Making Weird Work: Owning Your Eccentricity

Curl toes to truly feel the surface tension we all love so much.
Holes are dug in order to fully bury all that we carry it home.
Then we feel three curves and fall back to the way he loved me.
However; Opening doors does not always close my mind as expected.
Always there remains a ring despite the coaster she called out to him.
The nonsense clause employed we drove through as they grew into an orchard.
Ceasing was four times braver than sighing with great melodrama.
It follows then that: Two wrongs make a blue plate on my blue wall unfit for eating.

Does that make sense? Do you understand the point I’m trying to make? I hope you just answered no, because that was pure nonsense, and I advise you to completely ignore it.

Anyways. Today I was thinking about my community college days. I had a graduation party last week,  and I had a chance to see some of the delightful people I met at that noble institution of learning and ultimate frisbee. This got me thinking about the philosophy of weirdness and weird things I’ve thought about weirdness. It reminded me about how weird people could be at AACC, but not your average weird. The folks there had a certain quality of weirdness…..it was so genuine. A weird to be admired not avoided. As my main Renaissance man Shakespeare would say:

“The quality of weird is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle snort from heaven
Upon the desk beneath: it is twice strange;
It free-eth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis a odd  in the oddest: it becomes
The eternal student better than his associates degree;
His improv group shows the force of humorless power,
The attribute to naivete and sincerity,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of anime impersonators;
But weirdness is above this literally sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of the free,
It is an attribute to Salvador Dali himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest Thom Yorke’s
When weirdness seasons “reality.”

So, now that I’m  about as far into the post as the average modern reader can go without getting distracted, I realize I still haven’t lived up to the how-to-esque title. So here, for your pleasure and edification (a word which always reminds me of Edible Arrangements) are some tips on “making weird work,” courtesy of yours probably.

1. You can be as weird as you want, as long as you own it. If you’re worried about it, it’s going to show. Like predators can smell fear, normal people can smell your insecurity. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes (aka take a walk around, and see who catches your eye).

2. Don’t pretend. I’m not telling you to limit your unique personality and style. I just don’t want to you to try to change the inside by dressing for the shock factor. Do you want to be eclectic?  Then visit art galleries or take up the accordion or collect pictures of faces with outstanding dimples. The confident weird of #1 is not to be gained by buying just the right outfit. In fact, you can be as wonderfully weird in the more boring outfit. If you want to change the way you interact with the world, change your mind first. Then buy new kicks. (How to Be an Explorer of the World by Kerry Smith is place to start.)

3. Spend time alone. Cherish bits of solitude. Studies have shown that even the best intentioned will mimic the opinions and preferences of the people they spend the most time with. And that’s fine. It’s wonderful to soak in the culture of others, but if you want to create a pieces of your own, then I suggest getting away from it all now and then. Go for a hike in the woods and look at ALL the plants, trees, and the lines they create. Find a corner of a favorite room or place or park and spend the day reading, journaling, sketching, doodling, singing, etc. Then come back, and share what you have learned.

4. Know what you are made for. That’s a tall order, I know. You can only truly be your awesome weird self when you know what you are made to do. The caged gazelle is not able to express it’s real identity because it was designed to run free across huge spaces. Unlike many, I believe there is an answer to this question. It is screaming at you from every plant, from the creation of every artistic mind, from the wind in the trees, from the love one human can have for another. We are made with intention and care.  The human was not made for trivial attempts at blending in and making tons of money so we can buy big, ugly houses and fill them with pointless, meaningless stuff that sits around us while we watch a TV that we turn off whenever it reminds us that people around the world are starving to death.

I think, at it’s core, the weirdness I’m after is one that hungers for what is true and real and wants that truth at any cost. When I have that truth, I desire to act upon it no matter how weird my actions look to the rest of the world. 

“Our lives are intellectually and emotionally disconnected from the infinite, soul-staggering grandeur for which we were made…Western culture is drowning in a sea of triviality, pettiness, banality, and silliness…the human heart was made to be staggered with the supremacy of Christ.”  – John Piper

Woah. I got all serious on you at the end didn’t you. That’s called “ambush.” I know my military tactics (*pushes glasses up nose with forefinger*). Should I have just kept being silly? Or does my definition of weird matter? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please share. I am eager to hear what you have to say. 

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7 thoughts on “Making Weird Work: Owning Your Eccentricity

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  5. “If you’re worried about it, it’s going to show. Like predators can smell fear, normal people can smell your insecurity.”

    Very true. A friend of mine who is going off to Rome to study theology comes to mind–whenever she tells anyone new about her life plans, she’s very hesitant–it’s like she’s telling them she has leukemia instead of embarking on a great adventure. And sure, studying to become a nun is weird. But it is the perfect fit for her, so who cares?

    Btw thanks for letting me know about the spam from my blog’s Twitter. That’s the second time I’ve had to change my password this summer because of spam, and I don’t really like using Twitter (only did it for the class) so I deactivated it. Ahh…relief.

  6. Hmmm……do you think one goes out in search of weirdness? (Sure, maybe teenagers, but do adults?) I think that in finding myself, my purposes, etc, I have learned that I am VERY different than everyone else. I’m different that the people in my family. I’m different than other girls. I’m different than my peers. Sometimes, I think it’s them. THEY must be weird. Why don’t THEY think/act like I do? Geez, something must be wrong with THEM!

    But wait, maybe it’s me. (GASP!) Maybe I’m the weird one. But that’s ok. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t make an effort to be weird or to be an individual – not that those are synonymous. Maybe when you are completely comfortable with yourself (your voice, your opinions, your style, etc) it doesn’t matter if someone is different. It doesn’t matter who is weird. You just…..are. You become you. And you aren’t being fake. There is no energy spent on pretending. Of course, finding yourself is a lifelong journey that many struggle with, but hopefully we take the time to enjoy the journey and along the way we will slowly become the people we are meant to be, weird or not.

    • I guess that’s what I’m trying to say through a re- appropriation of the weird word. Finding how unique you are, being comfortable and confident in your own opinions no matter how many people agree, and finding a standard to measure yourself against that isn’t contingent on the pre set standards of others

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