Weirdos of the World: Unite

fruit loop.

Read the post above, if you’d be so kind. Mckenzie, the writer of The Unabridged Girlย is an incredibly talented writer. I mean it, she is. Whenever she’s posted fiction in the past, I’ve hungered to read more of it. In the post I linked, she talks about how she’s always been considered weird. I can empathize.

In elementary school, I was picked on a lot. The boys hit me, and even a couple of the girls. That was okay with me. It was better than the alternative. You know that old adage about sticks and stones? Well, If somebody hit me, I could at least try to hit back. Not the most peaceful or responsible way to deal with a problem, but self-defense was something I could do. It was the teasing that I didn’t know how to handle. My face would begin to redden, spurring on more lovely comments, and my brain would go blank as I tried to think of something witty to say. I tried the whole “ignoring” trick; I really did. But since I blushed furiously and teared up whenever anyone would tease me, I think that they realized they were getting to me no matter how hard I kept my head down.

I was called weird a lot. I wanted to fit in so badly that it hurt. I still get those moments of wanting to be popular, confident, blonde and skinny and pretty and perfect. I still get moments of wanting to be someone else, someone entirely different, and the urge to jump out of my skin in those agonizing minutes is overwhelming. It feels like there is literally something inside me bubbling furiously and wanting to erupt out of the flesh I live in and prove itself to be the person I should have, could have, would have been if only this, if only that.

But the thing is – I like being weird. I like the fact that I read while I walk. I like the fact that I have lip-piercings but don’t wear any makeup usually and don’t care about how I dress most of the time. I like the fact that when I do dress up, I sometimes do the goth thing and sometimes do the classy, white blouse and nice pants thing. I like the fact that I’ve read the Harry Potter books so many times that I remember that Nearly Headless Nick’s real name is Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington. I like the fact that I play computer games but am still a hopeless romantic. I like the fact that I find pleasure in being on my own with my books, curled up in bed.

Are there things I regret about being weird? Sure. Of course. Do I still have issues? Oh my goodness, yes. If you could hear the inside of my mind, the extent to which I feel guilty about things that aren’t my responsibility, and the amount of time I spend judging myself, you might just go crazy yourselves. And yet… And yet I’ve come to accept that I wouldn’t give up the joys I get in my weird pleasures in order to be “normal,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

I also realize that I’m incredibly lucky to be going to a university where being weird is encouraged and that I live near New York City where being weird is a much coveted quality. Maybe there are places where I would feel much less secure in my weirdness.

Have you been called weird? Do you embrace, shun or hide your weirdness?

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14 thoughts on “Weirdos of the World: Unite

  1. Erin M says:

    Oh, gosh, Ilana, I can relate to so much of this. Being “weird” has caused me so much pain . . . but at the same time, I’m glad I’m weird (although who knows what “normal” is?).

    (And everything going on inside your head? Oh man. Been there. Am there.)

    Sigh.

    Please know that I love you for being you!

    Thinking of you. Hope you’re doing well.
    xoxo

  2. When I was growing up and now well into adulthood, the word “weird” follows me wherever I go. Like you, I decided a long time ago that I like being different or weird. To me, it means I didn’t sell out to the norm and I didn’t give up any part of myself to please someone else. In effect, I’m not weird in a bad way, just original in a unique way. A few years ago, I made up a little quote that has come to define my personal philosophy . . .

    “You’re only weird if you define normal.”

    I choose not to define normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Reading while you walk? That is weird! Don’t fall down into a manhole. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Makeup? There’s way too much of it, IMHO. I like it when women go without. I think doing so is much more beautiful.

    I prefer the term “hopeful” romantic. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have I been weird? Laws, yes. M-O-O-N. That spells weird. Let me count the ways…

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