Making it Worse

July 4, 2017

You are one of two kinds of people.

Perhaps you are the kind of person who, when arriving alone at a fancy party, where an ice sculpture stands boldly beneath a white tent, carved and shaped and perfect, you stand tall and proud, confident and focused, despite being the youngest one present. You belong there. You assert yourself, wait for people to come to you. The field you are standing in provides a view of the whole landscape. To your left is the path of stone steps leading to a luxurious firepit surrounded by cushioned leather seats and caterers serving I-can’t-pronounce-that appetizers, and to your right a tent fills with people, seas of black ties and pastel gowns sitting at clothed tables facing a small stage, the ice sculpture positioned so not to block the view. The garden behind you is preceded by a glorious gate, and you only see the tops of trees, blurred together as one, united royalty. The way you stand makes you appear just the same.

Or, perhaps, you are the kind of person who, arriving at this scene uncomfortable and alone, feels as if you stay in the same place for too long, you will appear as if you are observing this merriment as an outsider, an intruder, standing out not like the ice sculpture but like mere water - melted ice, and all over the place. You feel you will be looked upon with Simon Cowell eyes - blackened and judging. You will not make it to Hollywood.

Speaking to this second kind of person: you are ridiculously more prone to embarrassment if you think in such a way. Let me prove it. I – as you might have guessed based on the suspicious detail in the first few paragraphs – am a shining example of the second kind of person. And my experience as such has been pretty stressful. What do I do now? Do I just stand here? No, it would be ridiculous just to stand here, doing nothing. But all of these people are way older than me. Who do I talk to? What do I do?

You are being ridiculous. No one is embarrassed of you but you. But thinking yourself the elephant of this room, you try to do something – anything – to avoid this uncomfortable feeling that is, well, discomfort. So back to when I said I could prove it to you. When I was standing there, in the middle of this elegant party filled with adults and sculptures and all the like, I went to go hide in the bathroom (the very fancy bathroom, I might add). Just until the event officially started. Sad? Yes. Necessary? It seemed so. In short, I ended up walking in on some old lady who acknowledged my disturbance with a classic and frankly stereotypical, “Oh dear!”

So, the only way you are going to embarrass yourself is if you have this mindset that you will. Snap out of it. Seriously. If you adopt the personality of the first kind of person, maybe you can do anything. Maybe you can make Simon Cowell come to you for judgement. Maybe you can avoid walking in on people in the bathroom. Maybe you will lose all of your incredible stories. Your horrifying, humiliating, hilarious stories.

You know what? Nevermind. Be the second kind of person. Be the all-over-the-place water rather than the admittedly magnificent ice.

It’s just more fun that way.

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