I’m an awkward person. There are a lot of pieces of me, but this is usually the first thing people notice. I am awkward. When I took my puppy to the dog park for the first time he laid down on his stomach and crawled around because he was so shy around the other dogs. My friend asked what he was doing. I said, “he’s just awkward” and she laughed. “Just like you!” And, she wasn’t wrong. I think his weird crawling thing is a great metaphor for how I am. I don’t lay on my stomach when I meet people, thank god, but I am weird in my own way.
High school sucked because I was uncomfortable with how quiet and shy I am. I had a few good friends but in some of my classes I just prayed there wouldn’t be any group presentations. Middle school was confusing and I don’t remember it all that well; but I was probably awkward then too. I remember I lost all my friends when one of them made up a rumor about me. Then I made one good friend and tried not to get noticed. And before that, in elementary school, I just remember having a few friends. I don’t remember how I got them. But, honestly, I think I was born awkward.
Now, I keep only a few close friends and I think this is one of the reasons. When I’m comfortable with someone I tend to be “normal” because I trust them. If I am forced to get along with people I don’t know very well, I am just annoying. And the frustrating thing is, I know I’m being annoying but I can’t help it. Faking confidence when you’re really nervous is hard.
Sometimes I wonder if I just never learned the normal way to interact with strangers and acquaintances. Or, I am just cursed with over-thinking every situation. No matter the reason, I am an awkward person. And I’m okay with it. In fact, I kind of love who I am. Before I saw a counselor, I was self-conscious about my weirdness. I had a lot of anxiety and I was uncomfortable in my skin. But somewhere along the way (through growing up, seeing a counselor, etc.) I have found my confidence. It wasn’t easy; I guess it was hidden well. But, now that I have, my anxiety rarely shows up anymore.
The thing about confidence, though: once you get it you have to work hard to keep it. Some days are easier than others. When I pick out an outfit that I feel good in or my hair falls the right way, it’s easy to feel confident. Other days, it’s difficult. There are some days I just wake up hating myself. It doesn’t make sense, but it is what it is.
I guess my point is, don’t give up. No matter how impossible it feels, love yourself. Even when you hate yourself, look in the mirror. Imagine you love who you see. Even if you don’t. When you look at yourself or think about your actions, pretend you are your own best friend. Would you call your best friend fat, ugly, annoying, and so on? No, you would tell them they are beautiful in every way. You would find their flaws endearing. So, even when it’s impossible: love who you are. You only have one body, so cherish it. Take care of yourself and be confident.
“I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.” (Unknown).
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