My most embarrassing moment to this day occurred early on in my middle school career. I was homeschooled and started at a private school in 7th grade. This meant that I did not know any lunchroom protocol. So when I was standing next to the conveyer belt that takes all the trays into the kitchen and they began to fall, I did not anticipate that people might think I had dropped my own tray. And I definitely did not anticipate that they would laugh and clap.
The horror and shame and embarrassment I felt sent me into a dizzying emotional nosedive. I actually did drop my tray at that point, and then I ran blindly into the girls' bathroom, tears streaming down my face, and threw up. I am fairly certain I stayed in there throughout my next few classes.
When I have to tell the story for some reason now, people always say that I should have taken a bow. It never would have occurred to me. I guess it's ultimately linked to everything I've shared this Lent season. I'm afraid to fail in front of others. I'm afraid to let my weaknesses show. I'm afraid to be less than what I think I should be (or someone else thinks I should be). I'm afraid that the slightest slip up will result in me being the weird girl who did that weird thing and now she doesn't have any friends.
I still have issues eating in front of people, especially if it involves walking in front of them with a plate of food. Some days I can't make myself do it, and I make an excuse about not being hungry or having recently eaten. But the stronger I get, the more days I can risk tripping, dropping something, or being humiliated. I am trying to learn that I am free to fail, and that I can simply laugh and take a bow when I look foolish. I'm thankful that I'm not still in middle school, and that, as silly as it sounds, people won't stop being my friend if I do something embarrassing. It's embarrassing how hard it is for me to believe that. That might be who I was. But through the grace of God, that is not who I am.