Not in a “I like to swim in a baby pool filled with tapioca” weird, but weird nonetheless.
I wear goofy t-shirts to the gym. I play Dungeons & Dragons and read an inordinate amount of comic books. I often prefer the company of people’s pets more than the people themselves. I have a bookshelf full of Japanese historical texts that I can’t even read without a dictionary. I am more than happy to cartwheel down a long hallway for no particular reason. I am fascinated by primates. I am a computer nerd, working a corporate IT job, who spends his nights and weekends putting on pajamas and fighting people. I get funny looks and people poke fun at me when I don’t drink alcohol and refuse dessert or extra servings at parties. And I think everybody should treat their life like one giant game.
Okay, let me rephrase… I am $@%&ing weird!
When I was younger, I used to try to fit in with the herd. To be like everybody else, because clearly majority rules and everybody else must know how to life except for me. (I hope my dripping sarcasm was evident right there…)
Then I went to my 20 year high school reunion.
Look, I hated high school with the burning fury of a thousand suns (and I suffered through a lot of nerd-shame) but I realize a lot of it was my own doing. While there was a lot of asshattery going on at good old Centennial High School in the late 80s, I am pretty sure I could have avoided at least 25% of it by dealing with my own weirdness in a more productive manner. I say this because I want to make it clear that a large portion of the people I ran into at the reunion had grown into fine, well-adjusted adults with whom I have no problems… but that being said; when I looked at this majority, from whom I took my social cues, a good portion were:
- Out of shape
- In debt
But there I was happy, healthy, and feeling alive!
All of a sudden being weird didn’t seem so bad!
Embrace Your Weird
I am going to shamelessly borrow the logo from Felicia Day’s anti-bully charity campaign for a moment.
Not only is it okay to be weird, sometimes it is an absolute necessity!
Go ahead and be weird. As weird as you want.
- Who cares what people think when you’re in the park doing yoga, or practicing parkour or tai chi?
- Who cares what people think when you bring in your homemade “weird” lunch rather than eating fast food like everybody else?
- Who cares what people think when you’re doing squats and shoulder presses instead of wasting your time on the treadmill like all the other women?
Those of you out there who feel self-conscious about your weirdness, I implore you, be grateful that you’re different.
There is only one you, and that is a beautiful thing!
Trying to be “the same” is what got all those out-of-shape, boring, unhappy people where they are now. Learn from their mistakes. Be the most unabashed version of yourself that you can. Shine as brightly as possible…
Being different is what’s going to get you where you really want to be.
Be Judged or Be Ignored
To borrow a line from Seth Godin: “You will be judged, or you will be ignored.”
When you stand up and stand out there will be people who will take displeasure in it. People who will judge you and try to get you to get back in line. Whether it is because they truly disagree with your words or actions or because deep down they wish they had the same courage, and are just lashing out, it doesn’t matter.
Want to know why?
Because they don’t get to have a vote in your life!
If you’re going to make positive changes, you may have run while others walk, go left when others go right, and kneel while others stand. It’s much easier to follow the herd, to keep your head down, go with the flow, and revel in the mediocrity of the status quo.
Take the road less traveled. Ruffle some feathers. Stand tall. Climb that figurative mountain (or literal one for the matter!) Make your mark!
You are going to be judged for being different. So you might as well wear that judgment like a badge of honor; wear it boldly and proudly. Because it sure is better than living and unhappy life and being ignored.
My name is Jeff. I’m
the a Jerd, and I’m proud of who I am.
But this is where I want to know about you! Who are you? What weirdness are you proud to embrace?
Let me know in the comments below!
PS: If you want help becoming a real-life superhero, then make sure to get your copy of “The Heroes’ Transformation Guide“ and support the site. Don’t wait!
PPS: Also, be sure to get your free e-book, “The 7 Fitness Obstacles Newbies Face” by subscribing to our mailing list… (no spam, I promise!)