"Awkward Butterfly" by Madelyn Moore

December 16, 2017

Being awkward and having dealt with it all your life can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, there’s plenty of good to come from it. You just have to know how to use it to your advantage.

So, you left middle school long ago and hoped your awkward phase would stay behind as well, but alas, you’re still stuck in what feels like a never-ending cycle of awkwardness. You can’t seem to go anywhere without embarrassing yourself at least once by stumbling over your words or accidentally knocking something over with your flailing limbs. When it’s finally time for that highly anticipated date night, all those conversation topics you Googled beforehand suddenly vanish from your memory, and your brain turns into a pile of mush. But I’m here to tell you that all of those things are totally okay. Your awkwardness demands to be felt and embraced. It’s an asset, believe it or not. You just have to know how to use it. So, what’s the worst case scenario? Seriously. Ask yourself. For most of us awkward folks, our brains tend to go straight for the worst case scenario. Maybe because we’re also very anxious, or maybe because we’ve had so much experience messing things up in the past that we can’t help but come up with ways things could go wrong again. So, let’s say you’re going to a party. It’s a decent sized party and lots of people you know are there. But there are also a lot of people you don't know. You happen to strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never met, but then, you feel the conversation creeping to an end, and your mind goes blank. So, you end up just standing there, staring at the other person in hopes that one of you will say something, anything soon. But it doesn't happen. The other person ends up walking away without another word. The “what if” mode in your brain is immediately activated. You start wondering what they think of you, if they think you’re weird, or if they just feel bad for you. Your mind is consumed by all of these negative thoughts and you’re beating yourself up and maybe even contemplating going home. But for what? So what if they think you’re weird? Everyone is. What if they never want to speak to you again? They’re not worth your time anyway. And worrying about what others think isn't worth your time either. So, if someone thinking poorly of you for not being able to continue a conversation is your worst case scenario, I’d say it’s not that bad, and it’s definitely worth going to and possibly enjoying the party. I mean, it doesn't end in death, so you’re good! Now, what’s the best case scenario? So, you're still at this party. Your friend introduces you to someone you’ve never met. The two of you start talking and it turns out that you have a lot in common! They’re completely unbothered by your awkwardness (which you’re probably making out to be a lot worse than it actually is) and they even find it kind of endearing. Maybe they're a little awkward too. You both end up talking for the rest of the night and trade phone numbers before leaving. Boom, you’ve made a new friend just like that. It’s amazing how talking to someone you actually have things in common with can change everything. So, if making a lifelong friend and feeling content in your awkwardness, even for a little bit, is your best case scenario, then definitely go to that party. It’s worth it. Don’t ever feel like you can’t do things you might enjoy because you’re afraid of being awkward, and afraid of what people might think of you. You’ll regret not doing those things later on in life. So, live the life you want to live, you beautiful, awkward butterfly. It’s all happening.

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