My awkward phase far surpassed the normal amount of years for such tragedy. I’m talking about started in fifth grade, and lasted until after high school graduation kind of long. Heck, some may argue I’m still in it… (If that’s you, then just drop dead.)
Not only was it long lasting, but I also received just about every package puberty wanted to throw out there.
Yeah, my parents thought that me sucking my thumb until I was nine was cute and harmless. We’re not just talking one tooth slightly crooked. We’re talking three years, a surgery to pull a tooth out of the roof of my mouth, and something called an “expander” that made eating a chore, and had to be turned with an actual key every night. The list goes on… It took a pretty penny out of my parent’s wallet.
I straight up had a face of brail. Helen Keller might have had a solid novella to read on my forehead alone. I became a regular at the dermatologist, who declared me hopeless and put me on a medicine called “Accutane” which is so intense that the “don’t get pregnant on this drug” warning on the box literally shows a cone headed baby.
I seemed to have a condition where I was addicted to food, and allergic to working out. Ever heard of it? I Played soccer, but even the ridiculous amount of running had no chance in the battle against my intense desire for carbs.
Embarrassing pictures and conversations:
Let’s just be glad that all past texts and videos died when my green envy phone got ran over by a truck.
The list goes on. I was a mother-nature mess.
I’m not going to be some life loving hero and tell you that those long years were the best years of my life, because they were terrible. If I was told that it would never go up from there, then I would have probably pulled a “Walden” and ran off to the wildness spending countless hours tracking the path of ants. (If you don’t get that reference it’s okay. The book was awful.) I hated to look in a mirror, my whole life was controlled by my own person internal demon who people liked to call “emotion,” and I deserved an award for the swift swings my moods could attack the innocents around me with.
And to top it all of… I chose pretty friends. I was the ugly friend in about 98% of my middle school friendships. That never works.
But I promise there is a point to my soap box.
These years were essential. I needed to be awkward in order to give two cares about the greater purpose God had for my life. My passion isn’t in my looks, because for a long period of time, my looks weren’t a huge strength for me. It was in this time that I discovered my real passions, my real talents, my real everything.
It was in this time that I discovered myself. I discovered a little bit of who I was, but more than that I discovered who I wasn’t, and who I’m happy never being. I discovered sensitivity toward people because people had hurt me. I discovered rejection, because in middle school your looks determine the way newly adolescent minds view you. (Or because the other kids were intimidated because they didn’t have a key to turn the metal thing in their mouth. It’s debatable.)
I grew so much by being awkward. I began to learn what NOT to do or say in conversation, and what books TO read to make me happy when I don’t even want to exhaust myself in conversation. I learned that I like dogs better than humans, and they seem to like me too. I learned that talking louder when a cute boy is near you does NOT make him like you, and I learned that not talking to him at all, made me like myself a little more. I learned that good friends are the ones who love you through your awkward phase, and I learned that the ones who got to avoid the awkward phase had to either learn the lessons in a harder time of life, or even worse, didn’t learn them at all and still float through life entitled by nothing more than their flawless complexion and constant attention from lusty men.
I learned that I’m so much more than a pretty face, because I had to be. I had to find myself outside of looks, and I had to value that self that I found. I had to find talents. I had to find emotions (that were not completely hormonal.) I had to find me in a person that I couldn’t possibly come to like by looking in a mirror alone.
And that’s the me I still hold onto today. Deep down I’ll always be Awkward Alycia. Deep down I’ll always reply to “happy birthday” with “you too.” Deep down I’ll always wonder the stories my pimpled forehead once told. Deep down I’ll always weep for the rejection that hurt me, but also jump up in joy for the experiences that made me. Deep down. I’ll always love this girl, this chapter, this phase that I hated…so much.
And so I leave you with this, some beautiful friends of mine, inside and out, who also grew into incredible ladies through this disaster they call “the awkward phase.” (They approve this use of their worst photos for the good of a blog post.)