You’re awkward. I recalled a girl that told me this my senior year of high school in class. She wasn’t completely wrong as I was somewhat anxious, I cared more about doing things than connecting with others, and classes like math came naturally to me more than writing and speaking classes. And to this day most of these things are still true. What’s different now?
The difference is that I’ve defined who I am. The names that others have called me don’t carry as much weight as the names I’ve decided for myself. And instead of spending all my energy on how to appeal to everyone, I’ve spent my energy on who I am proud to be. In the scenario above I recall spending all my energy trying to become less awkward. I was a lot of the times fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing. It would drain my energy and I wished I was ‘fixed’. I felt broken.
I no longer feel broken for who I am. I love and embrace my awkwardness, quirkiness, and my unique sense of humor. My best college memories were with a group of friends who learned to laugh about who we were together. One of my friends was extremely sappy and I always came home to him watching Grey’s Anatomy. Another was a ‘too cool for school’ guy who smoked cigars and was a football quarterback. Another was an extreme neat freak who was obsessed with Star Wars. Another was from a rural area who was into hunting and other outdoor activities. We would always joke about our different interests that made us unique. We were able to laugh because we embraced who we were and what our identities were. During that time I became proud of who I was becoming, and I found an example of people I wanted to belong with.