We are transfixed by the crazy outfits and antics of celebrities, want to read about unconventional lifestyles of unique individuals, crave far-out and freaky stories, and watch tv shows with quirky nonconformist protagonists.
We’re all guilty of it. It’s fun, exciting, and intriguing to see something different from our own experience and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s really weird is that while we crave and celebrate weirdness, we spend so much time and effort striving for crisp and ironed normalcy.
We strive to stand out, but fit in. We like being noticed, but don’t like it if we think people are staring. We begin to explain ourselves if someone seems put off by our interests or lifestyle of choice. We want to be liked by everyone and if a stranger doesn’t smile back we take serious offence. We want to stay true to who we are but need to be accepted by everyone in our life. Children tease each other to tears for being a weirdo, and adults do it more. Self expression is prized, but we’re so preoccupied with what everyone else might think that we’re not even sure what we really want to express anymore.
I love the weirdness in everyone and I wish we could all wear it on our sleeves. There would be so much less awkward icebreaking to do and much more instantaneous fun connections to be had.
But it’s difficult to just let it be. Self judgement and the desire for approval start to kick in. And then I zip myself up to the neck in my Normal Suit and smile politely and hope people like me.
Meanwhile there’s that guy who’s strutting his stuff over there in all his happy oblivious uniqueness, and people are staring, but everyone loves him whether they realize it yet or not. Because we like people who are proud and excited to be themselves. And we know when someone’s trying too hard to act funky on purpose for the wrong attention.
If we can tell the difference, why is it so bad to be natural-weird? I used to embrace it but then adulthood happened, and now I’m learning again how to relax into it and love it all over again.
We all secretly love it.
We all secretly are it.