To my sisters: on EmbarrassMEnt

There was a time when nearly every day of my life felt like I could happily curl up in a ball and die.  I was a champ at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. I was terrified of speaking to people for fear of messing up. Oh, and I haven’t mentioned my family…

My siblings are a unique bunch, but there is one thing they have in common with all younger siblings. For some unknown reason they take pleasure in telling every single one of my embarrassing stories to my friends. I had no idea what to do with this. My friends who were girls would giggle and look at me weird, and my friends who were boys thought it was funny. My sisters also thought it was funny to tease me every time I befriended a boy, as if befriending one was akin to dating one.

So what do you do with all of this? You’ve got all these new emotions that don’t work right, guys are losing the cootie factor, your family doesn’t seem to understand at all, every time you try to be cool it feels awkward, and nothing seems to add up the way it’s supposed to.

Here is what I learned. Some of you smart little cookies might figure this out within a couple of years. My skull is a bit thicker than the average girl’s so it took me 5, and I’m still slipping up.

The thing about embarrassment is that it’s all about “me.” I can’t believe what did, or what my siblings did to me. You are fine-tuned to how you feel, and the effects of your surroundings. For a little while this is natural, and it will get better over time.

However, embarrassment is not a good emotion to get stuck in. It hurts, and it’s hard to get rid of. Dwelling on that hurt doesn’t change what happened, it magnifies the pain. This can become an obsession that seems more important than anything else. You end up thinking more about what people think about you than on being friends with them.

You might not realize it, but you aren’t the only one who feels awkward. Truth is, EVERYONE goes through an awkward phase. If you have a weird conversation with someone don’t freak out. They probably are worried that they said something dumb, and they might think you are the one who seems less awkward. I wish I had spent more time being encouraging to others than I did thinking about how klutzy I am.

Another fun thing I learned, I learned from boys. (Hey, they have good advice every now and then.) Akwardness can be funny. Right now you are learning how to talk, walk, think and feel all over again. It’s hard enough as it is, so just enjoy the goofy moments! 🙂 And you can still have a lot of fun with your siblings if you aren’t annoyed with them for making a comment they probably didn’t intend to be embarrassing.

Moms are like the coolest people ever. Yea, they don’t realize they are embarrassing sometimes. (Well, sometimes they do it on purpose…but you would be amazed at the reason behind it. Just ask, it’s a lot more fun when you hear the answer.) They also are really great to talk to. If you have questions don’t be afraid to ask your Mom. (Unless they are about boys…then Dad is usually the better option…[sorry Mom! Dad made more sense…] however Mom is a good second) Your parents have way more experience than you, but they can’t automatically see what’s going on. You have to be willing to tell them that you are struggling.

You’re all mixed up right now because God is working to make you into a beautiful young woman. That takes a LOT of work as you already know. But it won’t stay hard forever. Lean on His strength. It’s ok that you can’t handle it all. When you stop worrying about “me” and spend more time with God, you will find that everything is going to change again. But this change will be for the better. After all, God gave you your parents, but He created you. No matter who you have or don’t have in your life or how many problems you’ve got, He is there.

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