Sunday Confessions: Awkward Moments
If you stumble make it part of your dance.
My mother has said that to me my whole life.
I think she knew she had an awkward child from the get go. Not necessarily in the loud and gauche sense but more in the emotional clumsy way.
Although, I have had my share of self-inflicted awkward moments.
I have deflected well meaning compliments of co-workers by backing out of a room and calling them a jerk.
I have been caught singing Matchmaker off-key, in my imitation Loius Armstrong voice at the shelter I volunteer at by people I did not know, and did not know were there only to keep going and staring them down while I kept cleaning the playroom. Never saying a word or truly acknowledging them.
They backed out of the room.
I have accidentally given incorrect directions to the sweetest tourists when I worked third shift at a gas station who were in a time crunch. I sent them the exact opposite way they wanted to go only to realize it after they pulled out of the parking lot. Don't worry they came back an hour later, refusing to look at me, and asked a regular in the store for proper directions. They made sure to wave bye to me only with their middle fingers.
I'm waltzing at this point.
But the awkward I'm most familiar with is the uncomfortable silences caused by rude words or archaic ways of thinking.
I tend to stumble word after word into emotional blunders wanting to help. Wanting to listen. I am drawn to them.
I have asked people who say, "I'm not racist but..." why they think prefacing their stereotypes and judgments with those four words absolves their narrow-mindedness.
I have told my friend to leave her verbally abusive prick of a boyfriend when everyone else said "you can work it out if you try harder" when she asked for my honest opinion.
Screw that noise. Get out of there. No one has the right to treat you like crap to build themselves up. I don't care about their past. Either work on it or get out of a relationship until you're ready for one.
Amongst the protests of my mom, I left our table and approached a sobbing lady at Chilis. She barely got out she was just told over the phone her dad had died and she never made up with him. And her mother ended the call with "Are you happy now?" We hugged and she cried and I'm pretty sure everyone was staring at us and our awkward scene.
In every one of those situations, I was met with eyes of wonder and confusion.
People wondering why I dared say what was on my mind or ask questions.
Maybe because I know deep down we've never been stumbling and dancing alone.
We have been on the same dance floor our whole lives with everyone else. We just tend to stay focused on our own moves and forget others may need someone to ask them to dance too.
To help steady them when they trip.
To laugh along when they bust out the macarena during a slow song.
To offer them a hand up when they fall on their ass.
It's all about keeping the beat.
Sometimes you have to give in to the uncomfortable. Ask questions. Dare to start a conversation that matters with people.
There is power in being beautifully blunt and honestly awkward.
Awkward is beautiful.
It is refreshing.
It is honest.
It is gracelessness coupled with foot-in- mouth responses and actions dressed fittingly with no filter.
It is not planned or premeditated.
It is pure reaction.
We spend too much time wondering how we should respond or what we should do that we schedule and plan the majority of our lives away.
I'm not saying that's a bad thing because let's face it, life can be hectic and crazy and if we want any semblance of normalcy or a schedule to get shit done, we got to make that happen.
But sometimes we need to let ourselves be carried away by foolishness and stupid remarks and just go with it.
See where our brain is going to take us and how badly we can muck something up.
It is a good way to judge our ability to respond to certain situations.
We can find out if we have the ability to dance with the best of them or stand back by the bleachers.
I will tell you right now, you will find me in the middle of the dance floor doing the chicken dance.
I have no time to worry about how dumb I may look or how awkward I seem.
I only have time to dance.