The one thing about living near a big city is that the odds of you running into someone you know when you’re out is surprisingly slim. It’s a weird because despite the fact that I know a lot of people in the area, because the population is so big and everything is so spread out, it’s very rare to actually spot someone you know. To be honest, when you DO run into someone it’s always in the weirdest place and not in the grocery store or somewhere you frequent often and you want to be like, are you stalking me?
Of course what always inevitably happens is that you’ll run into someone when you’re not expecting them and you’ll look your worst. Most of the time we’ll just be out grabbing something quick, no makeup, not doing your hair, wearing grubby clothes and then BOOM you’ll turn the aisle and there’s someone you actually know. Because the moment you prepare for something and make yourself look even halfway presentable, you’ll never see anyone that you actually want to see. It’s like an automatic signal.
The worst though, is when you run into someone and you recognize them. But they don’t see to recognize you. Do you proceed to still go up to them and say hi and potentially make everything weird as they scramble to place who you are? Do you just pretend to not know them yourself? Do you wait to see if they will remember? Do you just turn the corner and run far away from the situation? It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. “Oh fancy running into you here!”
I guess it all depends on what YOU want to do. If the other person doesn’t want to talk to you, then it can be short and everyone will be on their way. And then sometimes it’s good to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in forever. Granted this all depends that you’re not running into each other in some place you’d rather not anyone recognize you at.
I’ve been seeing the word “basic” used a lot lately to describe females and I didn’t know what it meant. Kids these day with their slang. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure exactly what it is even after reading this Buzzfeed list but I have concluded that I am not one of these girls. People seem to be making fun of them but if that’s what you like, that’s what you like.
Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to fit in. I always felt like I stood out and not in a good way. I didn’t want to be called out for looking or acting different from everyone else. Most of this had to do with the fact that I was one of the very few Asian kids in my school. While I wasn’t ashamed of being Asian, I also wanted to blend in with everyone else. School is rough and kids will tease you for anything that makes you stand out. And believe me I got a lot of teasing.
Growing up, it was always a struggle to be my own person and fit in at the same time. Which is of course what (almost) everyone else is doing. Some just do it better than others. There are some people who have the gift and ability to do whatever they want to do and no one will question them or tease them. In fact, they become the trend setters and everyone wants to do what they do.
As I’ve become an adult, the struggle is still there though I’ve discovered lately that it’s perfectly fine not to be like everyone else. It’s good to stand out when everyone else around you appears to be the same. Sometimes though it can also feel like a bad thing because you feel like because you stand out, it makes others feel uncomfortable because they don’t like different.
Then I got through times in life where I’m living one of these situations:
There are some days when I feel like I’m the last one to realize something and I wonder what’s wrong with me that everyone else knew this before I did.
There are other days when I’m the first one to get to something and I wonder what’s wrong with me or it because t no one else has done this yet.
I can’t figure this out. I feel really weird about it. I’m pretty positive that other people experience it as well but they just don’t let on.
Here’s the thing. I know that I’m not so incredibly unique that only these things happen to me and no one else. I am NOT a special snowflake. I can’t possibly be the only person among all the billions of people who live on this planet plus all the billions of people who lived before me that go through these things. Maybe people don’t talk about it and just learned how to deal with it on their own.
It’s not that I need approval from others. It’s just I personally hate the feeling of not knowing how to handle a situation when everyone else around me either does or is pretending that they do. To quote Beth from Little Women: “But I don’t like being left behind.”
The crazy thing in all this is that I know however that I am not the same as everyone else and that’s a good thing too!
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:4-6a)
Ultimately, I’m happy with the way I am and have become. I greatly enjoy my interests and my quirkiness and humor. I know that there are people who do appreciate it and others who don’t get me at all. That’s ok. Just like I’m not going to get along with everyone else, I don’t expect universal approval. I still want to fit in but I don’t want to be like everyone else.
Most of you have figured this out YEARS ago but as we all know I’m a late bloomer. Sometimes I just need to talk myself through these situations to figure it all out. That’s just something that’s uniquely part of being me. And I do like being me.
There are some people who always look good when taking a picture. I am not one of them.
Some people have the gift of looking good no matter what the situation is.
This guy here? Ok, most people do NOT look like this while they are running. I ran in a 5k obstacle course yesterday. Trust me, the majority of people running didn’t look like this.
There are some people who it doesn’t matter what angle you take the picture from, they will always look good in the picture. I love looking at candid shots because when everyone is posed, it can sometimes look really fake. Wedding candid photos are the best because everyone is always happy and you know they are having a good time.
But I hate being IN a candid shot because I know I will look horrible no matter what the situation is or what I’m doing. I cannot take a good random shot. While being invisible, having super strength, or the ability to read minds are awfully tempting superpowers, the ability of looking good in every shot is a very enviable gift to have.
And this doesn’t just happen when you’re older. Certain babies have this gift as well. There are some babies that just don’t take good photos and even their own parents know this. Meanwhile there are other babies who get all the modeling jobs because they look so gosh darn cute even when they are screaming their heads off.
For some reason, I always come off looking extremely awkward when it comes to pictures. Even when I look at myself in the mirror and think I look actually pretty decent, for some reason put a camera on me and I feel like I don’t look anything like how I feel my reflection looks like.
I always dreaded when yearbooks came out because I never knew what kind of awful looking random shot of me was going to be included. When I get a notification that I’ve been tagged in a picture on Facebook, I always approach it with trepidation because I’m fearful that someone has tagged me and I look horrible. For the record, DON’T tag someone when you know it’s a bad picture of them. Believe me, they will not feel left out if you tagged everyone else in the pic but them. Also, if it’s just ONE person in the picture and you KNOW it’s a bad picture of them, don’t post it. COMMON SENSE.
I have some friends who know their photogenic side and will do their best to make sure every pic of them is taken from that certain angle. Of course once they pointed this out, you can’t help but notice their “bad side”.
Of course in this age of photo shopping selfies and finding the perfect filter on Instagram, most folks take dozens of shots before posting the perfect pic online. Because let’s face it. The real reason why we post pictures, any picture, is to get approval from others. Sure, there are some unicorns out there who truly don’t care if no one sees their pictures or they don’t get any likes at all. They get joy in just taking the photo. But they are also the ones that don’t strive for the perfect picture.
Two of the faults that people call me out on all the time is the fact that I overthink and that I can be too quiet sometimes. They tell me that I should talk more and not worry about how I come across to others.
But want to know why I’m so paranoid about the things I say?
I wish I was one of those people who say clever things all the time. Every word that comes out of their mouth is either witty or full of humor. They are the eloquent speakers who never need to write or practice beforehand because everything that comes out of their mouth is golden. You know who these people are and you know who you are. It’s a gift.
Instead I am someone who says awkward and stupid things if I don’t think carefully before I speak. I don’t know why it happens. I mean believe me, I really hate all the word vomit that just pours out. I say things that make no sense. I say things that could make people uncomfortable. I say unnecessary information. I sometimes hurt people.
One of my best friends was having a mild allergic reaction from taking a sip of my strawberry margarita. While in my head I was genuinely concerned and wanted to help, because I was scared for him what came out of my mouth instead was some stupid remark about I hope he doesn’t choke to death. His response was appropriate in which he yelled at me for making him panic more and to which I felt like a horrible person and went to the bathroom and cried.
Someone can ask me a very vague question and then for reasons unbeknownst to me, I end up blabbing things I had no intention of bringing up earlier and I can totally see that the person doesn’t care and is only nodding out of politeness.
When I’m emotional, my filter seems to come down and I will say things that shouldn’t be said because they are mean and hurtful. Maybe it is true, but I should have either not said it at all or just used some tact. I hate it when I hurt someone because of how I was personally feeling at the moment.
When moments like these happen, I call them SOAP moments. SOAP moments refer to a time back when I was 18 and working a summer job. There was a guy working with me that I was trying to impress and one day we were all sitting around talking. And I was thinking too hard to try to say something clever. And then for whatever reason, the first thing to blurt out of my mouth was about how in Fight Club, they make soap using fat from liposuction clinics.
Why on earth, I thought this was a brilliant thing to say, I don’t know. I just remember the conversation coming to a halt and the guy looking at me like I had suddenly grown two heads. And it felt all kinds of awkward and horrible. Since then, any moment when I say something stupid is referred to a SOAP moment.
This is akin to my Dale Jr. incident about telling him he was better looking in person than on TV. I SAY STUPID THINGS WHEN I DON’T THINK.
I know some folks can brush it off immediately and don’t care. But for me, I hate it when I do. I hate the awkwardness I feel creeping on me. I hate the looks I get when people are tired of me yammering away and I can’t seem to stop. I hate feeling judged for saying the wrong things. I hate when I hurt people accidentally by saying something hurtful unintentionally.
The worst is when my intentions are trying to honestly be helpful or sympathetic and instead I make myself come across as uncaring or spiteful to someone who I care very much about. It’s funny when someone does this to me, I feel like it’s my fault. When I do this to someone else, it still feels like it’s my fault. CAN. NOT. WIN.
And because I would like to avoid all these situations, this is why I overthink and stay relatively quiet. Better to not say anything than speak without thinking and sound stupid or hurt everyone. So now you know!
I found out this weekend that one of the other bridesmaids didn’t have their ears pierced either. This was basically my reaction:
I wasn’t alone!
Yes it’s a personal choice to not have my ears pierced and I’ve never really wanted to get it done (though I did get my eyebrow pierced back in college which eventually got closed up later on but that’s another story). But it was one of those moments where I didn’t feel like the odd man out anymore.
I walked up to a friend during the reception because he was standing in the corner alone. I was slightly worried that he wanted to be alone and I was intruding. This then became the conversation:
We’re both extroverts so we recharge being around other people. When we’re in our comfort zone with people we know and are close with, we are good to go. We act crazy, are very social, and we’re not afraid to be awkward. But put us in a situation where we only know a few people and it’s a larger crowd, and we shrink. We can’t really go up to people we’ve only met a few times because once you’ve exhausted the same conversation over and over again there’s only so much you can talk about without prompting from the other person. It’s hard to go up to someone you know very well when they are in a conversation with other people because you feel like you’re intruding. Everyone has their own little groups and there’s only so much standing outside of the group nodding that you can do before it gets weird. It’s easier when you are at a table and it’s more confined because you can focus better with the smaller group.
‘I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.’ – Fitzwilliam Darcy
Instead what you typically end up doing is going off by yourself, most likely with some beverage in your hand, to keep yourself busy while you scope out the crowd and recharge while you make your anxiety calm down a little. You’d like it if someone comes up and strikes up conversation even if it’s someone you don’t know, but when it’s one of your close friends it’s even better when they understand how you felt. So yes, he was thankful that I had come up to him to talk. .
After hearing him say basically everything that always runs through my mind in large social events, my reaction was this
It really makes you feel better when you find out you’re not the only one who feels certain way. When everyone else around you seems like they have it all together and you wonder if something’s wrong with you or if it’s just all in your head, finding someone else who has those same fears and anxieties makes you know you’re not alone and it’s going to be ok. There will always be people who can’t understand you but when you find someone who does, it’s always a win.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”- CS Lewis
And those would be the noises you hear when I’m in a situation where I feel uncomfortable and thus awkward.
Everyone has their awkward moments. I however seem to have an awkward life.
I have mentioned this before but I am a shy extrovert. I get my energy from being around others. I don’t need to say anything to you but just being around people energizes me. Sometimes it feels like I have a superpower of draining other people’s energy so that I can go be alone for a day and I’m perfectly fine til I need to recharge again.
However just because I’m an extrovert doesn’t mean that I’m outgoing. Far from it. Put me in a new situation with people I don’t know, especially people who already know each other, and I want to die. I feel out of my element and utterly uncomfortable. It doesn’t help when no one includes me in the conversation or comes up to me first. I do that awkward thing of trying to join in a conversation and can’t seem to jump in. I never seem able to find the right moment to come into a conversation. Either my voice never gets heard or when I finally do say something there’s an awkward silence.
I seem to know a lot of outgoing introverts. They recharge by being alone and are quite happy with that, but when they are out in public, you would never know this because they are good at being around others. They hide it so well that when they tell you they are actually introverts, you’re like no you’re not. LIES.
When I’m around people who I’m comfortable with, I have no problems. Even when I’m awkward with them, I know they’re not going to judge me so I feel completely fine being who I am in front of them. In fact I have been told many times after an entertaining awkward moment “Deborah, don’t change. Never change who you are”.
My friends have noticed that when I’m around someone I would like to get to know better and it’s a group setting, I clam up instantly and start acting very not like myself. It’s because I get nervous and anxious. They can tell that something is wrong because it’s a different type of awkward. It’s the awkward where I am overly conscious of trying to make a good impression that I tend to shut down in fear of looking like a fool. And if you know me very well, you can probably tell that I’m visibly not at ease. Because I’m worried about looking too overly interested, I may over think myself into panic status and act completely indifferent towards you. Even though that’s NOT how I am at all. So if you are trying to see what kind of person I am, and we’re surrounded by people who I’m not necessarily comfortable around, you’re not going to see the type of person I really am.
I like getting to know people better one on one vs in a group setting. At least in the beginning anyways. Once we get past the initial getting to know each other stage, then things are so much better. You may not care how you come across to me, but I know for me, while I want to be myself, I also want to make a good impression to you. So in a group setting, when I’m having to fight that inside of me PLUS having to battle with everyone else and their personalities and actions, it’s very overwhelming. When I’m in a more one on one setting, I can relax. I’m more confident and can be comfortable when I’m not in a group. I can surprise you. Of course I realize that for some people, group settings are safer and more comfortable for them. To each his own.
Being awkward is a part of life. You can’t avoid it. You just have to accept it and live with it. And you never know, your confidence in not caring that you are awkward is the very thing that someone finds absolutely attractive about you.
It is interesting how our society makes it that if you were do something by yourself, you are seen as sad and to be pitied. For example, going out to eat alone. I never used to go out and eat alone. I always thought that if you were eating alone, you must have no friends. “Oh look at the sad person eating alone because no one else wanted to be with them.” Should you ask them over to your table? They seem sad.
That’s totally not the case. I mean when you think about it, if you want to go out and get food and honestly cannot get anyone to go eat with you and you are ashamed of eating outside alone, what are you supposed to do? I suppose now with all the restaurants doing takeout options you can still get the food and then eat at home alone. But sometimes you can’t do that. Plus what happens when you go out on a business trip? Stay in your hotel room alone and get room service?
So yes. If I’m hungry and I want to go out and I don’t think I can get anyone to join me on short notice, I’ll go out and eat alone. I just bring a book and walk in and just tell them “just for one” and boom done. It’s a bit weird because sometimes I’ll get seated in a large booth and once I got seated at a six person table. I’ve been a hostess before and I know how the rounds go at seating customers but come on? You’re not doing anyone a favor here by wasting one person on a 6 seater. It also just makes things REALLY obvious that you’re sitting alone.
But yeah once I’m at my table, I just order my food and bring out my book or journal and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the wait staff can be more attentive than usual and depending on my mood we’ll have a nice chats and the service can be awesome (and you’ll get tipped more FYI). Other times they leave me alone in peace and I just enjoy my book and a meal. I haven’t ever felt rushed or felt like I was given worse service because it was just me.
Now one should probably not visit a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day for dinner and ask for a table for just one. That might seem a little sad. Unless you have extreme high confidence and just don’t give a ____. Then more kudos to you. But for the normal folk, that might be one of the few times I’d probably avoid it. It’s also a lot easier to eat out alone during lunch time vs dinner at sit down restaurants.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE going out to eat with my friends and other people. I do enjoy socializing. There’s nothing greater than being able to talk with others over a meal. I mean I had a great 3 hour lunch with friends after church yesterday that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m just saying, sometimes you gotta eat. And sometimes you’re just going to have to eat by yourself.
Just for kicks, if you haven’t done it yet, make it a challenge to go out to a sit down restaurant for lunch one day by yourself this year. See what it’s like and let me know.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis
I am fairly confident that I would say about 98% of people who are reading this post have been in love at some point in their life. You may not have told the person the actual words of “I love you” but it’s probably a safe guess that you have held feeling of that nature towards someone else. And it’s probably a pretty good guess that a good majority of those folks have also been in love with someone who doesn’t love them back.
Now either you actually told them how you felt and then were disappointed when they said they couldn’t return the feelings or you loved the person from afar and watched as they gave those feelings away to someone else. Either way, unless you have an unbreakable heart or cannot feel things, you have experienced pain and heartache. When you feel deeply for someone and they can’t return those feelings, it hurts like crap. And because you’ve essentially offered up yourself only to be rejected, what usually follows are feelings of wondering what is wrong with you and what does someone else have that you don’t.
The emo song of all girls everywhere who love a guy that doesn’t love her back.
Because we feel better knowing that we’re not alone in feeling this way, I’ve chosen three examples from TV shows and movies that I believe describes the feelings that come with having a love that is unrequited.
WARNING! THERE BE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT! YOU WERE WARNED!!!!!
The first clip is from the 1994 version of Little Women, starring Winona Ryder as Jo and Christian Bale as Laurie. Jo and Laurie have been best friends for several years. Jo wants to go out, make her mark in the world, and live out her life, before even considering to think about settling down and getting married.Laurie, meanwhile, has decided he knows what he wants now. Every time I watch this scene, I’m like “Who on earth would say no to Christian Bale????” Laurie’s pain is very evident here as shown here by the words he says to her refusal. Unfortunately I believe what he does later on in the story and who he ends up with is purely a rebound from this scene. Start at the :52 mark.
The next scene is from the series 3 finale of Doctor Who, where Martha leaves the Tenth Doctor as his companion. Even though the two became extremely close friends, Martha had the unfortunate opportunity of being the companion following Rose Tyler who had been very close to the Doctor. Martha is a very smart and independent woman, herself a medical student, but she falls in love with the Doctor who doesn’t love her back. Some people aren’t a fan of Martha for this reason (they must be Rose fans). Throughout most of her season, you can see Martha struggling with her feelings, hoping that he’ll change his mind but he doesn’t. There is one episode where he does fall in love with someone, but it isn’t her and it pains her tremendously. The following clip is when Martha finally realizes what she has to do in order to help herself. Start at the 1:40 mark.
The final clip is from How I Met Your Mother. The majority of the entire series deals with Ted and Robin’s relationship. Ted and Robin are best friends. Ted has been in love with Robin from the beginning of this story and it is because of their relationship that triggers the search for the mother. From the very first episode, Ted has had strong feelings from Robin that have pretty much never wavered. Robin, on the other hand, has been pretty unsure about her feelings for Ted. She cares for him, but not as much as he does. Ted has lost several relationships because of his continued feelings for Robin and it is something that he keeps struggling with because she is one of his best friends. However, this scene marks a strong turning point for Ted in terms of their relationship. (The original clip got removed so I’ve replaced it. For the most part it’s the same thing)
The biggest thing to remember when your love isn’t returned that is you can’t let the hurt take over you. Yes, perhaps you do have some flaws but so does everyone. However just because the other person can’t return how you feel doesn’t mean you are a failure. Do not put the other person on a pedestal and think that their love is more worthy than yours They aren’t perfect and they are just as flawed as you are. You are not any less worthy a person just because one person doesn’t love you back. Having their love will not validate you as a person and they will not fix you. Only you can do that.
However, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re in the worst pain that you’ve ever felt in your life. Being rejected no matter how nice the other person was about it still sucks. You’ve basically offered what you thought was the best of you only to get turned down. And yes, there is the temptation to become bitter and angsty (and sometimes pyscho) and wish that one day this would happen to the other person so they can in turn understand all the hurt that you’re going through now. I caution against that. Accept the hurt. Mourn the loss. Let the pain happen. It sucks. It’s painful. Don’t try to play it off as it’s nothing and shove those feelings under a rug and ignore them.
BUT don’t let it take over you. It’s not always going to feel like that. You’re going to be ok. Things will get better. Or I’ll let Iris (Kate Winslet) from The Holiday explain it:
You may be in that deep, dark hole right now. You may feel like your heart has been ripped apart. You can cry and yell and curse at the world. But soon you will want to look up. And you will see the light trying to reach into that pit. And you will crawl out of there. And you will have hope. And you will be whole again.
“I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.” (Lamentations 3:55-58)
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.” (Psalm 25:16-18)
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)
Random people dancing up a storm (Photo credit: phandcp)
Confession: I don’t dance. Period. Well not in public at least.
Bigger Confession: I don’t really dance at weddings. Doesn’t happen. I didn’t really dance that much at prom either.
I just feel like I look incredibly awkward when I dance. I don’t know what to do with my hands, my arms, my legs, or my feet. I’m awkward and extremely clumsy. There was one time I did get out on the dance floor at a wedding last year and then what happened? I slammed into a friend and spilled Coke all over his suit. I went to a club once and it was just awful. I didn’t know what to do with myself and it doesn’t help when you have to bring a purse inside and there’s no good place to put it down.
Sure, you can give me the argument that everyone looks awkward on the dance floor. Ok, we all know that is a lie. Some people are born naturally with rhythm and move well. Others just like getting out on the dance floor and letting out energy and being social no matter what they look like because it’s fun for them.
Then there’s folks like me who really are ok with just being there and not being on the dance floor. I honestly don’t feel left out when I’m sitting on the side watching you guys get your groove on. I don’t feel self conscious or awkward or clumsy when I’m watching from a table. I feel way more uncomfortable trying to dance and then I don’t enjoy it at all.
I think part of the reason is with my personality, I hate it when everyone already knows how do something and I have to catch up. Remember back in PE class when they taught us all the line dances during rainy days when we had to stay inside? Somehow EVERYONE already knew how to do the electric slide and I was the only one who didn’t and both my classmates and the teacher made me feel like an idiot for not being able to learn it like *SNAP*. So since then, I’ve just never really had any motivation to get up in front of other people and dance. Also I think what happens is that people will beg me to come on the dance floor, I finally cave in and do it, and then said people disappear, leaving me to feel, WHY AM I OUT THERE AGAIN??
One more excuse is the music. There are songs that I DO like and CAN move around to and IF those songs are played, there is a higher chance of me being able to be convinced to get out on the dance floor. Unfortunately the majority of these songs are not really played at weddings and/or the couple has a HIGHLY different music taste than I do. Oh and for the record, if you try to get me to do a line dance (Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, etc), you will fail. And it will be miserable on everyone’s end.
However since I will be a bridesmaid at a wedding where I am best friends with both the bride and groom, I have been threatened that I must dance or I will be demoted. Therefore, all the above probably will have to be amended if I want to be a good friend and bridesmaid. I can change my ways.