I am real; I always have been. I am awkward too, although I bet most people who know me wouldn’t tell you that about me. I’m far too controlled to show it. I, probably not unlike you, have lived from my ego self for my entire life. And that ego self is very concerned with how I look and seem to others.
I over drank for years to feel comfortable around people. I didn’t know I was doing it at the time. I just knew that I was fun and had a lot more things to talk about when I was drunk. I could also be my loving, generous self when drunk. I could tell people how I felt easily. The only way I could talk and feel comfortable in a crowd was if I was a few glasses deep. I am still not super comfortable in large groups of people; it’s just not my thing, but slowly I’m embracing the way it feels as part of life, as part of who I am as a person.
My true self, as opposed to my ego self, is kind, loving, calm and interested in all sorts of topics (especially related to social behavior, psychology, the arts, spirituality and the human condition). She’s also shy, awkward, scared and has some phobias she doesn’t like to talk about. She’s lived through trauma — who hasn’t? — and it’s scarred her and controlled her behavior as a safety mechanism. It’s also stopped her from taking risks along the way, not all risks but some.
But in the past year, I’ve recognized these things in my self and have been working at dismantling the repetitive behavior and patterns that don’t serve me. I like real people. I like awkward people. Hell, I even like real awkward people. I like when people wear their hearts on their sleeves. I like when people take risks, show themselves fully. I am working on being one of those people.