Why read stories that make me cringe?

  1. To make you laugh and remind you that you can rise from the ashes of shame, humiliation, misery and embarrassment like the phoenix you are.
  2. To make you feel less alone.
  3. To make me feel like an idiot . . . that’s helping people!
  4. To get it off my chest and document my glorious mishaps. Where else am I going to share these gems?
  5. Good news! You don’t have to read them.

When I was having a hard time in high school, feeling embarrassed and insecure about myself, my mom sat on my bed with me and told me an embarrassing story of her own to cheer me up. (Forgive me, mom, if you didn’t want the following story broadcasted on the internet.) She was in college and had moved to an apartment with some friends. Her, her roommates, and a couple guys were playing tackle in the living room. One of the guys grabbed her by the waist and picked her up—she audibly farted. My mom and all her friends started laughing. Hard. She kept laughing. Everyone couldn’t help but laugh. It was contagious.

When I made a mistake or was embarrassed as a kid, I would start sobbing. I couldn’t take a joke. I loved to make people laugh, but I wanted it to be on my terms. I didn’t know how to laugh at myself. I felt awful about myself because I couldn’t shake it off. My mom taught me that it’s okay to laugh at myself.

Fast forward to now. Now if you ask my wife, she says I’m my own biggest fan and laugh at myself and my own jokes more than anyone else. I think back on these memories and can’t help but laugh (and cringe, and turn red). The tales of woe and embarrassment don’t often come up in polite conversation. Isn’t that strange?! I thought I’d write them down.

I’m here to make a case for you, and myself, that being awkward is alright. I want to tell you how I learned to start laughing at myself. I also want to tell you when I gloriously, unquestionably failed to find the bright side. I don’t know it all or even half of it but I want to share what I do know. I want to hear what you know, your stories, how you’ve bombed and later laughed (or not, that’s okay, too). If you’ve ever felt like a dumbass, I’m here for you. Let’s wheeze-laugh about it.

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