There are awkward conversations in every one of us. Sometimes we try to avoid them, other times we never see them coming. But when they are finished, we almost always feel better.
I’ve been having a lot of these conversations lately, and I’ve come to realize that they are one of the key foundations we build our lives around. That isn’t a bad thing. These conversations are awkward because they are hard, and foundations should be made from rocks.
There have been some awkward conversations at work, lately. I’m getting ready to leave at the end of July, and it was difficult to bring up the subject with my bosses. Thankfully, they asked first (since they already knew about Jean’s job in Chicago). They have been wonderful and understanding about my decision to leave, and I’m not just saying that because they could Google this. That first conversation was a little bit awkward, but everything since has been easy and honest.
There have also been some awkward conversations with friends. The first one caught me by surprise. He called me mid-day to talk, and after the usual opening banter, I asked why he was off work so early. He had been laid off that morning. I froze for a minute, not wanting to hurt his feelings when I knew he was still in shock about the ordeal. But I decided it was best to just ask what happened right away. It was hard to listen to knowing that I’m getting ready to leave my job without a new one to go to. I was in a little bit of shock myself as he told me what happened, but I think I did us both a favor by dragging it out in the open right away, even if it was by accident.
Just tonight, I was talking to a different friend about trying to lose some weight. He and I are both trying unsuccessfully and want to change that. It’s a topic I’ve most avoided here and on my social media because I’m not sure publishing every little success and failure is a good way to keep myself on track. But maybe this friend and I could motivate each other in private. We decided on a race, pound for pound, in hopes that we could play off of each other’s successes. The whole time we’re talking about it, we were prone to unrelated tangents about anything less awkward to talk about. But in the end, we came up with a plan, and we’re going to support each other privately as we race toward our goals.
All these conversations have been replaying in my head in the days (or hours) since they happened despite the awkwardness I wanted to escape. Or perhaps they replay in my head because of the awkwardness. They’re all about priorities, specifically about setting mine straight. Moving to be with Jean, fear about leaving my job, and losing some weight. It’s hard to deal with all of these things separately, and dealing with them all at the same time has been difficult. It’s been awkward. And maybe that’s the only thing that keeps me going.