How do you become comfortable in your own skin?
I’m in my early thirties and for most of my adult life I have struggled with being an awkward black girl. Long before Issa Rae, created the web series I struggled with my identity and acceptance. Most of my awkwardness occured during my formative years. I was and still am a very quiet and observant person. I would rather be alone in my bedroom than surrounded by ten strangers. Of course, I didn’t quite understand this about myself in school. Immediately I thought something is wrong. Why don’t those people like me? Why am I so uncomfortable around others or speaking up in class. For me, it came down to embracing the awkwardness or adjusting quickly to those around me. Well, the embracing theory came way down the line. Somewhere between my marriage and my second child. For the longest time I struggled with trying to be apart of the cool crowd. On trend with current events, rocking a boyfriend on my arm, and hiding my thirst for knowledge. Can you imagine telling your friends all about the new Harry Potter series and they want to talk about Love and Hip Hop. Yeah, totally not the same thing.
I learned early on in order to be accepted by others, you have to meet them where they are in life. By doing so my circle of friends grew, boys liked me, and I became apart of the in crowd. Life was grand,that is until it wasn’t anymore. I could blame my awkwardness on high school garbage. However, that same awkwardness appeared in my adult relationships. My friends wanted to go to clubs. While I wanted to discuss goals, books, and etc. Back then I didn’t know how to speak up for myself. I went with the flow of things and regretted the outcome later.
Want to know the funny thing about life? It’s a mirror. Sooner than later, you will have to face that mirror and accept what you have been running from in life. During the bridge phase of my early adult years, I was alone. My friends were in college or working. I was somewhere in the middle of figuring things out. Within that time I learned to become comfortable in my awkwardness.
I learned a lot about myself in solitude. I learned to embrace my true authentic and weird self. It may sound strange. But, I needed to give myself permission to be me. Being me meant being ok with not going out and staying home. Having mentally stimulating conversations with other people. Not being ashamed to talk about reading. I was awkward and that was ok with me. I learned to love my awkwardness and channel that into a positive direction.
Once I learned not to shrink myself and hide behind a facade I began to make genuine connections with people. People whom wanted to learn more about me, my interest, and goals.
Being a brown girl, sometimes we are boxed into society perceptions of who we are and supposed to be. Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I have to know every rap song or exaggerate my sexuality.
I give myself and you permission to be present in the moment. If you are uncomfortable with a subject, speak up. Don’t adjust to the room, make the room adjust to you. This world is big enough for all of us to live, love and grow. Embrace your awkward and live your life on your terms. I am.
Do you have a awkward story? Tell me about it.
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M. C. Walker is an Atlanta based author and full time freelance writer. She is currently working on her next book Love Beneath The Moon, follow her http://www.themcwalker.com
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