Do you know how you look back on your childhood, or maybe your high school or college years and remember embarrassing moments that you know you will never forget? I can think of plenty. There are times when I look back on those moments and cringe. Maybe I cringe because it was not my fault that we could not afford the trendy clothes, that I often had hand me downs, or that my mom would attempt to make my clothes. I think what embarrassed me most was my mom making my clothes as I always felt it was obvious that it was homemade. Now I appreciate so much what she was trying to do. Other times I look back and know that I survived many embarrassing moments and that they actually made me stronger. Which is why I really loved this quote from Jenny’s memoir:
“But most important, I see me … or rather, the me I’ve become. Because I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life. There were the parts that made me me. And this was the very reason I decided to tell this story … to celebrate the strange, to give thanks to the bizarre, and to one day help my daughter understand that the reason her mother appeared mostly naked on Fox News (that’s in book two, sorry) is probably the same reason her grandfather occasionally brings his pet donkey into bars: Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. Because there is joy in embracing–rather than running screaming from–the utter absurdity of life.” page 308
Do you remember those embarrassing moments of your life? Or the ones when you just felt completely awkward? I still have them. Do you? These days I am a little more bold about those embarrassing moments. Like the other day at work, I pronounced challah bread with the “Ch” at the beginning. I pronounced it phonetically. Does that ever happen to you? Where you may sometimes say something and then realize what you were thinking and what came out of your mouth are different things. And, then I started laughing at myself, when I heard my mistake. I brought it up again later in the week, making fun of myself. I think it is good to do that once in a while. It keeps us on our toes and reminds us that life is funny, people are funny, and even if it is slightly embarrassing (trust me I embarrass myself all the time) to go with it, have fun with the moment, laugh, and move on with your life.
So I leave you with a reminder to be YOU in all your bizarreness, and in Jenny’s words: “Because you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them.”