Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Blessings Of Weird

Some aspects of life take a while to be seen as blessings.
Being called weird or odd or other names might sting a bit when you’re young, but eventually you know better.

For the longest time there was that little part of me that wanted to fit in and be like everyone else even though I knew deeply down inside that I couldn’t stomach the type of compromise it would take to do it.

Anyway, stretching my mind back over the years and viewing this objectively led me down an interesting path.
Were the name–callers straight-laced types?

Yeah, mostly.

Maybe they were jealous. Perhaps they would have liked nothing better than to loosen up a bit, but couldn’t. Perhaps it was due to a restrictive family life, or maybe they’d locked themselves into being a good girl or boy and were too scared to let their souls out.

Well, that’s where they were. They have their lessons. I have mine.

If they felt better labeling me, then in retrospect I believe that’s what they needed to do. Maybe I was doing them a service by being a target. It certainly makes me feel good to think so.

It was a blessing, really, to be called names. It didn’t stop me. I was quiet most of the time, but when I did say or do something it was exactly what was on my mind. I plain don’t know any better. If that made me odd, then so be it.

It’s freeing. I still do it and most people are used to me now. They expect it. The truth spills out before I have much time to edit myself.

It’s been years since someone called me weird without me sensing a certain amount of affection within his or her tone of voice.
That could be my imagination. If so, I think I’ll hang onto it.
It serves me well.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Great reminder not to get so caught up in what others think of us!

And if you're "weird," than "weird" is a good word, not an insult.

I'm not particularly blunt in social situations; my weirdness takes other forms. The older I get the less I care what others think about that, but I still care more than I'd like to.

Leah J. Utas said...

"And if you're "weird," than "weird" is a good word, not an insult."

Yes it sure is, Crabby. Thanks.

bunnygirl said...

In my 'tween and teen years, I desperately wanted to fit in and be "normal," but the best I could ever manage was at a superficial level.

Now that I'm 40, I'm so glad things turned out the way they did! One of the things I love about getting older is how much less I care what people think of me. I conform just enough to remain employable at a level that pays the bills. :-)

Dawn said...

"I conform just enough to remain employable at a level that pays the bills."

Oh my - I do like that!

Your are a little weird, Leah, and you attract a few weird types here at your blog. And yes, I think about you with real affection my weird little friend.

Rebecca said...

Well, Leah, you saw the results of my trying too hard to fit in (my little nervous breakdown at 25? - although that fam reunion was pretty funny for some). Unfortunately I have yet to find the conformity level that bunnygirl mentions. I just can't swallow bs anymore and then find myself wo a descent job.

Leah J. Utas said...

"...conform just enough to remain employable..." excellent compromise, Bunnygirl.

Like attracts like, Dawn. And thank you. It's mutual.

Totally get it about the BS, Rebecca. I really don't have much patience for it.

I don't recall that particular FR, but a breakdown at a family reunion is just part of the fabric.
Sorry your turn isn't leaping to mind right now.

Michael said...

I've always been weird, and I can completely relate, Leah. When I was growing up, I was often the target of those types too. And I mean it: I'm as weird as you can get (haha). I wish I could make Bunnygirl's compromise. I used to, or I tried at least, but I got so very tired of...well, everything!

Leah J. Utas said...

I understand, Michael. Compromising takes energy.

blessed1 said...

I've always thought normal was boring. Weird is usually a blessing-you're right.