The Old Lady that Lives in my Brain

The other day, I went to a party.  Okay, you got me, a small gathering of like ten people.  And there were a few new people there, much to my displeasure, (I mean pleasure) and the host took it upon himself to introduce everyone.  He rattled off names and token fixtures of each guest’s personality.  Some were dubbed sweet or funny, and I, I was dubbed awkward.

If you think about it, it works pretty well.  I am awkward Anna.  The woman, the myth, the legend.  The one who should really get out more.  You can find me in my apartment, on the quiet floor of the library, or staring at my laptop in the corner of a coffee shop.

It’s not like this is news: I’m a self-proclaimed awkward nerd.  But it made me think about what it actually means to be awkward.

I used to be pretty shy.  I think my awkwardness was at its height in eighth grade through my sophomore year of high school.  I was in a huge school district, and I had no idea how to properly conduct myself in a vast sea of judgmental youth.  I was lost in the crowd.

Then a few things changed.  The people in my class matured a little.  They stopped thinking each and every sex joke was necessary and comic gold.  There was less yelling in class, and, in some cases, a little, tiny bit less concern about conforming to high school social standards.  Not a lot.  But a little, tiny bit.  And slowly, I started talking to more people.  And making a few more friends.  In my mind, I’m much less awkward now than ever before.

The average person might think a little differently.  I illustrated this masterpiece to show you.

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But I get it.  I use too much dark humor.  I don’t really have the hang of using my inside voice, and I have a tendency to announce whatever the hell it is I’m thinking.  My filter is an old lady that never wears her hearing aids and is legally blind.  On top of that, she’s way past giving a shit, so she just kind of tosses whatever I’m pondering out the chute to my mouth.  Also, I’m pretty sure she mostly just takes naps and leaves me to my own devices.  So yeah, I guess you can say I’ve had some weird moments.

Recently, I read an article on the BBC about the art of charm.  It was all about smiling, finding common interests with anyone, and, weirdly enough, raising your eyebrows more.

There wasn’t a section for lurking in an obscure corner in lecture hall with your latte, to my disdain.  Still, I wonder, if I could change, would I choose to be less awkward?  Because as humiliating as I can be, I like to think that I’m still genuine, that I’m still kind, and that I’m still worthwhile.  And through the almost two decades that my life has spanned, I’ve learned to stop fretting over the dumb things I do and say.  To me, it’s just a day in the life.  And when I interact with the people in a genuine way, they usually reciprocate.

Cheers to all my lovely, awkward people.  Stay quirky or whatever.

Are you socially awkward?  Did you personify your filter like a total weirdo?  Let me know in the comments below.