Modern society has a tendency to take a perfectly good word and run with it until it’s so overused it loses it’s meaning. Take awkward for example. People frequently describe situations by saying,”That’s so awkward,” or simply just, “awkward.” But when I describe myself as “awkward” it’s not just a cliche, I really mean it.
But what does it mean to be awkward, anyway? Here are a few definitions:
not comfortable, relaxed, or confident
embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace
lacking grace or ease in movement
Ok, well…I think you get the picture…
I find it fascinating to pinpoint what exactly makes me feel awkward. I think it’s a combination of nature, nurture and my own unique “I just don’t care” attitude.
So what does being awkward feel like? It’s an awareness that I am different but constantly attempting to try to fit in despite that. It can be exhausting, frustrating but sometimes wonderful. Although I often feel out of step with the world around me that’s not always the case. Technology has found a way to bring all of us “awkwards” together and I find great comfort knowing I’m not alone.
Maybe this all sounds a bit familiar to you. If so, great! We can be awkward together. But if you’re one of the “normal” people out there and this all sounds foreign to you then take this post for what it is, valuable insight into the inner workings of someone very different from yourself.
Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was most likely a liar. Words can and do hurt. I was reminded of this earlier this week when a coworker carelessly made a remark about my appearance. I don’t feel like he was trying to be hurtful with what he said, but when you’ve struggled with self-image issues your entire life, even the littlest thing can leave a lasting impression.
Just to clarify, we’re not talking a bout a sexual harassment situation here, or even any harassment at all. It was simply an observation, that might have just been brushed off my an average person. But I’ve never been average. Due to nerve damage on the right side of my face I tend to be very sensitive about any comments about my appearance. It’s the reason I actively try to not smile and usually hate having my photo taken.
It has affected the way I view myself my entire life, but I rarely talk about it, even to my closest friends. But I feel compelled to write about it now. It’s my hope that externalizing my insecurities will lessen their power over me, and at the same time, help anyone else out there who’s faced similar issues.
It’s hard to be less than perfect in world where perfection is idolized. I struggle with it constantly, but over time I’ve begun to realize that it is ok to be different. Not only is it ok, but in many ways it is preferable. It literally makes you one of a kind. It can give you different perspective. And it can also give you a sense of empathy that others simply don’t possess.
We all have struggles and life can really suck sometimes. People will say things that hurt, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not. But in the end, we must move forward and focus on the good.
So, there you have it. Now you know a little more about me and my inner struggles. And I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. Maybe another day I’ll tell you more. But for now, I think I’ll call it a day.
Until next time…