Recently I went in to talk to a professor about a paper I was struggling with. Early on in the meeting, she mentioned that I repeated myself a lot in most of the essay. This must have really gotten in my head because after she said this, I couldn’t seem to come up with any responses to her comments that weren’t the words above. I’m pretty sure I said “okay” and similar words more times in the 30 minutes I met with her than I had in my whole college career. I could almost hear her thinking, “No wonder she keeps repeating things in her paper.” I don’t know what it is about talking to people one on one, but for some reason I freeze. My brain shuts down, leaving a puddle of a human being whose English skills are limited to that of a two year old who still can’t quite string words together to make decent sentences. That may be an exaggeration… but some days it really feels like an accurate description of my conversations with others. All I can do now is step it up on the paper, and hopefully redeem my failed attempt at communicating like a normal college student.
Social interactions are hard, especially when you’re convinced everyone is lying to you about their true intentions. I’m not a complete cynic, but I do have the tendency to pick apart people’s words and expressions. I’m convinced I can decipher what they really think, but if I’m being totally honest I’ve most likely been wrong on a multitude of occasions.
Regardless, this post comes from the idea that when we talk to people it’s easy to psyche ourselves out and imagine meanings in their words that aren’t necessarily there. I’ve learned it’s better to ask people to be honest with us about their thoughts, it saves us hours of pondering; after all, if you’re wondering whether a friend/colleague/significant other/family member/anyone you might ever know is being sincere, they are the ones you want to ask. Let your brain worry about other things!
Sidenote: I used the phrase “socially awkward” very loosely in the picture above, but I struggled to come up with a better term.
Everyone has a little trouble adjusting during middle school. Some of us… look like the above picture all three years. A friend of mine thought these pictures were “cute” and decided to share them on Facebook a year or so ago. I’m going to be totally honest, my immediate reaction was to reach for my phone so I could call her and tell her she was a terrible person. How dare she remind me and all our common acquaintances that I had zero fashion sense and looked like I didn’t own a brush?? Before I dialed, I looked at the picture again, and for some bizarre reason, I started to laugh. The more I looked at it, the funnier it became; and the more ridiculous I felt for wanting to confront my friend, especially because I knew her intention was not to mortify me. “Let them laugh,” I thought. There’s no pretending I never looked like this, and even if I did, so what? I challenge anyone to show me a middle school picture they are 100% happy with!
Fast forward a few years to my senior prom. Clearly, I am still not a well-adjusted human being… Pair that with a badly-timed picture, and we get this gem. By this point of my life, I had come to terms with the fact that I will never be a social butterfly, and that’s okay. But not being super social doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy yourself around those you’re comfortable with. Nothing is more fun than getting a little weird with people who embrace your unconventionality.
Though this is not a very recent picture, it sure shows off my lack of knowing what “acceptable social behavior” is. This picture was taken during my sophomore year of college, probably less than a year ago. I won’t lie and say that I am entirely comfortable with the fact that I have many awkward tendencies, but I do try to accept myself for what I am, as I think everyone should. It’s completely okay to have ridiculous pictures floating around. As embarrassing as these three pictures are, they come with reminders of exciting days, friends, and cherished times.
A quick introduction of this blog and I:
I am Ari. As you already know from the title of this blog, I am an awkward being. I’m here to share with you some not-so-fine moments because let’s face it: we are ALL awkward. At some point or another we have felt a sense of shame, embarrassment, anxiety, or that “tragame tierra” feeling around other humans because it’s all an unfortunate (yet necessary) part of life. Let’s explore the awkwardness of the human condition together, and perhaps even embrace it!