We all have movements in our lives when we look back and think ‘What the hell was I thinking?’, you know the kind of thoughts that make you cringe so hard your toes curl?
I’m no exemption to this, I am guilty of looking back on what I thought was cool and questioning my choices. Worse still is when I have moments that turn me into a bumbling idiot now and wish that the ground would open up and swallow me whole. There’s no other way of describing that stomach churning feeling that causes you to grimace through the awkward moments’ of your life. For me there have been a LOT of awkward moments & phases, some which I had completely forgotten about, some which I had tried to hide and never to speak of again and others make me shake my head in disbelief that I was ever that person. I know that I’m not alone in this, or at least I hope I am not.
On sorting through photos and memories in my box, I have been reminded of many (more than I would like) moments like insisting on wearing black and luminous pink lycra cycling shorts paired with patent buckled shoes aged 8 and wearing fairy wings for college aged 17. Being the kind of person that likes to share I thought you might like to cringe along with me.
1) In high school, I was a child of somewhat quirky behaviour and socially awkwardness. I wasn’t stupid, far from it but what I made up for in intelligence, I lacked what some would call street smarts and general common sense. I’m telling you this because I like to think I have since moved on and evolved into a sensible adult. I was one of those teens that saw ‘being random’ and ran with it. I was that teen that purchased those god awful slogan shirts, ‘I poke badgers with spoons’ and ‘one by one penguins slowly steal my sanity’ and I wore them with pride along with a Tigger rucksack….aged 16.
2) Again in high school I used to write the names of my unrequited loves on all of my books and folders. Again with the lack of smarts I thought I could disguise it by using initials only, yep that would fool everyone, they wouldn’t have a clue. I was wrong. I was an idiot
3) Year 9, I was developing my identity as a teenage girl and that teenage girl liked to wear head scarves.
4) My awkward stage bloomed in my late teens, my date with a crush had come to an end, the date itself was pleasant but nothing out of the ordinary and not really memorable with the exception of the ending. As we came to say goodbye, I stood around awkwardly, in the hopes of a goodbye kiss. I stood staring for a little too long it seems and I was greeted with the sincere phrase “Are you ok?” I nodded, waved goodbye and scurried off like my life depended on it. On the way home the realisation hit that we were not actually dating, this was not a date, I had stared at him googly eyed for the entire night in what I thought was a blossoming romance. We never saw each other again
5) On my way into work one afternoon I stopped by my local Waterstones as I usually did when I had time to kill. Today was different though, I had an hour to kill and today there was a book signing, not that I knew that of course. The crowds had started to settle now and I caught my first glimpse, a well known chef. I don’t know what prompted my reaction and I pray it never happens again. I stared, now that on it’s own isn’t too bad, people stare and it’s usual for celebrities to have people watch them but whilst staring I had subconsciously started to wander forwards, towards the chef. Separated by the rope barrier now I continued just watching as the last of the fans started to leave the queue, I should point out I wasn’t in the queue, I stood on the opposite side of the barrier. The queue became empty and I was still there, he smiled at me and asked if I was there for the signing, ‘nope’ I replied star struck and now grinning from ear to ear, the problem was I didn’t make an attempt to move but its not every day you see your favourite chef in person. He tapped his pen on the table as he tried to not make eye contact with me, finally I was asked by a member of his staff to leave. Then it hit me, for 45minutes I had just been standing there, no wonder I was asked to leave. I was late for work that day #I’msorryGordonRamsay
6) I’ll leave you with one more act, having ended my first adult relationship only a few months prior to the event I was the kind of girl that would try to avoid socially awkward situations. The last thing I wanted was to bump into him since we hadn’t split on good terms. Tootling down Market Street by my local shopping centre I spotted a familiar face. Wanting to avoid contact I quickly changed my path to the opposite side. He hadn’t spotted me but had also started his course in my direction, it was too late to backtrack on myself so I continued in hope that he wouldn’t notice me. He did, we made eye contact, he was about to gesture to me and I fled like a wild woman, sprinting, yes sprinting like I was in the 100m to the nearest shop. Whittards was the store I ended up in, now for those of you that don’t know Whittards are a tea shop, they sell tea and tea making accessories. I don’t drink tea, and the cause of my then anguish knew that, he stayed outside of the shop for 10 whole minutes waiting for friends to meet up whilst I browsed the store inside not having a clue what I was doing. Finally when the coast was clear I was able to leave with my new purchase…a tea strainer.
I’ve been on cringe worthy dates, said and worn things that that make me roll my eyes at my younger self, I’ve done stupid things and the majority of them I wish had never happened but at least I can look back now and provide myself with a few chuckles.
It’s funny how many of these cringe worthy moments stem from high school, it must be a right of passage into adulthood