Even as I’m writing this I’m kicking myself. “Why don’t you write more?” “You used to love writing!” “You barely do anything anymore!” And while my inner-self is right and should be smothered with a pillow, she got me thinking. The times in which I loved writing most were when I was in middle school. I think I hit my teen angst young and have just been riding it ever since.
I used to write short messy poems about how I was a sad hurricane of a child, when the worst of my experiences had only been my greasy hair and baggy Aeropostale sweatshirts, but I cried over my “prince” and where he was. I consider that version of myself awkward. She was the “awkward phase” that we all come to dread as we hit puberty, but as I write this, hair reasonably matte and sweatshirts long discarded, I still feel awkward.
As I apply to colleges and dread figuring out how to pay for it, as other students consider their futures and itch to graduate, I can’t help but feel as I did long ago in the 6th grade. I’m lost and insecure, while my appearance is definitely different, my insides feel the same. That makes me wonder – do we ever truly leave the “awkward phase” or is every phase just a different stage of awkward?
In five years I’ll look back at myself and see where the wallpaper of my 17-year-old self was peeling.
I mean, think about it. Will I look back at the outfits I wore today and things I said and be completely satisfied? Probably not. When I was in the 6th grade I certainly didn’t feel as cringey about the choices I made then as I do now. I don’t think any of us do, which means that in one way or another, we’re kind of awkward forever.
Now I’m not saying we’re doomed to be awkward till death, but maybe now that we know that our most disproportionate versions of ourselves are still lingering…maybe we can embrace it? There’s almost a sense of freedom to it! I’ll never be perfect, and as put together as I can be today, in five years I’ll look back at myself and see where the wallpaper of my 17-year-old self was peeling.
We should all just let it go – we’re awkward! You might be gorgeous, smart, and talented, but guess what – in some way or another you’re still gangly and out of place like the rest of us – but what’s wrong with that?
Let’s find the beauty in never being perfectly put together. Remember that wherever we are we’re still a version of ourselves that we cringe for ever being; but by being that cringe-worthy person, you grew more. Everything’s awkward, whether its middle school angst or the insecurities that come with the future, it’s awkward.
Don’t let that fear stop you. Make choices you believe are right, wear what makes you feel good today, and say what you feel needs to be said. Embrace the weirdness of your past, let weird be a part of your present because I promise the weird will only help you into the future.
Also published on Medium.