Have you ever looked into someone eyes for the entirety of a conversation? Have you ever stood too close to someone? It feels different and makes the moment memorable, even if it wasn’t the most comfortable one. It’s my firm belief that these tiny sparks of excitement add up to make life more exciting. The awkward is where I find joy.
I do not come from some bizarre family, nor do I believe myself to have an extra-special mind. However, I have an unnatural affinity for word-play. My path to awkward began with puns, worked my way up to allusions and lately I reference anything I can find a relation to in a conversation. Some of my favorite times are those when the other person doesn’t understand the joke at first. After letting it sit for a second, or explaining it because I’m aware they won’t understand, the rewarding response comes. Even if they don’t find it funny, I do. That brief void in-between, where the tension is thick as the person searches them self for meaning, is undoubtedly awkward. Will they remember it? Indeed, they will.
Back in high school, I was leadership at several youth retreats. I was pretty famous among the kids at these not because I was very kind or really cared what they had to say, but because in the smaller community my out-of-the-norm behavior and attitude brightened people’s day and opened their eyes to behold the wonderful land of social awkwardness. I noticed, that the larger the audience, the less effective a tactic it was. This lead me to believe that the reason more people didn’t embrace the awkward joys in life is because there weren’t enough to demonstrate it.
While each day is unlike the day before it, life is repetitive. This repetition becomes very dull, sometimes very quickly. Those moments or thick tension, the gaps in the norm, the out of place events remove you from the doldrums, if only for a jiffy. The breaks from normality are those you remember, that’s what stories are made of. I make a personal effort to bring such little joys to peoples’ lives, not only because I enjoy it, but because I believe that they do too. Uncommon diction, lame jokes, or speaking song lyrics are not beyond my realm, nor should they be beyond anybody’s.
It’s ironic that in a conformity-driven society, such as ours, where people feel the need to follow the crowd, that bits that don’t go with the flow are the best remembered. I bring a piece of me to the lives of others to make their lives a tad more vibrant. That’s what I’m about. Few know what to call it, only how if makes them feel: awkward.
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