Dear awkwardness,

Hey there, old friend. It’s 27-year-old me, and we’ve been having a grand run. In fact, it’s been quite a bit longer and grander than I desired, but thanks for the … stories? Uncomfortable silences? Unfathomable responses? Yeah. Sure. Thanks for that.

You know, Awkwardness, when I was young gal, I used to have high hopes you would one day vacate my ENTIRE personality. But my, aren’t you an annoyingly persistent one? You clung on through middle school, high school, college and now even adulthood. And so I’m giving up the dreams of, “Maybe SOMEDAY, I’ll be less like a person who talks faster than a llama about to be shot (it’s an awkward story; just ask my best friend).” Three years shy of 30, I am accepting the truth. Hopes of being graceful are now officially dashed, Awkwardness.

Instead, I will choose to embrace the fact that I’ll frequently become mute in the presence of any attractive man, blush like it’s going out of style and fix my gaze on the floor like I’m memorizing its design (I really like this carpet/vinyl/tile! I swear! It’s not because you’re so attractive I can’t remember how to formulate words!). Or if not mute, then I will be uncomfortably enthusiastic. Or if not that, I’ll throw out some strange pistol-like hand gestures (yet ANOTHER awkward story) that clearly show I have no idea how to relate to you.

And Awkwardness, I’ll also find your overwhelming presence in other environments. I’ll trip frequently, fumble over my words, break every glass I own by accidentally kicking it off my ottoman, bruise myself by running into the sides of furniture because I have no depth perception, spit out words before I’ve filtered ANY of them, and try to defuse every unfortunate situation I create with a resoundingly loud, “Well, THAT was awkward.”

Insert sigh.

OK. So I’ll never have a dancer’s grace or any “regular” person’s social presence and wisdom. At a party, I’ll likely spend most of my time becoming friends with a plant after sticking my foot in my mouth. In the workplace, I’ll end up saying or doing something ridiculous that will end in my face turning a shade of red that puts a rose to shame. With men, I’ll be an absolute mess that resembles a middle school girl. But OK. I’ve accepted it.

For you, dear Awkwardness, are merely a part of me. And I can only cling to the hope that the moments that seem so UNBEARABLY AWKWARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE due to me, myself and I are not quite as terrible as they seem. And that people take pity on my poor self. Or find my lack of charm endearing.

Or maybe I’ll just become great friends with that plant in the corner.

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