Embrace your differences and the qualities about you that you think are weird. Eventually, they’re going to be the only things separating you from everyone else. – Sebastian Stan
I was joking around with my son when I called him “weird”. He was asking me to pull his finger and of course when I did, he let out a big fart. After I called him weird, I noticed that he immediately stopped being silly. It was then, in a ninja-like reaction, I told him that it was alright to be weird. I went so far to tell him to keep being weird – for the rest of his life! Being weird meant that he was different, that he would stand out from the crowd. I told him that he was being himself. Ever since then, he has embraced his weirdness and even gloats when he is being weird while playing around. While being weird means being silly at his young age, being weird when he is older will mean that he will be a difference making thinker. I fear that he will let his world beat this one-of-a-kind quality out of him.
There was a time when I was weird. I never quite thought the same as the rest of the heard and I still don’t. I frequently cheered for the underdog and I always questioned fads and designer labels. I never wanted to do what everyone else was doing. When I was young I would balance books on my head and use fancy words way above my normal comprehension level. Nobody understood me. I was happy being alone and never fit in to any real clique. I was never really a nerd, or a geek and I certainly wasn’t much of a sportsman. I just never fit in anywhere, yet I always believed that I wanted to and longed to be accepted. Later in my school years I grew tired of being an outcast and I allowed my world to break me. I had felt that the only way to get people to like me was to fit in with the heard, think like the heard and look like the heard. I realised that in order to be liked by people, I would have to fit into the “normal” box that my world wanted me to fit into and that is where I stayed.
As I grew older the people who I thought were my friends, never really were. I became stuck in my normal box and I had forgotten how to be weird, I had missed being myself and felt completely uncomfortable being “normal”. When I look at those who “make it” in life or simply live each day to the max, I notice that these people are the weirdos and the outcasts. They know who they are and are comfortable in not being comfortable and conforming. They are true to themselves. Being weird is what establishes your “brand”, it defines YOU. Over the years I have become bland and dull yet I have learned that being weird is how you become respected and accepted and is the key to our happiness. To be yourself is to be weird and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
As I raise my son, I need to continue to be weird right along with him. I cannot teach him how to be weird by being trapped in the normal box. Being a parent doesn’t mean you can just talk the talk, it requires you to walk the walk. The biggest disconnect between parent and child is the inability of the parent to live the life that they want their children to lead. Kids never listen to you, they observe you. You can talk to your children all you want about being themselves, but if you are not being yourself, then you haven’t a chance in hell in getting your kid to follow along. If you are living in a normal box that was created by your world, your child is ready and willing to climb right inside that box with you. You have to create your own box and show your children to create theirs.
I think it’s time to find a book and see how long I can balance it on my head. Maybe, I’ll even find a friend to pull my finger.I need to get back to being weird. I hate being normal.