I've always known that I was an awkward person. When I was in junior high, I once lamented to my mom that I wasn't cool or popular. Sternly, she said me down and said, "Nicole, your father isn't cool. I'm not cool. Chances are, you won't be cool either. Challenge yourself to be something else instead." True story, and words to live by.
But this post isn't about heartwarming memories with mom. It's about the fact that the older I get, the more awkward I realize I really am. I find myself constantly saying "shouldn't I know this by now?" or "really, this still happens when you are 27?"
The big issue I have with myself these days is eye contact. I've realized that I'm really not very good at maintaining eye contact with others. I'm noticing it the most at work. I'm not sure if it is because I am in a new building where I don't know people well yet and I'm still jockeying to figure out my niche, or if it's because I spend most of my time teaching my awkward posse in a fairly secluded basement room, but I've realized that I often don't make or keep eye contact with my colleagues. Today, for example, I met with the Assistant Principal and a Special Ed teacher, both of whom I have spent time with socially and feel fairly comfortable with, to translate a conference call to a Spanish-speaking parent. I spent the whole conversation swiveling between forcing myself to look at the two lovely ladies, and swiveling to thoughtfully address my Spanish comments to the phone. Awk-ward.
In hallways, or meetings also, I feel like I'm really bad about looking at the people talking to me. I'm not sure if it is that I feel uncomfortable because I don't know them well, or if I feel like my glasses (which I've been sporting recently) are a shield or what, but I'm turning into a bit of a spaz.
Why is it that we find it so awkward to look people in the eyes? Are eyes really the mirror to the soul? Am I shyer than I previously thought? How do you force yourself to look at the people who are talking to you? I call my kids out on it constantly, but I can't seem to do it myself. I don't want to be the weird shifty-eyed girl at work. HELP.