During the blizzard of 1996, my mom went into labor and I was born. Dr. Meisel delivered me, held me up to the sky like I was Simba in the “Lion King” and said, “Welcome to the world, Stephanie.”
Although it sounds like a cute story, it’s awkward when you find out that only few moments prior to my birth, my parents informed the doctor that my name would be Samantha.
Since this unfortunate mishap at my birth, it seems I have been destined for a life full of awkward mishaps, embarrassing moments and cringe-worthy interactions.
Most of my sentences end with “Wait, what?” or “Just kidding.” After an embarrassing conversation or a miscommunication, these phrases seem to fall out of my mouth.
My awkwardness has posed as a landmark for each year and milestone in my life. It’s how I remember the good times and how I get through the bad times.
Take this memory from the third grade as an example. I went to school in the perfect outfit for cowgirl day. Unfortunately, it was not cowgirl day, and I was the only one in school dressed in head-to-toe Western wear. This happened for three consecutive Mondays for some reason. And no, I did not arrive at school dressed as a cowgirl on actual cowgirl day.
Later on in life, I rocked out on the stage of the annual President’s Day festival to Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” in front of 1,500 people.
In high school, I introduced myself to a cute guy and tried to start a conversation. I said, “You have a firm grisp.” The unfortunate word choice was an unconscious combination of the words grip and grasp.
My awkwardness has made me who I am, and I am proud of my quirky and awkward self. Without it, I wouldn’t know how to get through the hard times or how to make someone smile.
My sister called me the other day laughing so hard she was crying. She said she was thinking about the time I laughed while eating coleslaw. This memory made her giggle in the middle of class when she remembered it is the reason I no longer eat coleslaw.
When my first pet, Tweety the bird, died, I was devastated. My parents thought Tweety’s passing would be a great way to teach me about heaven. My parents tied balloons to Tweety’s feet with a card I made for her send off. As we released Tweety to the sky, a big gust of wind came by and blew her into the neighbors yard. I will always miss you, Tweety, but the trauma and metaphor still remain.
I used to be embarrassed by my clumsy self and uncomfortable circumstances, but now I have learned to accept who I am. I chose to embrace my awkwardness because it is who I am. I wouldn’t want it any other way. My awkward ways definitely make me more creative in how I approach life and how I view the world. It helps me to look at the positive side of life. Life is more fun when you loosen up.
From sitting in the wrong lecture for four hours to holding a stranger’s hand in public because I thought he was my dad, my life has been shaped through my awkward interactions. See, without them, I would not remember all these great and sometimes random events that have happened.
Embrace your awkwardness, your quirks and your weirdness. These things make us unique. Our quirks add flavor to what would otherwise be dull interactions.
And in the words of Avril Lavigne, “He was a skater boy. She said see you later boy.”
Samantha Silverman, ’18, is a design editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]