• Jose Luis Ucar

The Awkward Age



As a native Spanish speaker, when I first heard about the awkward age, I had to look up what it specifically stood for. When I found out that the awkward age is the period of early adolescence usually characterized by awkwardness and shyness, I knew I could certainly share something on the topic.


As I researched further, I discovered that according to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 2/3 of children report experiencing trauma before the age of 16. This means that out of every 10 of us, around 6 could’ve experienced trauma during adolescence. That’s shocking, isn’t it?


We are so vulnerable at this crossroads between childhood and adulthood, without even knowing it, completely oblivious of the fact that this period of our lives will shape our future, one way or another.    


I can certainly relate to this, since I remember my adolescence as being difficult, challenging, painful, extremely fun, exciting, dynamic (constantly changing). One day it would make me smile and the next I would be shattered. Most of the time, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and with the people that surrounded me. I was shy, upset, fearful, hated things and experienced all sorts of emotions you could imagine, combined. I didn’t want to talk to my parents, speaking to my friends wouldn’t help, girls didn’t like me… I saw the world in a very negative way, how wouldn’t I? My whole body was changing, and my mind was trying to make sense of it. Everything was awkward. 


Now when I look back at those days, I remember that through this period I started acquiring certain personality traits, values and beliefs in response to the whole turmoil I was undergoing. I was becoming a new person, turning into an adult, or at least that’s what I thought. This new person determined to take the reins of his life, began playing roles, just like in a theatre play, to deal with the challenges and obstacles he was facing.


I became the author, the spectator and the villain of my life story. Unfortunately, the villain was the role I mostly played for many years and sometimes I still do, but now I can notice when he is around, and I can deal with it. 


The Villain is my self-sabotaging self, who also spoils the stories of those around me. I’ve been the villain when I’ve acted without thinking in the consequences my actions could bring. An example could be when I smashed my mum’s car for driving drunk or when I cheated on my girlfriend because I believed life was too shorty to waste it on one person.


The Author’s creations sometimes followed by the Spectator’s complacency would end up being ruined by the Villain. This kept happening over and over again, until the amount of pain accumulated was too much to bear and that’s when I made the decision to stop this Villain and to learn from what he had done.


Today when I think about the Villain, I’m grateful that I played that role, because thanks to him I can be a much better Author, who every now and then can sit back and enjoy his creations from the Spectator’s view. 


What are you doing about the Villain of your life story?


Remember that you can always do better if you believe so.


All the best,


Jose Luis Ucar


Excellence Coach at Finding Excellence

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© 2020 by Jose Ucar, Communication and Public Speaking Trainer.

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