When you are cringe, the possibilities are endless.

Whatever people might tell you about how cringe you are, don’t feel defeated or even, discouraged. If you are cringe, then you have unlocked the avenue to some wonderful opportunities in the way of lowering people’s expectations of you and going against the grain without anyone taking you to the side and asking why you are being cringe. In the modern world, the sooner you register yourself as an unworthy and untamable maverick, the more satisfaction with life you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Because why be so mainstream anyway? Mainstream people who eat a bagel, sleep on one side of the bed, have strict ideas of what constitutes a career, laugh at bad jokes for being polite and make good eye contact are a dime a dozen. You can’t come off of the same assembly line too if you care about the balance of this society at all.

For cringe is the force that brings some diversity to this otherwise drab world of workers and rulers. Cringe is the silent anarchy that makes its way to the topmost echelons of the workforce and makes people see how some folks can be completely content without good looks, a kick-ass sense of humor or even money.

I wear being cringe like a badge of honor. I have earned it through a lifelong wading through the murky waters of consumerism and democratic values that dictate that I become another neoliberal progressive who secretly advocates for the top one percent while raising slogans for the impoverished. I have learned that I’d rather wear my old clothes to a party. What’s the worst that can happen? People will cringe at my sight. If they knew my reverence for this word and its associated phenomenon, they’d know that I’m not even insulted by it. I might actually be honored.

Neurodivergent folks have to find their happy cringe, I’ve realized. We have to walk faster than others as a way to ward off unpleasant sensory inputs that can insidiously make into our brains if we walk too slow. We have to flap our hands a few times to make sense of the world. We might even have to blink harder, ask repeatedly for a joke to explain it to ourselves or even, land on our butt at the dance floor just to enjoy the music the only way we can. We might spit out a bagel or a donut or a muffin. Does it disgust you? Guess for mainstream people, it is disgusting.

This binary world that makes cringe a thing to despise will likely have a sleepless night after reading this. That I’ve found my power in being repulsive, cringeworthy and nonbinary will not make sense to them. But that’s fine. This world, so intent on making sense to them all the time, can afford to salute my cringe for one short blog. After all, it’s not like they’re never cringey themselves.

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