I’m awkward and it’s something I’ve accepted I will never grow out of. In fact, it seems to have worsened with time. Looking back on the years I spent as a teenager with body issues and a twisting tornado of sexual confusion chasing my every thought, I wish I could go back and give my teen self a hug, point to some recent events and explain how at least my teen self hasn’t gone through this yet.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m better on paper. In person, I’m a sweaty mess of stumbling words and rude statements. I don’t know why I blurt things out to strangers which should never be spoken in polite company. It’s like my awkwardness has become my personal enemy and, as a villain, has made its mission to make me appear as a bumbling idiot no matter how hard I try. Have you ever felt like this?

Last summer I was at an ice cream stand and the cashier used one of those card swipes which plugs into a cell phone to take my debit card payment. Thankfully, there were only adults nearby when I caught sight of this magical card swipe and blurted, “Man, I bet hookers use the heck out of those things!”

Why? Why would I ever say something like that?

As a teen, I thought simply being an adult would sweep away all my insecurities, word fumbles and missteps. Turns out, my awkwardness had little to do with shifting hormones and whether or not it was okay to like girls instead of boys or like both.

Old or young, whether we have our lives in order or are just beginning, if we’re lucky we’ll all continue to have moments we wish could be different. We’ll wish we hadn’t worn that particular dress to that certain event or wish we’d kept our mouths shut instead of saying something ridiculous which can never be unsaid. Moments like these mean we’re putting ourselves out there, testing boundaries and daring to LIVE.

You know the best thing about being an author? I get to put my characters into untenable situations, make them screw up and break down, then I get to build them back up and watch them become better than they were before their struggles. Check out Jay, the main character in the first book of my LGBT New Adult Urban Fantasy series, Caged in Myth. He has all the regular issues of a teenager, plus some of the life-or-death supernatural variety.


J. T. Fairfield is the author of:

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Caged in Myth by J.T. Fairfield

The Bayou Zoo, where magic is real, the beasts are deadly, and a bad day at work can literally mean the end of the world.

Octavian Julius McKellter— “Jay” to everyone who doesn’t want a punch in the face— struggles with keeping the secrets of his supernatural community and his own secret…he’s gay. Throw in a dose of danger, deceit, and Louisiana heat, and you’ll find yourself CAGED IN MYTH.