I was an awkward kid. 

I preferred playing sports with the boys in my jeans and T-shirts instead of talking on the swings in a cute dress. I didn’t like dealing with long, tangle-prone hair, so short hair it was. That combination got me kicked off the all-girl skate at our first-grade roller skating party. I wasn’t cute or skinny. I was a bit on the solid side. 

What I now recognize as a difficulty in impulse control, was then just a great proclivity for talking in class. It didn’t matter who you put me next to, I was chatting. A relevant thought would enter my brain and exit right back out my mouth, for better or worse.

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As I grew, I maintained my big bone structure and didn’t have a lot of guidance when it came to fashion and style. I didn’t have the money to shop at the good stores. I went through high school without plucking or waxing my eyebrows. I did well in school and was a captain on our varsity volleyball team, but I was still convinced I would never find my place.

I didn’t fit in easily. I was different. 

If everyone else was vanilla, I was pistachio.  

I thought I’d never find someone who would love and appreciate me the way I was. I longed for a group of close friends who looked forward to seeing me.

I want to sit with that girl and let her know it will be OK. You’ll find your place. You’ll find the people who appreciate you. You will have friends, those who support you and laugh with you.

These friends won’t be overwhelmed by your energy and chattiness. You’ll change and grow and mature. 

I want to share with her the joys that await her. She will meet the man of her dreams, and he will love her, not in spite of who she is, but precisely because of who she is. She will raise a family full of love. She will travel and explore. She will not be limited by who she thought she was. She will live a life full beyond any she could ever imagine. 

I would tell that girl not to spend one minute sitting with worry, regret, or doubt. The difficult, awkward times are not permanent.

I would tell her to go live without fear, to live boldly. I would tell her to have faith in her dreams, to have faith in herself, to have faith in the journey. 

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To all the awkward ones, your value is in your single, unique, strangeness. Go out and find your place. You won’t be for everyone, and that’s OK. 

You are not vanilla, simple and easy to consume. You are pistachio. You are different, a bit nutty, and beloved by your devoted fans.

Jill Robinson

Jill Robinson is a wife, mother of two, athlete, speech-language pathologist, and lover of all animals. She loves the outdoors and singing off-key in the car. Writing brings her peace. You can follow Jill at https://firstdraftdotblog.wordpress.com on Instagram @firstdraftdotblog and Twitter at @jarchicago13