Do you ever go through an awkward phase? You feel like you’ve got three heads or an extra limb. The way you’ve been thinking and living doesn’t fit anymore.

You wish you could go back to sleep but even sleep is awkward. You have weird cheap-pizza dreams, even when you’ve been eating well. No msg in sight.

Being unconscious about your life doesn’t work but awareness isn’t giving you any clues either. You have no idea where you’re going. Your whole way of being has shifted sideways and you’re off balance still trying to walk the tightrope.

Yep, ‘awkward’, I know it well. What I do also know, thankfully, is that ‘awkward’ is the stage before a massive growth spurt. It’s just like being 14 or 15; your limbs grow crazy fast but the rest of you hasn’t caught up yet. You’re not a kid or an adult, you’re a mid-teens in-between nothing-town on legs (usually two).

In that state, using your limbs is perilous. It’s not a good time to play sport (not that I have a clue what that’s like). It’s also difficult to navigate steps, social situations… life.


Maybe teenagers tend to hibernate in their rooms because life as a teenager is just too awkward.

When you’re going through an awkward stage, when you don’t know who you are anymore, it can be good to hibernate. You need the extra down-time to process and become.

Creative burst

I know from experience now, that awkward phases are often followed by a huge creative burst. This creative burst will change everything. New works look very different from the old ones. There is a new vibrancy to the writing, the painting, the dreaming, the running, the whatever-it-is.

Before that though, you have to get through the awkward phase. In the awkward phase, nothing feels right. It doesn’t quite gel. No matter what you do, the writing won’t quite hang together and the words won’t hit the mark. You don’t quite know what you want to say.

Just out of reach

In the awkward phase, what you want to say (or create) is just out of reach. The old way doesn’t work any more. It lacks vibrancy, it sounds like formula. The new way doesn’t yet exist.

Don’t freak out

The main thing I’ve learned is “don’t freak out”. Awkward doesn’t last forever. Cygnet’s grow into swans, ducklings become ducks. Quack.

Whatever you’re becoming you’ll get there eventually. And then you’ll become another creature, each day a little different, each year older, wiser or just chubbier. Nothing stays the same. A lot of life is an awkward phase.