Have you ever been called weird as a kid? Has anyone ever laughed at something you thought was extremely funny or extremely interesting and looked at you like you’re from another planet? As if they were saying, “Why is this kid so weird?”
How did it feel being called weird in such a subtle yet brutally honest way?
Did it make you feel embarrassed? Did it take a huge hit to your self-esteem? Did it make you rethink about what you thought was funny or interesting? Like you are now convinced at the possibility that maybe you are from another planet? Like maybe showing that quirky side of yours was a wrong move?
Ever thought that maaaybe you should just hide your weird side from people? That maybe it’s better that way?
Well, imagine this:
You’re hanging out with your friends.
You cracked a dad joke. Or made a smartass comeback. Or created a horrible pun. Or danced macarena without the macarena music. Or educated your friends on the mating process of narwhals. Or shared an unpopular opinion, like, I don’t know, aye-ayes are cute. (Although I honestly don’t think this is an unpopular opinion. Aye-ayes are cute. But I digress.)
Basically, you did something weird. In front of your friends. In public. For everyone to see and hear. Yikes?
Nope. Not yikes. Not yikes at all.
Because, my dear quirky friend, you have NO idea.
Perhaps an author was sitting nearby, contemplating this scene in their work-in-progress. And they saw you. And an idea sparked. Perhaps that author’s novel will be a New York Times bestseller. In the book, there’s gonna be an iconic scene — inspired by your weirdness.
Perhaps a Youtuber saw you and snorted at what you did, choked on his soy milk caramel frappuccino even. And it inspired a comedy sketch that will garner millions of views and will be copied by other Youtubers and will be the reason the choked Youtuber could host on SNL. All because of a sketch — inspired by your weirdness.
Perhaps a sperm whale researcher was drinking black coffee with his baklava. Sitting at a corner booth, he overheard your heated monologue on narwhals, and it gave him the key solution to the conservation of sperm whales — and so it was inspired. By. Your. WEIRDNESS.
Look. I get it.
These may seem like ridiculous scenarios. You may be thinking, “What kind of sperm whale researcher hangs out in a mall’s food court??” To which I say, YOU. NEVER. KNOW. YOU NARROW-MINDED POTATO.
Because people being inspired by your weirdness isn’t weird.
That’s the point I’m trying to drill into your wonderfully weird brain.
We live in this blue and green oblate spheroid big enough to accommodate all kinds of ideas. A planet bigger than all of our brains combined. Can you imagine that? It’s bigger than 7 billion brains. Seven billion!
Each of us can only generate as much ideas. But all these ideas coming out from our hypothalamus and our gray area and our cerebellum… basically from all parts of our brain, all of these ideas are unique. And before you tell me, “Welp someone made this and that. My idea’s not unique.” Hold your horses, you.
What I’m saying is, these ideas are unique in a way that they are molded with your own unique perspective and came about through your own unique experiences.
They may only be one puny idea in a world teeming with so many other puny ideas, but they are the only puny idea of that kind that came from you. That puny idea of yours is part of a complex idea system. It is the one unique protein that make up a chromosome, which ultimately makes one well-coordinated and functioning body.
Can you imagine if the idea of Apple came about from some other guy named Steve but not Steve Jobs? Can you imagine if someone else other than Xi Lingshi found out about the silkworms’ cocoon of thin fibers? We probably wouldn’t have silk.
It probably might have become, like I don’t know, really thin hair extensions made of worms’ cocoons. (Which is more of a mouthful than just silk.)
Can you imagine if J.R.R Tolkien burned all the papers containing his fascination on making Elvish language because some brute told him he was weird? Can you imagine if Mama and Papa Mozart didn’t support Mozart’s affinity for music and made him become a baker instead? Can you imagine if Dr Seuss didn’t write?
And so: be weird.
Be the kind of wonderfully weird that you are.
Not just because it is a disservice to yourself to lock that part of you in a cage. But because it is a disservice to this planet that is simply begging to witness that strange beauty unfold.
I can guarantee you, the world will be a lot less brighter if your weirdness was locked away deep inside you. In some dark place that no light can shine upon. And won’t that be a shame?
So let people give you the judger eye. Let other people sing about you in your own version of the song “Belle (Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast. Let them question your ideas. Let them question it or raise their eyebrow on it or laugh at it.
And if it hurts too much, find me. I’ll buy you ice cream and let you free your quirkiness and celebrate it for the whole world to see. Let them be scandalized by how shameless they think you are for not keeping your weird tucked away.
Because you know what? There is no shame in showing the whole world who you are — every beautiful aspect of you.
You are you. You matter. And you are beautiful, quirks and weirdness and all.
Share your quirks below and allow me and everyone else to celebrate them 🙂