New to the box office this past weekend, That Awkward Moment, starring Zac Efron, tells the story of three best friends at the pivotal and sometimes uncomfortable part of a relationship where the questions is: Where is this going? Although the movie took third place in movie sales, after Ride Along and Frozen, the movie hit the nail on the head by showcasing a universal truth: The twenties are FULL of awkward moments.
Whether career, friendship or relationship wise, the twenties can have your underwear in a knot on any given day. While stressful, difficult and sometimes, just outright debilitating, I like to think that these awkward moments bring lessons, if we pay close enough attention.
(photo via justjared.com)
Recently, I encountered my very own awkward moment and I thought it was worth sharing. The past two weeks, I had the chance to hang out with two friends who I don’t get to see very often. By some strange occurrence, in both meetups, my ex-boyfriend somehow became a topic of discussion. I think the conversation may have started off something like, “Why did you two breakup? How long were you together? What is he up to now?” To say the least I was caught off guard in both incidences. I had to look around and make sure I wasn’t on candid camera or that my ex wasn’t hiding out somewhere waiting to see what I might say. While I know my friends saw it as nothing more than a few harmless questions, I felt like I was going through the interrogation process.
So what’s the big deal, right? You may be thinking, you dated the guy. Why not expect you might be asked about him from time to time? While all that may be true, I don’t think anyone enjoys that moment when an ex becomes the topic of conversation. For me, it was not one, but TWO, times within an eight day period. It’s been about three years now. We broke up sometime before Valentine’s Day in 2011. I wonder if my name will forever be attached to his. Will I always be asked about this guy and our relationship?
To give you some background, this person was the BIG heartbreak. There are breakups and then there are heartbreaks. Heartbreaks are the ones that really leave a mark. You know what I am talking about. The loss of this love wrung my heart and took it through the trenches and back again. It took what seemed like FOREVER to get over this guy. So when people randomly ask about it after three years, it’s a curve ball being thrown my way.
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“When life throws you a curve ball, you choose what to do with it.”
So what’s a girl to do? How do I answer those questions, “Why did you guys break up? Do you guys still keep in touch? What is he up to?” How do I remain honest without revealing too much? How do I recap without going back to past hurts? Can I save face and speak positively about this person from my past? How do I keep it together?
Here’s what I learned: When I am handed a curve ball, it is up to me what I do with it. This applies to every area of life. Whether I lose my job tomorrow, get into a fight with a friend, have a tire blow out on the way to work, or I run into an ex looking a terrible mess, I choose my response. I choose my attitude. I choose my words. No one but me.
So I am 23 and still stumbling along the way of this journey. I run into some awkward and embarrassing moments pretty often, just like you. I am learning to show myself grace and others as well. When asked those sometimes uncomfortable questions about a breakup, I have decided to choose my words wisely. It would be easy to sit and try to recap every argument that led to our falling out. It would be easy to speak negatively. Holding on to it is easy. What’s difficult is choosing to let go.
My awkward moment gets a little less awkward with time as I learn how to handle it better. As I learn to speak words of life about a situation that once hurt me, I get stronger. The truth is we were just kids when we dated. We both made mistakes. Who am I to judge him now for the things that happened three years ago? I know I have grown up and changed. I am sure he has too. Because that’s what life is all about, change! Cheers to growing and learning even through the awkward moments! I hope you learn to handle life’s little curve balls with grace. If anything, at least find the humor in them!