I come from a generation in which if you were weird you had to make a choice, hide it and blend in, or be out there and don’t look for acceptance. Be strong enough to own your weird, earn your acceptance through sheer force of will.
They used to say “don’t dress weird unless you are strong enough to take the backlash, you can’t be crying every time someone doesn’t like your look”. Don’t be angry if people don’t like you, what do you expect? You are challenging the mainstream. Reactions should be your norm. These are signs of progress, not failure.
If you run away hurt and cry, then are you displaying weird (alternative fashion for example) for attention and to be popular? If it was truly who you were you wouldn’t care if others didn’t like it. It is who you are and you are stuck with it, so do it and own it regardless.
I knew people who changed thought, fashion, and attitudes by being amazing people that presented weird in a way that could be understood, appreciated, and respected. You couldn’t help but be impressed by them.
Weird is a onus we bear, presenting it to those who do not understand in a palatable way is so important. It can change our world in amazing ways.
The Universe gives us this task, gift, responsibility, so we can bring enlightenment to this world. Weird people brought science, literature that caused great advancement in thought, inspiring charismatic personalities led our society down better paths. People don’t do that anymore.
I was weird, I was bipolar. Lol! I was a hardcore punk/goth, then a bit of a hippie, then back to goth, I sometimes wore bizarre clothes, I wore a shit ton of black, had strange behaviour, I said and wrote weird crap. But I knew if I shared it most wouldn’t get it. And, they were not important, it was the ones that did that were. That impact was meaningful.
Sure, people were cruel, ignorant, and mean. Calgary was brutal. But, I realized that it was not my home, my place, my people, and moved on. And, never looked back. I didn’t need to. Don’t let the places that have “No room at the Inn” for you destroy your soul. There are better rooms for you waiting just down the road, you don’t want to be lulled into staying in a place that cannot bring you happiness.
Many times people misunderstood me, during my “Calgary” years I was mostly alone, half out of choice, half out of being surrounded by people I couldn’t find much to relate to. I understood that.
But, whatever weird I did, I owned, I understood, and I fully accepted the reactions received. Why would I be angry people didn’t like my weirdness, that would be stupid. Why be angry at people who couldn’t and didn’t want to understand? They were not a part of my life.
After a while I realized that I didn’t want relationships that I had to pretend to be them. That wasn’t all their fault. Once I stopped blaming the world, it was incredibly freeing. I didn’t look for acceptance, I looked for happiness. I didn’t strive to fit in, I learned to fit into myself and enjoy who I was.
And, people started to enjoy being around me. When people start to enjoy you, even if they are not weird, it is such an awesome experience. It is then you start to change the world around you to a better understanding, not encourage intolerance.
I understood the cost of weird and lived it completely authentically. Asking people to accept your weird as if it is normal is kinda counterproductive. Then your unique perspective is just mundane.
Forcing it down people’s throats is also counterproductive. It doesn’t create understanding or true appreciation, it just causes people to avoid you, or take their opinions of your to behind your back. You no longer have the chance to talk about it or develop an understanding of it that leads to more open minds.
Be real, own it, be strong, but not overbearing, be someone that walks a different path, but becomes a Pathfinder.
Weird can be extraordinary if you are extraordinary. It can bring enlightenment and growth. It can be a new way of looking at things that others can see, appreciate, and respect. If done with tact, style, confidence, and intelligence.