I am very awkward. Like, VERY awkward. I randomly, and loudly, laugh at jokes in my head. I have no rhythm whatsoever. I quote obscure movie lines, and not in a cool, hipster way either. I trip over air. I constantly choke on water. I do a lot of strange things.

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Me and this statue were having a deep and interesting conversation.

My friends look at my awkwardness as kind of endearing. Someone is always joking about how they can always count on me to randomly break out in song, or hold full-out conversations with their pets. And I’ve finally come to accept the fact that I’m kind of weird. But, you can probably guess that hasn’t always been the case.

Sometimes it can be hard to really let my hair down and have fun. I didn’t want to have to make excuses for why I act the way that I do, and I didn’t have it in me to pretend to be different, so I would often avoid people on account of my awkwardness. I knew I wasn’t super-cool like other people, so I would find excuses to avoid contact with them altogether. Even now, I can be extremely self-conscious.

As someone who’s very quirky and awkward I’m constantly second guessing myself and wondering what other people think of me. I struggle to have fun at nightclubs because I’m too stressed about my ability (inability) to dance. And while other people seem to love hanging out at cafes and coffee shops alone, I’m deathly afraid of being noticed because I can’t even drink water without spilling the entire glass. I will always find a way to embarrass myself. It’s actually one of my talents. Some people sing. I trip over oxygen.

Although I can get very anxious over how I’m perceived by others, there comes a point when I have to find a way to have fun. Spending so much time stressing over others is a waste of time. Everyone’s not going to be perfect. Even the most perfect, cookie-cutter, too-cool-for-school type of person is going to have some quirks. That’s what makes life fun. Eventually, you get tired of sitting in a safety bubble while everyone else is off experiencing the world.

So, I only have one rule for having fun while being strange: Just go for it with no apologies. I will never be perfect, no matter how hard I try. So I just stop trying. When I’m at the club and a song comes on that I like, I’m not going to hide the fact that I dance like one of those flailing, inflatable, arm-waving, tube man things that you see at the car lot. I’m just gonna get down with my bad self.

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“Go, shawty! It’s your birthday! We gonna party like it’s your birthday!”

I know what you’re thinking. That is easier said than done. One doesn’t just “go for it” when they’re self-conscious. Of course not! You don’t wake up one day and suddenly become cool with all of your quirks. I know I didn’t. It took a long time for me to finally become okay with being a weirdo. But it was only after I decided to stop holding myself back that I was able to let my weird flag fly.

This blog is full of clichés, so there’s no point in avoiding them now. If you want to make progress on something, you have to start somewhere. A whole journey begins with a single step (I really wanted to throw this in somehow). You have to walk before you can run, and you have to finally make a decision to go for it before you can find self acceptance. If you’re a weirdo, don’t hide it! Just be weird.

I have spent a lot of time worrying about my awkwardness. Too much time, actually. With all of the energy I’ve put into trying to be acceptable to others, I took time away from just being silly and having fun. Sometimes, a girl just has to be weird. So, go to the grocery store in that cat patterned onesie. Make that Avengers joke, even though you are the only person you know who likes comic-book movies. Explain Shakespeare to the cat. He likes it. Just go be weird, quirky and silly.

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