Be Weird

Weird is my thing. Has been for as long as I can remember, and I can remember all the way back to when I was eighteen-months-old. (Sidenote: Losing your memory as you age sucks extra hard when you originally had a freakishly fabulous one)

When I was super little, I delighted in my weirdness. I loved the feeling that I was different from someone else, anyone else. It felt awesome, and special, and hey-aren't-I-neat? And the only reason I stopped, the only reason I decided "weird" was something to be ashamed of, was because complete strangers who DID NOT MATTER, not one little bit at all, told me it was. And suddenly weird was wrong and embarrassing and needed to be hidden. Suddenly I had to pretend, all the time, just so the schoolyard taunting and shoving and slamming into walls would cut back and give me a little space to breathe in.

But not to be me in. Because that was not to 
be allowed. That was wrong.

As I grew older, I came to see that the real wrongness was in allowing people who did not matter to dictate the things that did. Personality, self-respect, character, opinions, choices. I let others decide what those should be, and my life became lies wrapped up in fakery, coated in pretending. I pretty much transformed from a sweetly weird little girl into a pathological liar. 

It should be said that I have to take accountability for that. My parents raised me with love and morality and affirmation. I knew better than to lie and pretend. I felt the wrongness of my fake life but I was too scared to live a real one until I surrounded myself with people (like my awesome Vander-man), who were unabashedly, apologetically real. I love people like that. If you're that kind of people, you're my kind of people.

I was thinking today that having kids is the best thing that ever happened to my weirdness. It's like each kid has given me permission to embrace a different shade of weird. And I want to teach them more about authenticity, about being WHO THEY ARE, because being other people instead can hurt you soul-deep. 

All this rambling to say . . . be you. Let me be me. Be weird, and celebrate your weirdness. In a world thickly coated with fakery, authenticity is always worthy of celebration.

VanderVision Tip of the Day: Awesomeness can't be stolen. You have to make your own.

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