For the last month or so I’ve found myself regularly throwing my hands up in the air and telling friends and family that “fair warning, I’m just gonna get weirder from here on out!” This phrase has been rolling off my tongue with a big smile, shake of the head, and shrug of the shoulders — as if I’m saying “yeah, I don’t get it either, but what are you going to do!?”
But, of course, I do get it.
I care a whole lot about what other people think of me. I’ve trained for many years in the art of being exactly the friend, daughter, employee, etc. that I think you’d like me to be … striving to say the right thing, do the right thing, be the right way — as if doing it all “right” will guarantee acceptance and love. (Or in some cases, doing the exact opposite and looking for the opposite results.)
And, of course, this warning is really not for you.
Each time I issue one of these warnings to someone in my life, it is clear that I’m actually warning myself. It’s as though I’m saying “fair warning ego, I’m giving myself permission to get real whether people like me or not.” … But let me tell you, it’s clear that my ego does not like this plan one bit! And when the ego feels threatened, it’s amazingly skilled at manufacturing all sorts of stories around the beliefs that we hold true. Some of my own current favorites include that people will think I’m crazy, that they will say I’ve jumped off the deep end, that people will decide I’ve officially drunk the Kool Aid and need an intervention, instead of encouragement to keep at it.
But what do I mean by ‘get weird’ anyway?
Lately I found myself seriously loosening my grip on ‘doing it right’ and instead just ‘doing things how I want to do them’ period. In some instances that has meant going against the grain and doing things that would not be considered mainstream or socially acceptable. In other cases, it has meant doing things that are oh-so-mainstream, but that fly in the face of the ways I have previously operated. Some examples:
- I’ve started going to meetings and self-awareness workshops with the Center of Consciousness. I love them because I feel like I’m being trained to be this mighty spiritual warrior, trekking down a path of self-discovery and opening up to myself + truth + love. And I’m doing so in this amazing community of other similarly-inclined people.
- I’ve started exploring long-term career options that might allow me to eventually bring my day job (university administrator) and my life outside of work (yoga, etc.) more closely into alignment.
- I’m talking about and paying attention to astrology even more than I already did.
- I’m considering re-piercing my nose.
- I’ve dated men and I’ve dated women. For a long period I dated women exclusively, but lately I’ve been drawn to men. I’m not entirely sure where that leaves me, but I’m resisting the temptation to slap a label on it, and I am retaining the right to change my M.O. yet again in the future.
- Sometimes I willingly douse myself in glitter because being sparkly immediately makes me giggle and feel happier.
- I admit it, I like the smell of patchouli. I also admit that I love Tide detergent and real deodorant, even though I know they contain chemicals that will most certainly bring me closer to death.
Frankly, if I had met the ‘me of today’ a few years ago, I would have judged her harshly and thought she was a giant weirdo (though underneath those judgments would have been a vast longing to let my own freak flag fly). But “the world needs its rebels, its outcasts and weirdos. Without them, nothing much ever changes.” And I’m in great company — Lewis Carroll, Oprah Winfrey, and Rosa Parks, among others!
It is what it is.
Here’s the thing: at the end of the day, I am who I am. And although ‘who I am’ will most certainly evolve drastically over a lifetime of living, right now this is me — like it or not. My ego imagines that some people may read this post and opt to unfollow my blog. But I also imagine that for each of those people, there will be others who opt to start following because they feel a deeper resonance with me and want to read more. And you know what? The ironic thing is that the more comfortable I get in my own skin, the less I find myself caring about what other people think of me, period.
I’m curious — In what ways is your ‘you of today’ a big ole’ weirdo? And in what ways are you holding yourself back for fear of judgment? Vulnerable sharing in the comments section is always encouraged and deeply appreciated… :))