I was a weird child.
I recall in first grade asking my dad if I could wear my new football suit to school–the one I just received for Christmas–and him, of course, telling me that I could not.
But I was a huge football fan and would not be deterred.
So I hid the entire thing, helmet and all, in a paper bag on the front porch. When I caught the school bus the next morning, I grabbed the bag on my way, so he never caught me. I changed from my school clothes to my football uniform and went out to recess carrying my helmet.
I got some strange looks from my friends at New Franklin Elementary School, I can tell you that.
Another time I recall walking in the rain and taking off my shoes, just so I could walk through the puddles in my bare feet.
I guess that oddness has carried on to adulthood, because I’ve never sought what most people do. I’m not chasing money, fancy cars or a large house. I chase happiness, laughter and God, all of which have made me one of the happiest people I know.
That weirdness has been transferred to my children, both of whom are amazing people. I can already see it in my grandchildren, and when we all get together, it’s mostly love and laughter.
It’s okay to be weird. It’s okay to be different from everybody else.
Us weirdos change the world. We’re just strange enough to think that a seemingly meaningless act like giving someone a hug can change the world. Well, maybe it won’t change the world at large, but it can certainly make a person’s day.
Love can change one person’s world, and that’s good enough for me.
Sure we get strange looks from some people, but that’s okay. If that’s the worst thing that happens to us, we’re doing pretty good.
It’s okay to be different. God forbid we should all being like the Kardashians! If you’re different from the rest, you should thank your lucky stars, because you’re special.
Don’t follow the beaten path. Dare to go off on a tangent. Be brave enough to take the narrow path through the forest, instead of traveling down the broad and boring highway with everybody else.
Musician Ed Sheeran was a weird kid with a birthmark on his face and a stutter. He overcame both, and says, “Stuttering is not a thing you have to be worried about at all, and even if you have quirks and weirdness, you shouldn’t be worried about that. Just be yourself, because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you, and if you try to be the cool kid from class, you’ll end up being very boring.
“Be yourself, embrace your quirks. Being weird is a wonderful thing. Don’t ever treat it as an issue and don’t see it as a plight on your life. Carry on pushing forward.”
Normal people blend into the woodwork, but us weirdos stand out in the crowd. Of course, some are going to laugh at us, but that’s mostly because they don’t have the guts to be themselves.
So, I’ll ask the question which has been mostly attributed to Jim Morrison of The Doors: “Where’s your will to be weird?”