The moment I truly realized my life had completed changed from how I grew up wasn’t until I was probably 24 or 25 or so.
It was at work, and I’d agreed to sub in for a woman on a bowling league who wasn’t able to show up that night.
One of the other guys on the bowling league came by my desk and said, “Thanks for subbing in. I thought you were way too cool to hang out with people like us.” He didn’t say it condescendingly or sarcastically; just as a statement of fact.
Even though I absolutely knew he was talking to me, I actually did that thing people do in movies and looked behind me a little bit to make sure he actually wasn’t speaking to someone else.
That’s a long way from being called a “loser nerd faggot” in middle school, for sure.