They are nice people after all. They do not intend to be exclusive. I know that.
But I am the introvert who second guesses her thoughts. I am the new kid who doesn’t want to be invasive. I am the new kid who doesn’t know when to invade.
There are other things too.
I’m 24. Easily the youngest person on staff.
I am the one they call “kiddo” or “hun”.
I am the one they wonder about, they wonder if she’ll make it.
And I know they don’t mean it to be patronizing. I know it is just a word. But that isn’t always how it feels.
I am 24 years old. I’ve gone to university for 5 years. I have had one other real job in my life.
Respect me anyways. Like me anyways. Include me anyways.
And most importantly, teach me anyways.
They are good teachers. They show me their ways while leaving me room to create my own ways. They give me information when I ask.
I am working my way in.
Soon I hope not to be the new kid on the block.
I hope to be an old face. A friend. A coworker.