That is all. Oh and my long-ass fringe necklace.
Completes my its-not-hipster-if-you-say-it-is look.
+ I think the h-word is on the course of “swag” in outstaying its welcome.
As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been socially uncomfortable for most of my life. I am convinced there is a “social awareness” gene that allows everyone else to mesh seamlessly but that mine is missing or mutated to be inactive. It really does baffle me how people just become friends…what do they talk about? how do they just start hanging out? what about other people attracts other people? I’ve tried being bubbly, I’ve tried being relaxed, I’ve tried not trying, but to little avail.
However, I eventually reflect on less-than-desirable social interactions with a huge sigh of gratitude (and confusion) for the friends I do have. It’s a tiny jacuzzi of people I can say I am 90-100% myself around and almost never run out of things to talk about–my “help me bury this body” crew if you will. I just *clicked* with each of them somehow and we’ve been gelling ever since.
The words of one such friend always serve as a much-needed blanket and pillow for me whenever I start bullying myself about my ineptitude.
“You’ll make the friends you’re meant to be friends with.” That nugget was part of a longer response to a nervous breakdown I shared with her when I was floored by how incapable of cool I could be. It was the first couple weeks of grad school when every encounter was a first impression (read: nerve-wracking).
Folks, a friend (read:diamond) like that is worth a thousand awkward silences.
Have you ever felt yourself getting older?
Not just having your birthday come up, but really feel it…as if it came out of nowhere? Of course, it isn’t out of nowhere–by nature it’s something that literally builds up day by day. Well lately I have been feeling it, and the best way I can describe that feeling is that I notice myself becoming less malleable (referring to social aptitude, although my physical flexibility has also gone to shit and hangovers now exist).
I have been a self-proclaimed awkward turtle since about the sixth grade, but I was able to at least comfort myself that I was just an awkward caterpillar that would eventually blossom into–I don’t have to spell it out. Every misstep or faux pax was a lesson for next time when I would surely improve and grow out of this uneasy stage.
I don’t think I can say that anymore. With disturbing frequency, I realize how truly empty my mind is during social interactions– particularly (and most embarrassingly) in one-on-one situations. The other week, my friend comes into town and there were a number of awkward gaps in conversation because I didn’t have a single thing to talk about, no matter how hard I’d try to conjure something, anything, up. It was so bad she called me out on it and I had to admit that my head was completely void of any conversation. There were a million other crazy random thoughts whirring around, but not a lick of normal talk. What do people talk about?
Forget conversation, my actual speech has also been degrading. The wiring from my brain to mouth is starting to give out so that I stumble on my words now, to the point I get scared I’ll develop my dad’s stutter.
Anyway, lessons I tried to remember “for next time” evaporate like water on the sun while I continue to exude an awkwardness as palpable as B.O. I feel like I’m the reason for the awkward gaps and I don’t have the remedy to fill them in.
There’s not really a happier ending to this post except the shrivel of hope I hold onto that my metaphorical metamorphosis will still take its course; that it’s not too late; that I still have enough heat in my metal to shape me into the kind of person I want to be.