I am and always have been socially awkward. I have learned to walk on my hands because I spend so much time with not one but both feet in my mouth. I love being able to help people or to focus on others but if I could have one super power it would be to be Invisible. Then I wouldn’t say or do or look stupid. It’s okay. I have come to accept that is just who I am. We all have our challenges in life and I just happen to be my own biggests challenge. I still have learned to love myself and just accept who I am. I have a good heart and I mean well…I’m just … Socially awkward (and many other faults that I have learned to accept).
I don’t spend much social time with people at all. It is not that I don’t like people, I love people. I just don’t like how I feel around people so I spend a lot of time loving my friends from a distance. I don’t even like to talk on the phone because I have to think of something to say that doesn’t tip them off to what an idiot I am. It takes a lot of effort haha. I just really don’t have much to say and prefer not to feel the anxiety of worrying about saying something wrong or not knowing what to say. I am sure to people who love to be social this sounds like a lonely life. It really is not. I have many loving people in my life. Much of my contact is on line or at work or service events but they are loved the same as if I saw them everyday, and I am not anxious.
The reason I bring up my social awkwardness is because I spent a week being social last week. I was with young women and leaders for five days. My daughter and I went to serve however we could. Both of us were anxious about going. Unfortunately my daughter, like many women, is also self conscious and gets nervous about social situations. We both prayed we would make it through the week being with 100-150 other people camping for that long.
I have attended the young women’s camp 7 times now. This was my daughter’s first. I go because I know it is an amazing time. I love the young women and they accept and love me. They don’t mind me being goofy…I can look like I’m awkward on purpose…instead of just being socially awkward. I actually have trouble around other adults. I never know what to say or do so I avoid talking and then I seem rude. I am so grateful to the women who I camped with this week. Not once did I feel stupid or overly awkward or less than them. Not once did I feel judged or like I didn’t belong. My daughter came home with the same deep feeling of acceptance, compassion and unconditional love.
I feel blessed to know the leaders and young women that we had the pleasure of camping with. It was worth pushing myself to be there, to meet, see and reconnect with some amazing people and to build memories and friendships that will be long lasting. I was able to share fun and great experiences with my daughter and some other incredible people. We ziplined and hiked to a Serenity Garden and did a midnight faith walk from the parking lot to the tent one night…hoping not to see a bear. My daughter went kayaking with some funny, wonderful women who made her feel at ease right away. It was an incredible experience.
The reason I bring it up is I know I reach some who suffer from eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other trials…A dinner invitation can send even a recovered Anorexic into a panic attack…but life has once again proved to me that it is worth it. Life is filled with moments to be grateful for and laughs to be had if you give it a chance. Every moment of anxiety or fear of not being good enough was worth it and my life is better because I did. I promise if you give life a chance and just get yourself there…it will provide the love, laughter and joy.