I read other’s emotions the way some people read signs on a highway, I can’t always understand them, but I see them (and feel them) nonetheless. So what does this have to do with being awkward? I care entirely too much what others think of me. But while this makes some people superficial, it just makes me super-awkward. I haven’t stopped being me at any point in my life, if anything my blunt responses to the negative emotions of other’s have only made me more unique.
I used to switch schools alot when I was younger, and no matter where I went, I always struggled to connect with my classmates. In eighth grade, I made my first friends at a new school by making my awkwardness work for me. The kids in public school found my neon pink shoes appalling, so I made friends by asking them for whiteout. How? I told them it was the only thing that could cover up my obnoxiously bright shoes.
I have and, likely always will, value my connections with others, above my own pride. Sometimes this is a good thing, other times not so much. But over the years I have learned to use natural awkwardness to my benefit. I know I’m different. I know my fashions are rarely in trend, and my smile is a bit too big, but I keep smiling and styling to my heart’s delight anyway.
Relationships of all kinds are difficult, but I believe long-lasting friendships can be incredibly hard to maintain at a young age. I just graduated from college and my brother pointed out to me that many of the friends I made there will slip away over time. I didn’t want to agree with this, but in reality I know it’s inevitable. There are so many reasons why even close friendships fizzle out, but change, one of the most obvious reasons is often overlooked or underappreciated for the role it plays. My family expects change from me because it is all I have done since the day I was born. I have grown up before their eyes, and they have tried to influence me toward making the right decisions in life. Though I may not have turned out the way they anticipated, I still have many things to learn and a lifelong journey of transformations to go through. Very few people have friends who they have known from birth. Instead we meet the majority of our friends as we go through different shared life experiences together, like starting a new job or moving into college dorms. Friends meet at varying times in life and therefore different stages of their own identity. I think the main problem with failed friendships or relationships of any kind, is the basis for which that relationship was formed. It seems to me that too many friendships are made based upon surface level identity, when really we should be getting to know these “close” friends on a deeper level. Since people are bound to change over time, maybe we should be looking at the core of our friends rather than who they are in one moment of their life. The core of a person, being the things that have made them who they are in the present moment as well as who they were in the past. I’m not saying we should give all our friends the third degree, but before we label a person our best friend we should love them for the reasons they change.