"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 :)