Growing up, one of a kid's worst fears is being embarrassed out in public, around their friends, or in front of their crush. No one wants to be embarrassed by someone else, and no one wants to embarrass themselves. It's a fear that I don't think ever completely goes away. It's why our parents, no matter how old we get, will still try their best when we go out places together to be cheesy and embarrassing.
When you're forging your way through middle school and high school, making a fool of yourself can be a constant fear. I know that it was for me, and for some of my closest friends as well. It's normal because let's face it, teenagers can be ruthless. But the fear of possibly making a fool of yourself can cause you to miss out on a lot of opportunities. You can miss out on making new friends or trying new things because there is this overarching insecurity following you around everywhere.
I wasn't any different. I still ended up doing plenty of embarrassing things, but I didn't always mean to. It caused a lot of stress and anxiety, and I wish that I could go back in time and tell my past self this:
Being embarrassing can be a lot of fun.
The biggest difference that I've seen in myself since I've left high school and gone through college is that I am much more comfortable with being embarrassing. That comfort has its limits, obviously, but on the whole, I make a fool of myself much more often now and I'm much more okay with it now as a senior in college than I was as a senior in high school.
As I've continued on this journey of being a bit of a fool, I've learned a lot of things. First and foremost, no one really cares. I don't mean that in a negative way, I mean that when you do stupid things people aren't going to remember them for all of eternity and think terribly of you for the rest of your life. I know that sounds dramatic (because it is) but that's how we've all thought at one point or another when we're trying to figure out whether or not to do something or say something.
But I do embarrassing things all the time and no one cares. People ignore it, or they laugh, sometimes they'll make a comment on it but it's almost always a good-natured comment or joke.
I don't really think twice about dancing to my music when I'm walking places, or doing things at work. I make stupid faces at my friends from across the room or from the opposite side fo the gym without worrying about who's going to see it. If people do, and if they laugh, so what? Chances are I'm doing said embarrassing thing to make my friends laugh or to make myself laugh, so why not let other people in on the fun?
I'm loud and animated and I dance too much for someone who has no rhythm. I'm disgustingly affectionate and will yell to my friends very loudly that I adore them. When I'm mildly inconvenienced by things I let out groans of distress that rival wild animals caught in traps. I take ugly Snapchat selfies regardless of whether I'm in the privacy of my own home, or sitting in the middle of the Campus Center at school.
I don't stress about those things anymore. If people think it's weird, if people are embarrassed for me, then so be it. But I'm here for a good time, not for a long time, so I'm not going to rob myself of the chance to be embarrassing and happy at the same time. I hope that everyone gets to that point in their lives soon, because the world looks a little brighter.