"Don't be weird" kids tell one another, when someone says something that just doesn't fit. perhaps we have all heard this flailing defense against non-sense, the basic denial of taking a conversation in a new direction, or as a means of pointing out that a boundary had been crossed. This can leave a burn, especially for the awkward kid, but it is just a passing reaction, not a damnation. Unless, of course you are told "don't be weird" without provocation, a strange reaction to a comment not made. That happened to me a number of times as a kid. It never caused any sort of trauma that I felt compelled to bring up to my therapist (unlike watching the Ring and then sleeping in the TV room. What was I thinking?) But I figured out pretty quickly what these warnings out of the blue meant: I was weird.
|This is the first picture that google returns for "Jarys". I could not be more pleased.|
I AM weird. I have known this for a long time. I feel compelled to greet people's pets before I greet them, I find empirical evidence suspect, I am a pescatarian but I don't evangelize my diet, I like to wash dishes, I like every Matrix movie, and I get really enthusiastic about long dead civilizations. When I was a kid I had to be constantly reminded which public bathroom I was supposed to go into, I didn't have the politeness to withhold correcting tour guides at historical sites, I brought a book with me to school in case I ran out of things to read. My dad used to say "Jarys, you don't have any common sense." But sometimes I wonder if my senses are just plain uncommon. But I'm not special.
I'm unique. We all are.
So much of our social instincts, so many of our social institutions, are built on the assumption that we must fit in. Fitting in is survival. Outliers get culled, left out, left behind. But these come from an unreasonable, unaware source, the Id, a part of our mind dark only when we let it rest in darkness. Recent culture has been far more accepting of uniqueness, reminding us that it's ok to be who we are. I like to think of Mister Rogers here, or as he will one day be known; Saint Rogers. He said:
"Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
|Too holy for just one halo|
Pretty nifty, right? I think so.
I am not here to stand on Saint Roger's soapbox, my message is not new. I'm sure you hear this all the time. This is just a reminder, because we all need a reminder. I need a reminder: be yourself. You are wonderful as yourself, your unique "you"-ness. If there is anything within you that causes you suffering, you have the ability to know it, understand it, and change it. But you need not change yourself to fit other people. If others do not care for you, so be it. You do not have to please them, as the only person with whom you will spend your entire life is yourself. Please yourself.
|... To be YOU. and to be independent! And to do whatever we say!|
Be weird. Be funny. Be odd. But try to be kind, compassionate, and understanding. Other people are themselves too, even when they lash out. If there is one thing I learned it's that what other people do and say has everything to do with them, not you. Understanding people is the first step to making the world the kind of place that better understands you. And I'm right there behind you.
Do you like little plastic space men? Enjoy.
Do you like to dress up as fictional characters? Have fun!
Do you like to paint your nails with your favorite 8-bit characters? Nifty.
Do you pretend to be a jedi in the bedroom? geeky-kinky or just plain knky? You aren't alone.
Do you take courage from your favorite superhero when you think of coming out? Awesome.
Do you have a list of historical figures you would punch if you ever had a time machine? Me too! (Andrew Jackson, you're gonna get it!)
Just, please, don't hurt yourself, don't hurt other people, always bring a towel, and when someone asks you if your a god, you say yes..
|Don't be ashamed of your inner divinity. Or Dan Akroydity.|