I am socially inept.
I am uncomfortable in social settings because I just know that I will say or do something stupid. I obsessively analyze recent social encounters to check for said stupid things. And if I did do something stupid, I will anguish over it for the next ten years. True story.
It seems that the place I feel most comfortable is here, writing. It’s a social situation under my control. I can check and double-check what I say. I can even make sure my grammar and punctuation is correct. A decent bonus, I think.
You know what’s funny? I highly doubt it was because I was homeschooled. Because that lasted a year and a half. Then my mom went on bed rest and we ran off and played all day and she sent us back to public school. I didn’t know how good I had it.
Doubtless it’s connected to being a military brat. Moving from place to place ever so often. Having to start over with new friends, classes, cliques, and houses. But we were fairly stable for a military family, not moving every single year. In fact, we stayed a respectable five years in one location. As a child, I cut ties fairly quickly; I looked ahead to starting over. I hoped it would turn out better than the last time.
Maybe it’s because I’m weird. Social awkwardness is comorbid with weirdness right? I enjoyed school. I was good at it. I even liked my teachers. Growing up with brothers I was an odd mix of princess and tomboy (ask me sometime about the imagination game where I was a guerrilla undercover princess). I loved climbing trees and playing outside. I also loved twirly skirts and curling up with a book. But as I grew older I retreated more into books. They were safe and undemanding.
But I think I’m just a socially awkward person. And weird. Definitely still weird. And perhaps I didn’t push myself to grow out of it. The socially awkward part. I love being weird.
And I’m okay with it. Mostly. But I just wanted to let you all know. Because sometime in the future I will do something stupid. I will say something completely random or seem really insensitive. I will forget things like phoning you when I promise. I will read your email and only ever answer you in my head. I will do something to help but it may not be what you need. And it will seem like I don’t care enough to try to be a good friend and not embarrass you in public.
But I do try, every time, to do better. And I am doing less stupid things every time. And when I do do something I will probably realize it 10 minutes later and obsess over it for weeks or years. But I’m learning to let that go too.
In the immortal words of Stan Lee, I strive to ‘Excelsior!’ That’s Latin for doing better. 🙂
Thanks for loving me anyways.
P.S. After I wrote this, I read this wonderful article that made me feel immensely better:
Maybe I’m not the crazy one?
Yah, right. Who am I kidding…