I have been living with the condition of clumsiness for the past 34 years. No, don’t feel sorry for me - I don’t need your pity. I have come to terms with it and have learnt to get on with life.
Clumsiness can take many forms but in my case, I suffer most from dropping things, tripping over things and running into things. Here are a few of my highlights from each category:
Dropping things/knocking things over
1. Spilling an entire cup of coffee onto my lap on a plane. I had never realised before but there actually isn’t a lot you can do in this situation besides sitting in the warm wetness and waiting for it to dry. You can’t just get up and move to another seat when the flight is booked out.
2. Dropping a bottle of wine onto my already broken toe. But hey, the wine bottle didn’t break so it wasn’t all bad. The broken toe was the result of a previous clumsy incident.
3. Bumping a glass of water over in a work meeting which happened to fall in the exact direction of a colleague and spill all over him. Silence followed.
1. Tripping over a ‘Caution wet floor’ sign in a crowded café. It made lots of noise and most people stopped what they were doing to look over at what had happened.
2. In high school, trying to show my friends how to do a particular dance trick, I said to my friends ‘hey watch this’ a bit too loud and managed to get the attention of the entire grade right before landing on my arse.
3. Again dancing – I was showing my friends how to do an 80s, Flashdance style high kick but my jeans were too tight so they pulled my other leg up from under me and I landed on my back. On tiles.
Running into things
1. Running into a display of glassware in Myer when I was about four years old. Everything on the display broke. My mother was extremely embarrassed.
2. At least a few times a year I run into glass doors that say ‘Push’, but from the other side. I’m not sure if that is some sort of dyslexia or what, but my brain just doesn’t register that the writing is back to front and the wrong way round.
3. On a daily basis I run into bed frames, kick my toes on the corners of things and misjudge how far away walls are so my shoulders bump into them.
Me seconds after one such incident.
It would be so easy to get down about constantly making a fool of myself in public or hurting myself on a daily basis, but I have come to appreciate what being clumsy has done for me. Firstly, it has made me pretty resilient - not much embarrasses me much anymore and I barely even notice the minor injuries.
Perhaps the best thing being clumsy has done for me, however, is that it has allowed me to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously. I probably laugh harder than anyone else when I do silly things and I am never going to complain about having something to laugh about. Laughing brightens up my world and does wonders for my health.
Do you have any traits which are a blessing in disguise?