Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you wished the ground would rise up, open up and swallow you whole?
It could be the result of a joke going flat in front of a group you’re trying to impress, a dress flipped up while dancing and the dancer forgetting she hadn’t wore underwear (true – I saw it), a slip, trip and fall in front of a date, a terrible bad hair day, not wanting to exercise in front of people because someone might laugh at you, or just catching the horrific and viral “F3 Virus” – feeling Fat, Funky, and Fugly.
The definition for awkward according to Dictionary.Com is 1) lacking grace or ease of movement (yep- that is so me); 2) lacking skill; 3) not well planned for easy use.
It’s been a year since my ex-husband moved out and during this past year life has been, well, awkward. It was anything but graceful, skillful or easy. Sometimes, life is just tumbling events of awkward and as such requires great care and caution. My catch phrase during the whole separation and divorce was “Wow! That was awkward!”
Things can get really awkward when one or both are dating other people. Chances are good you’ll run into each other while with the date. Or, if you’re me, you’ll get a text from your ex-husband at a stop light. You look over and there’s your ex in the truck next to you. Introductions were made quickly through rolled down windows, “hey ex-husband, this is match.com man, match.com man this is ex-husband”. Both men kind of waved at each other, the light turned green and off we went. Match.com man and I just looked at each other and I laughingly said – wow, that was awkward.
Awkward situations can also arise when you meet your match.com man’s ex-wife and her family. Of course, she’s good looking – blond hair, on the petite side and younger than me. Not that I’m comparing myself to her at all since I’m tall, very curvaceous and dark – nope – not comparing at all. Like my own marriage, they were married a long time and the marriage just stopped working no matter how hard they tried. It appeared there were a few things still unresolved on the edge of their relationship. As with most divorces, it seemed decisions to grant forgiveness to and from all parties hadn’t quite been made yet.
But, because they’re loving parents, a conscious decision was made to join together to celebrate their daughter’s college graduation. They worked together to make the day all about the daughter and honor her day to shine.
An underlying and understandable awkwardness was apparent. The stress was there not because they are bad or malicious people, it was there because the post-divorce relationship was healing at its own pace.
Forgiveness and letting go of resentment and bitterness happens at a different tempo for all people. For any hurt, real or imagined, people forgive when they are ready to forgive. Whether you’re married, divorced, or in any relationship, it takes courage to move on.
A wise woman once said to me “It’s better to be happy than right”. To make a choice to let go of “I’m right and you’re not” and then to forgive takes grace and courage. The decision to be happy rather than right is a tough one. There’s a great deal of comfort in believing the other is in the wrong even when sometimes it's true. I know, I was comfortable for quite a while during my separation standing in my “rightness and he is wrongness”. Letting go of that thought pattern and choosing to be happy is difficult and sometimes has to be done over and over. It’s not a one-time deal. The choice is made when the time is right for everyone as it will for match.com man and his ex-wife. It will happen in its own good time.
So, how awkward was the day for me? Well, it was definitely memorable. The ex-wife and her family were incredibly kind to me and inclusive throughout the day. At the graduation dinner, I did pretty well too. I only dropped broccoli in my lap once; I only lost my fork once; and I only spilled water all over the table and the beautifully formed butter once. So, overall a good day! Match.com man once again just shook his head and told his father he keeps me around for comedic value.
Love it, own it, and stand tall!
My Living Awkward Wishes for You
You realize how heavy the trash of bitterness can be. It can weigh and drag you down in every aspect of life. You recognize resentment drives a wedge between relationships and is difficult to recover from. You take a step out of the fighter’s corner and let go of “I’m right and you’re not!” You see and acknowledge the anger you’ve been holding tightly in your fist and grant forgiveness when you’re ready. You own who you are – klutziness, F3 Virus and all.
And, finally, laugh at yourself. I laugh at myself all the time, especially when I am feeling awkward!
With infinite love and gratitude to you all,
PS… Thanks to match.com man for an always entertaining time; Also, thanks to Jaime Dibean Mullen, who taught me that in some situations I really need to stop, be quiet (for once) and listen to what someone is trying to tell me. It can lead to great laughter.