To all the “awkward” people out there:
They don’t know. Those people around you have no idea. They’ve never known what it’s like to spend your entire life being uncomfortable. They will never understand. You will try to bend yourself and break yourself and mold yourself into something that makes sense to them, because to them a person like you does not make sense. You will try to fit into what they think you should be and how they think you should behave. But they will still never understand. Because even at your best level of pretense, you cannot be good enough for them. Something is still wrong with you. There is something you are still not doing “right”.
The worst part is that you will not even know. You will not know the hold they have over you, you will not know how much they affect you, you will not realize that the reason you are trying to morph into something you do not understand is because they got into your head. You see, they do it so well. It will take you years to realize that the problem is not with you but with them. You will spend your energy and time confused about who you are and frustrated about life and think you really do have a problem. Why are you different from them? Why don’t you think the way they think and act the way they act? You will struggle and toil and sweat.
But there is good news. One day you will realize that the world is a beautiful place because of one thing: variety. You will learn that everyone is different, you will learn that you are unique, you will learn that the way you are is beautiful and wonderful and the world needs you in your true form. You will learn that there are many things you can do better that those who feel like only people like them should exist, and the day you learn that will be a day of explosions of colour in your mind because you will understand that your peculiar passions have their own important place and purpose. You will one day begin to discover yourself more, you will one day learn to build your confidence in yourself and be secure in the knowledge of who you are: a unique soul made to be itself and not anyone else.
Some days it will be easy. On those days your passions might give you so much fire you begin to seem great and important and everything seems bright and amazing. On other days it be hard, because a “flaw” of yours will constantly be pointed out and it will be like a thorn repeatedly pricking your flesh in the same place ten thousand times. They will say it should be easy for you to speak in front of a crowd or to play a certain sport or to approach someone you’ve been secretly wanting to talk to, because for them, it is. The way they are makes it not a big deal. For you, it will take staggering amounts of courage and they might mock you when you panic and embarrass yourself because they can never know and will never understand what you went through just to try. Many times your personality will feel like a defect. Why are you like this? Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you like this? They will think that the way you live your life is a mistake because it is not like theirs.
Worse still will be that sometimes even not-so-good things will become something for them to be proud of. The fact that you are the kind who keeps a low profile and never gets into trouble or does anything outrageous will become a burden. Yes, there will be a point where they will think you are really unfortunate and quite stupid and will feel sorry for you for not being more of an experimenter, or for refusing to get caught up in what everyone else loves, sometimes even for having your own set of principles. It will confuse you so much you will want to lock yourself in a room and hide.
I have one thing to tell you: do not be afraid. They are strong, but you are strong too. You do not have to apologize or compromise. Be you, but also allow for growth. You will never be fully comfortable – “awkward” people were never meant to be – but you will come to a point where you can stop just living and start to thrive.