On June 8th one of my favorite pieces I had ever written for Metiza was published, “Embracing the Everlasting Awkward and Loving Yourself Anyway.” I remember how last November I’d pondered the idea of the awkward phase while in New York City with my family. I remember stewing in that idea for months before I finally could cultivate something that mattered to me. I wrote that piece when I was scared of graduation, and now that I’ve graduated I can honestly say- things still feel awkward.
From said article to now a lot has happened: I graduated, got promoted at my job, bought a car on my own, started college, had my first roller derby game as an “adult,” and started casually dating someone. Sounds great right? Well you’re right! But that’s because I’m the one writing this and it’s not like you’ll know if I skip the part where an old love left without saying goodbye, a majority of my friends moved away and the management I’d been so familiar with at work up and changed on me for the 2nd time.
Nothing is perfect, I like to call this moment of my life the “uncomfortable stages of growing” as opposed to an awkward one, which is based off the cringe worthy image of myself I will remember 5 years from now.
The uncomfortable stages of growing is based off of what I see now versus what I will look back at, it’s sitting in my biology lecture and feeling the pang of sadness because “he” is dating someone new and never truly respected my feelings. The uncomfortable stages of growing is realizing high school didn’t teach you how to take notes and your teacher has been talking about mitosis for the last hour and your notes make no sense while the girl next to you is doing diagrams in pen.
In a more general sense, the uncomfortable stages of growing is the transitioning, it’s every moment you feel like you’re not advancing or like what you’re doing is too out of grasp. It’s the plateau.
For me, the past few weeks at roller derby have been a struggle, there are days I push and push and still manage to fall all over myself. This set back kept me from jumping in to play in fear I’d just cause more damage. I’d leave practice feeling “off” but before I knew it, practice got easier, I was receiving compliments and I felt good and recognized my development because as one of my fave new coaches Stache explains to our team before a new drill, “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing;” and she’s right.
When have you ever been comfortable and growing?
In childhood our limbs ached and before we knew it the pediatrician was writing down our new height. The process of shedding our skin was never meant to be easy.
While I too am in this uncomfortable stage, I’m here to say that you’re exactly where you need to be in this moment, even if where you are doesn’t feel right. It might not feel right today or tomorrow or the day after but just remember, these uncomfortable stages are simply transitional stages. Just as you transitioned into this uncomfortable stage, you will transition out.