Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Weirdly Awkward

"I'm nervous."

"It'll be fun!"

"But I'm so awkward!"

"No you're not."

"I am! I'm super weird."

"That's not the same as awkward."

I paused. It wasn't? Huh. It wasn't. I am weird, but that doesn't have to mean I'm awkward:  "causing difficulty; hard to deal with; causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience." Being weird doesn't necessarily mean socially unskilled, unrelatable, distasteful, dull.

Being weird is an asset; being awkward is a handicap.

Somehow I had never noticed how I was conflating the terms. I have been living my whole life thinking that because I'm weird--because I read "school books" in my spare time, have two razors in my shower, get dehydrated easily, and can't get into binge watching TV--I am an "awkward person." But that's not necessarily true.

What if owned my "weirdness" and stopped acting like I thought it made me an awkward person?

What if instead of hiding my copy of Romanticism and Consciousness, I brought it with me to the pool and used it as a conversation starter, or even just let people think what they want?

What if instead of making an apologetic explanation for my two razors, I said "Yeah, I have a weird system. But hey, at least I don't leave food debris in the sink. That would be a lot harder to live with."

What if instead of chewing my nails off and smiling weakly and having an inner freak-out when I'm getting dehydrated, I said "I'm really thirsty. Wanna go with me to find something to drink?"

What if instead of chiming in with a lame "Oh, Pretty Little Liars...yeah...I saw an episode one time, maybe..." I just came right out and said "You know, I've never really seen that. What's it about? What are the characters like?"

What if I stopped mining every conversation for the hidden "right" next thing to say, and just focused on being Real? What if I talked when I felt like talking, and let silences flow as they would? What if I used my weirdness as a way of being profoundly honest and authentic? What if I used my weirdness to put people at ease with their own selves? (After all, aren't we all a little odd?)

That sounds a lot easier and more fun--for everyone involved.

Yeah, I AM weird. But I can have a perfectly "normal" conversation with you. I can go to normal restaurants and watch normal movies and listen to normal songs and have a normal good time. Not only that, but because I'm actually weird, I can probably offer you something that the next "normal" person can't.

I'll be interested to see the effects of this latest revelation :)


1 comment:

  1. LOVE this. It was (and maybe still can be) one of my biggest inner battles. I always have to remind myself that's perfectly acceptable for me to not like something just because everyone and their brother is doing it. And once you sort of let that go, the freedom you feel! as well as the authenticity that exudes from other people as well. It's great :)