Advice / Emotions / Memories / Thoughts / Writing

You’re a Weird One

Lately I’ve been thinking about what it truly means to be weird.

In childhood, anyone who’s branded “the weird kid” is essentially a social outcast. Instead of having friends and a social life, the weird kid is typically a loner with really obscure interests, supposedly doomed for a life of solitude. But hey, at least they’ve got their rock collection or bird fascination or obsession with some niche TV show or movie or band that nobody else has even heard of to occupy their time.

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I was eight years old and an old friend of mine had asked another friend of mine to meet her over by a swing set in her backyard because she needed to talk to her about something. I’d sneaked over and clearly, distinctly, as if she’d wanted me to overhear her, heard her say to my friend, “Sometimes Alison’s just weird.”

My heart froze and my face fell. Weird? I’m weird? I thought we were friends! Didn’t we play together all the time? Didn’t we always have fun whenever we hung out? Worse yet, did all my friends think this about me?

And as hurt as I’d felt in that moment, I’d also felt this strange, clashing sense of pride wash over me. The thing was, she was absolutely right. I was weird sometimes. But guess what? I liked being weird sometimes. It was fun. It was freeing. If other people didn’t get it, then maybe they were never really meant to be my friends in the first place.

It’s interesting nowadays when celebrities give interviews and share how they, too, used to be the weird kid in school. From that perspective, being weird is now almost considered this badge of honor. Turns out there are so many amazing, talented people out there who used to be weird kids. We’re not alone at all. If you’re weird, it means you think outside the box. Even if you do or say things other people may not understand, that’s perfectly okay because it means you’ve got a unique perspective on the world. Ironically, it gives you an untouchable cool vibe because you’re doing your own thing and don’t give a flying you-know-what about what anybody else thinks.

Still, there’s certainly an isolating quality about being weird. Growing up, I’ve always felt like an outsider of any given group and still often do in my adulthood. I feel weird, for instance, for not being married when a lot of my friends are married and have kids now. I feel weird in creative settings when I look at other people’s work and unintentionally get jealous of their talent and creativity. I always do my best to remind myself not to compare myself to others, that everyone is on their own path, that just because someone is at a different place in their life, whether personally or professionally, doesn’t mean that I won’t get there, too. It just may be on a new, unpaved path instead of a more conventional route. As long as I continue doing the work, be open-minded and willing to step outside of my comfort zone, and remember to have fun along the way, then I’ll continue to grow both personally and professionally.

I’m doing my best to embrace my weirdness to help foster my creativity. Every so often I’ll dance like a maniac or sing aloud to my favorite songs when no one’s around. I try to let go of the pressure of meeting my writing goals to remember to enjoy the process and realize that when I’m not overthinking things or striving for perfection, that’s when the true joy and great ideas come forth. I’m reminded of the message in the brilliant Pixar movie, Turning Red, to let your inner panda out every once in a while. That is, embrace the fun and silliness and all the things that bring you pure joy in life, and don’t be afraid to show the world the weird side to your personality every once in a while.

I also recently watched Netflix’s what I’ll call sugar-rush of an animated movie, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, which is not only extremely creative visually, but it tells such an emotional story that truly resonated with me about a daughter and her dad who don’t see eye-to-eye about her passion for bizarre, obscure filmmaking. The main character, Katie Mitchell, struggles with wanting to find her people and feels her dad, in particular, doesn’t get her. It’s only through this crazy adventure of saving the world after an AI takeover does she come to the conclusion that the members of her weird, intrepid family are, in fact, her people. Needless to say, the movie made me cry a lot. I loved seeing this profound connection and appreciation deepen between father and daughter. Plus, the movie’s an absolute delight with such fun visuals and wacky humor. Giant killer Furbies? Awkward, defective robots? An abnormal yet lovable pooch? So much awesome stuff. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

New Girl is another series that lovingly plays up the weirdness of its characters. The protagonist, Jessica Day, is a weirdo who sings a lot and has a sunshine view of the world, only for the audience to quickly realize that each of her male roommates is also exceptionally weird in their own individual way. There’s Winston with his cat, Nick with his crazy ideas, and Schmidt, a go-getter and a uniquely charming douchebag all in one package who can never seem to pronounce simple words correctly. I love the show and have talked about it a lot on both my podcast as well as this blog.

It’s fun to be weird. I take it you’re weird, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Weird is a good thing. It makes us interesting. I’m excited to continue channeling my weirdness into stories to share with the world. I can’t wait to see what weird stuff will resonate with others as I continue working on my craft and getting my work out there. Yay for weirdness!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s