It’s OK to be “Weird”

Published December 12, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

The universe is trying to tell me something.

Over the past few days, I’ve had a few little stings at my self esteem, some a bit bigger, particularly when it comes to my core beliefs.  I’ve had a few reminders that the fatosphere and feminism circles I choose to surround myself with are not how a lot of people think and behave.

From the “friend” who told me I “aim too high” when it comes to men (she’d seen my Crush) to the moment I pissed off a colleague by pulling him up for repeatedly and erroneously telling people that I could be “bribed by chocolate” by saying “Actually chocolate isn’t that important to me, but I know how you could assume that by my being a fat woman and all.”  From being told to “cheer up” when I was taking a quiet moment out after a stressful morning to gather my thoughts and recharge my batteries to a friend taking offense when I declined to play one of the traditional “girly” games about men.  I just seem to be getting constant reminders that the values that I hold dear, and that in a lot of ways, I’m outside of the norm.  That I’m considered “political” (despite the fact that I couldn’t give a shit about politics per se) or just “weird”.

Whenever that happens, I find myself rethinking why I do what I do, why I am who I am, and why the the way I think and behave seem so radical to so many other people.  Sometimes the old self esteem takes a bit of a battering (it has this week) and sometimes it makes me question a lot of my core values.  Which is not a bad thing, but sometimes I feel it sets me back in growing and learning, because I have to go back over old ground, you know?

But the thing is, as my therapist is fond of reminding me, not everyone unpacks how and what they think.  Not everyone asks questions about the world around them.  Not everyone believes that there is always growing and changing that can be done.  However, just because many people don’t do it, doesn’t mean those of us who can and do should ever feel like we’re weird for doing so.

What I want to do is to reach out to those of you who have felt this way, and let you know that you’re not alone.  And by doing so, I remind myself that my “weirdness” amongst general folk isn’t unique to me, but that there are plenty of people out there who want to evolve and question and challenge.

It’s ok to challenge people’s thinking (respectfully of course).  After all, if someone hadn’t challenged our thinking along the line somewhere, wouldn’t we still be plodding along with the masses?

It’s ok to be different.  You don’t have to apologise for not following the same thought patterns and processes as everyone else.

Just because “Everybody knows/thinks/believes/does” doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Everybody thought the earth was flat once.

It’s ok to be different.  Just because “society” says that you should look a certain way, or behave a certain way, because you’re a woman or you’re of a particular age, or because you’re fat, doesn’t mean you have to.  Social rules are not the law.

It’s ok to disengage if you need to.  If someone isn’t responding with respect, or you feel that they’re never going to get the message you’re trying to impart, you can disengage.  That isn’t admitting defeat, it’s letting go of a pointless argument.  Sometimes you just have better things to do with your time.

It’s ok to process.  If you need time to think about something, or sort out how you feel, or just recharge your batteries, then take it, and don’t let anyone tell you to “cheer up” or suggest you’re sulking.  Even if you do what I do – find a quiet corner somewhere, (I’ve even used the ladies room for this if I had nowhere else) and take some time out.  You can do that.

You don’t have to tolerate shitty behaviour from someone because they are your friend or family.  If someone doesn’t treat you with respect and dignity, you’re well within your rights to walk away from them.  Literally and figuratively.

And most of all, find the people who do support you, who hold the same values and behave in a way that you admire and surround yourself with them.  They are the ones who will get you through the tough times, who will celebrate the most when you are happy and encourage you in your endeavors.  If you need to step back inside the bubble for awhile to soak up the wisdom and fabulousness of the people who inspire and amaze you, do it.  It’s good for you.

21 comments on “It’s OK to be “Weird”

  • “But the thing is, as my therapist is fond of reminding me, not everyone unpacks how and what they think. Not everyone asks questions about the world around them. Not everyone believes that there is always growing and changing that can be done. However, just because many people don’t do it, doesn’t mean those of us who can and do should ever feel like we’re weird for doing so.”

    Thank you for that. This was a super meaningful post for me. I needed to hear that today.

  • I’m so sorry that people are sucky sometimes, and I’m so sorry that you’ve been having a rough go of it lately. And challenging/questioning our core values can definitely be a good thing, but good LORD it can be tiring and isolating, no? I hope you’re able to take care of and do something fabulous for yourself!

  • Great post. I know exactly what you mean – I’m so used to being in safe spaces and it really shocks me when I get a jarring reminder that some people just don’t think about things.

  • Stick to your guns, doll. Your instincts and beliefs are right by me. I know how you feel though and I absolutely abhorre it when someone tells me to “smile’ or “cheer up” as though I needed that remark for me to remember to be or do just that. UGH! I think people need to mind their business and use their manners, both are free and should be used freely! You work far too hard to deal with that crap. You do what you need and want and the rest can f-off! I think it’s simply easier for people to behave so grossly (in my opinion). It is much more difficult to be thoughtful and kind and reflective and accepting. But damn if it doesn’t give you a better view of the world. Keep on rockin’, Kath! ❤

    • Thanks Sarah. It means a lot to have wonderful people like yourself to support me and cheer me on through the bits that are hard work.

      What really bothers me about the whole “cheer up” stuff is the assumption that I’m sad or angry or whatever when I’m not smiling and laughing and goofing off. It’s like I’m expected to perform 24×7 and can’t take a little time to process or just reset the brain.

  • I think the final paragraph is vital: it’s good to have a core of support to fall back on. As long as one never makes the mistakes of thinking that things can go that easily in the bigger world.

    For about twenty years and counting, I’ve been in a triad with two wonderful men who are not afraid to tell me when I’m wrong, but who provide a pressure valve when others are simply unable or unwilling to see why I’m right. I literally cannot express all of the ways this has made a big difference to me!

    And as far as standards too high–stand by them! If they’re not superficial, if they’re really what you need to be happy, you are better off single than you are lowering them and being in an unhappy marriage. My parents’ marriage was unhappy, and at least it taught me that much. Other people might not automatically think of my spice as the most wonderful men on earth, but I do, and I’m glad I never settled for less.

    • You’ve touched on something I want to elaborate on Beradette. That’s the fact that I don’t at all believe I’m 100% right all the time, and I’m in no way afraid to admit when I am wrong, but when I’m passionate about something, and it’s my deep held belief, I don’t need people to dismiss that. Respectfully debate/challenge it, but it’s the dismissal that really burns my bread. I have a friend who sounds like the men you mention. He has been challenging my thoughts and keeping me challenging my own thoughts for 20-odd years now. I love him for it like no other.

      And you are absolutely right. I’m not “aiming” anywhere, if I like someone, I like them for who they are, but as I have survived shitty relationships and learned from my mistakes, the one thing is concreted in my mind – I will never settle for anyone who is anything but a special person. After all, what’s love for if it’s not for special people?

  • Just chiming in to say that the ability to self-reflect is a rare and wonderful trait and should be cherished. You’re special for being able to do so, not weird!

    (Oh, if only more people were “weird” like that!) 🙂

  • Comments are closed.

    %d bloggers like this: