If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times, “You’re weird.” Some meant it as a compliment. Others were trying to insult me. In either case I would always reply with “Thank you!” It made the complimenting ones laugh and it confused the bullies, especially when I’d smile and be all sickly sweet about it. “Wow, thank you! What a wonderful thing to say!” and just walk away grinning.
I’ve always been proud of my weirdness, my uniqueness, my one-of-a-kind self; which in a way really surprises me because I also consider myself a shy, insecure introvert, too. A lot of it depends on my surroundings and who I’m with. Alone in a strange place where I don’t know anyway, it’s almost guaranteed I will not speak to a single soul unless they speak to me first. I’m pretty clueless when it comes to the opening lines of conversation. Idle chit-chat is not my friend.
Many years ago I used to go a drum circle event every few months. I went alone and for the first year I barely spoke. One day, while a group of us were working together to do some spring cleaning on the land we met on, I volunteered to be part of the Tent Sewing Circle. The group had acquired a large tent that was in desperate need of some TLC. About a dozen of us sat down with heavy duty needles and twine-like thread. Some sat in lawn chairs. Some sat on the floor. And we sewed. They talked. They laughed. They chit-chatted like the long, old friends they were. I listened. Hours passed … and then the madness set in. My sarcastic, quick-witted, smart-ass brain took control. Once it got going, it was impossible to shut it up again until it was good and ready.
We broke for lunch at around 2:00 and while was moved along, more or less single file along the woodland trail that would lead us to the food, one of the other Tent Circle members drew up a bit closer and said, “I’ve seen you here for almost a year and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard you talk.” I offered up my nervous, shy laugh and shrugged. We ended up talking and hanging out a lot the rest of the day.
And that’s when he started to find out how weird I really was … am. Whatever. At one point over the many years of friendship that followed, I’m sure I started to recite the Wizard of Oz by heart, including the songs, to him at least three times because that’s how I roll. My music collection is equally as obscure. The first two record albums I owned back in the 1970s were John Denver and KISS Destroyer. Then there’s the harpsichord music, movie soundtracks (including but not limited to, Jesus Christ Superstar, Star Wars & The Pirates of Penzance), Black Sabbath, The Monkees, and maybe a touch of disco – but let’s not go there today.
There was also the hippy phase, the punk phase, the witch phase, and the vampire phase. How many ‘normal’ people don their vampire fans in July and wear them to the grocery store of all places just to see who notices and what sort of looks they can get?
Not all weird people are quiet, shy, introverts such as myself. (That vampire thing is about as outlandish I get in public. No, really. It is … was … erm.) ANYWAY …There are a lot of pretty famous weirdos out there. Gonzo, from The Muppets, for example. And get this, according for FORBES, weird is not just a wonderful condition, but it’s also profitable and it’s something we all need to cultivate. They even prove it with nifty charts and graphs!
But, weird isn’t just for the rich and famous! In fact, as James Victore points out very accurately over at 99U, “Owning up to your weirdness isn’t about making it big and deciding who will play you in your life story. It’s about the courage to be who you were born to be. You don’t quit the band or stop writing poetry just because you have kids. Your weirdness is the source of your character and creative powers. Weird is who we are, the best parts, not perfect, not trying—just yourself.” That’s it, just BE YOURSELF!
If all that’s not enough for you to believe that weird is the way to be, check out these motivational quotes put out there by Aletheia Luna over at Loner Wolf.
Let your weird flag high, my friends! Weird, after all, is just another word for AWESOME!!