Weird. You are weird. This is weird. We are weird.
What is it about this notion that we find so compelling, uncomfortable or attractive?
“Say what weird?”
That was a weird question right? Yeah probably, unless you’re either weird or you’ve seen Hot Rod.
It’s weird that I’m typing this. That I’m sitting down and using my brain to connect memories of how language works and deriving opinions based on my life experiences and education and then using these 10 long spindly things that have grown out of the ends of my hands, themselves connected to two arms, to permanently store those thoughts on a computer.
A computer that I can carry around.
And it all happened fairly automatically.
Weird is all around us, ALL the time. That is weird.
But we rarely notice it do we?
Maybe it’s because we’re all trying our darnedest to not be weird. To not stand out.
Let me describe how I am at home. There are very few people that have seen the real weird me. My mum, sister, niece, a few select friends and family have seen glimpses. But Brit gets to see the really weird me. The one where I have no concern at all about what she will think of me. I’ve also seen her really weird side. This type of weird is more than simply in jokes. It’s the moments when we both act strange and don’t care.
Now, I’m Northern Irish. So weirdness is not something I’ve generally been encouraged to explore in my culture. We keep that shit down where I’m from. But here in America, weirdness is more widely accepted than most places. That can be a good thing. Or it can be a weird thing. For example, “isn’t it weird that we elected a reality TV star to be president” levels of weirdness.
But I’m interested in why we don’t allow that weirdness to come out more often.
I’m convinced that everything that is creative and of worth comes out of a weird place. Think of all the TV shows or musicians you like. They’re all pretty weird.
Did you see Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl? That was weird. But it was also bloody brilliant.
Sometimes it’s good and sometime’s it’s bad.
Sometime’s it’s so bad that it’s good. Which is very weird.
I think then that the reason more of us don’t allow our weirdness to be seen (and make no mistake, it’s in all of us) is that we’re afraid.
We’re afraid of getting laughed at or ridiculed for being weird. But what if our weirdness is connected to something deeper?
I remember as a kid an incident (so you know already it was dramatic) when I was out shopping with my mum and sister. As we walked through Rushmere Shopping center we bumped into two of my older cousins on my Dad’s side. I was probably about 7, they were probably about 12 or 13 (which to a kid is like decades away). I was so excited to see them that I started jumping up and down and pulling at one of my cousins coats.
It was cute.
But I was so busy being cute that I failed to notice that this person who I was jostling and pulling at and making weird noises and faces was NOT my cousin but my other cousin’s friend.
Funnily enough, I did think it was weird she was reacting kind of frightened.
That was a moment I can pin point as where part of my weirdness started to become a little softer.
Or think of the moments we’ve all had when someone has told us to calm down when we’ve been excited or been told “we don’t do that here”. These chip away at our weirdness.
I’ve struggled with the idea of changing to measure up to people’s expectations for most of my life. If you read my last post, you’ll know what I mean. But I’m arguing that our job here in this weird existence called life, isn’t to change to make people happy, but to reclaim some of that lost weirdness that has always been there.
In Christianity, we may talk about this reclaiming our weirdness as reclaiming the true essence of who we are. Or as Danielle Shroyer puts it, remembering our original blessing.
If you’re part of a church, workplace or a community of some sort where you are not allowed to be weird, to ask questions, take risks, doubt; where there is only one way or the high way, then eventually you will learn to fit into place and not question where questions need to be asked and to not speak up when someone needs you to speak up.
Those places are usually the ones that never grow or learn to adapt. They don’t know how to be weird. For instance, as Christians, we’ve taken things like the Bible, which is probably the weirdest collection of writings that have ever existed and made them normal. Normal, is the last thing it is. But because we’re cautious of weirdness, we shut out different ideas and different ways of reading it. Which cuts off news ways of bringing life and Jesus back into our lives.
The solution is to listen to the weirdness again.
We need you to be weird. It’s not something to be frightened of. It’s where growth and creativity can flourish. It’s where life springs forth. Remember, what you are thinking is probably not that weird since someone is likely already thinking the same thing.
So let your weird out. Don’t suppress it. Be like kids who have no awareness of weird or normal. Jesus had some thoughts about this. It’s just expression. It’s actually kind of normal.
Which when you think about it, is extremely weird.