In Defense of Awkward

I have many weird traits. One, I love dark, quiet places. So when I feel stressed (particularly during thunderstorms…which is a constantly occurring situation that leaves me feeling stressed), I like to hide in my closet. Yep, my closet. Also, I’m super shy and quiet, and often experience (and am the cause) of the totally-awkward silence in which the other person expects me to say something, but I really just can’t…So yeah…

I have no (absolutely no) sense of direction, so I am constantly going back and retracing my steps to try to figure out where I went wrong. Sometimes I have to retrace my steps several times, probably causing people to wonder about the woman who is wandering around with a confused look on her face.

Finally, I have a tendency to run into things. Particularly in the mornings. Particularly when I’m tired (see: every morning). Usually these ‘things’ I run into are street lights. Yep. While walking (and daydreaming) I have often found myself crashing face first into a street light that I hadn’t previously seen (note to urban developers: Do we really need so many street lights? They are a safety hazard). Thankfully, usually no one sees this. If someone does happen to witness me walking into a streetlight (or sometimes a car door) I quickly start walking the other way, while trying to convince myself that they didn’t really see me.

In short, I’m awkward. I’m a book-loving, clumsy, klutzy awkward woman. The awkwardness hasn’t really gone away as I’ve grown older, but (I believe) I’ve been able to hide it (a little better).

But, I’m beginning to realize that maybe hiding it is the wrong way to go about being awkward. Maybe awkward needs a defender. Because awkward is kind of cool. My awkward is what sets me apart from everyone else. I would be totally normal if it weren’t for my quirks, but who wants to be totally normal anyway? Many people don’t love my awkward traits (I spend countless hours with people who tell me I need to talk more, smile more, be more, do more…). The ‘more’ crowd would love me to be confident, bold, articulate, insightful. The more crowd would love me to always be in style, always know the right words to say, the right things to do. The ‘more’ crowd would love for me to be coordinated, to glide through life like a dancer who is always sure of the right moves.

I’m beginning to realize that the ‘more crowd’ doesn’t really love me.

Instead, I’m loved by those who see the awkward, and who know how to point me in the right direction, or not mention the knot on my forehead (courtesy of my head intimately meeting yet another pole). I’m loved by those who give me books, and those who can laugh with me at my weirdness. My awkward is what separates the people who are real and true from those who I need to stay away from. My awkward is what compels me to write, and read and dream. It’s what causes me to be vulnerable and real, and what compels others to be vulnerable and real with me.

In short, even though I don’t always like my awkward, I love it, and am slowly starting to embrace it. I’d encourage you to do the same. When you begin to embrace the thing (or things) that make you awkward and weird, you begin to see that the same things that make you awkward, are the things that make you special.

In short, be you, the weird, wild, wonderful you.



Photo Copyright: icetray / 123RF Stock Photo

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