And as I got older, my awkward only grew with me. My tastes in music varied more than the average teenage black girl from “the hood” of Brooklyn. I wasn’t the girl wearing the latest in fashion and I wasn’t the girl that was the most boisterous in a group of people. And in the boys department, I found myself liking guys who were followed by the pretty harpy who rolled in a crew of mean girls. And it didn’t stop there.
The fact that I was never a person big on being expressive, people would think that I was really shy, really quiet or just apathetic. Many people were confused when I became a cheerleader in college.
“Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it!” That’s the response I would get on my Facebook when people saw the pictures of me online. They couldn’t figure it out because I wasn’t the smiling type. And they were right. The main reason I joined the squad was because of the athleticism. It was the closest thing to gymnastics, which was something I had always wanted to do.
But I digress.
Once I started working, my awkward continued to follow me. I was quiet, only speaking when I needed to. I kept my nose in my work and didn’t bother to join all the cool office people who went out to lunch together. By this time, I acknowledged that I was who I was and there was nothing that I could do to change it.
Then I saw Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl, and I laughed. I immediately felt that I wasn’t alone. I found a friend on YouTube, chronicling things that I and other awkward people go through. It wasn’t long before I had friends texting me, “Have you seen ABG on YouTube? I thought of you the moment I saw it.”
And after that, I was more than proud to be an Awkward Black Girl.–Afiya Augustine