- 14 years old
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- 37 years old
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Marketing Coordinator
This photo was taken in Junior High, at the peak of my childhood awkward years. I was skinny, shy and didn’t know how to talk to anyone who wasn’t interested in comicbooks, video games or Dungeons & Dragons. I was the kid from all the clichés: ate lunch at his locker reading comics, always got picked last for gym class teams, never got invited to any parties, and certainly never dated.
In high school, I discovered theatre, which changed my life. I started acting in plays and came out of my shell. I became more extroverted, started talking to new people, joined student council, got more involved in school activities, and even started dating.
I also started going to the gym. I was too uncoordinated for sports, but lifting weights filled me out just enough that I started feeling better about how I looked, which also helped my confidence.
I’m now 37 with a successful career and happily married to an amazing woman. And here’s the thing: I still read comicbooks, I still play video games, and I’m still terrible at sports. What I learned from my awkward “ugly duckling” phase is that you don’t need to completely let go of your former awkward self, because chances are that person was actually a really decent human being. They just didn’t have the confidence to believe it.
I’m still the same awkward geek at heart. All I did was just start trying new things, and stopped apologizing for all the “uncool” things I already loved. Because once you realize your “awkward” self doesn’t actually suck, life suddenly gets easier. And if the packaging also happens to improve, even better.
The Awkward Years Project reminded me of that lesson. There are so many inspiring stories here, and I’m honoured to be included in such great company.