As much as we try to be perfect and as much as we try to be normal, those two things are never quite as satisfying as it is to just be ourselves. Every once in a while you get a reminder of how exhilarating it is to just be weird. It can be a eccentric person or an unforgettable experience but whatever the case embracing your inner uniqueness – or weirdness – is a good thing.
I came across one person in my life or taught me quite quickly the benefits of embracing the quirky, off-beat characteristics of my personality. My good friend Chelsea, who I met my freshman year of college, and I instantaneously hit it off. Through what would evolve into a six year friendship that continues to grow, I would find that holding my truth and my own differentness would be the key to a successful life. It would help guide my faith, help me tap into my passions and help sustain my friendships.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of being weird is the fun it brings to your life. Whenever I am in a room with Chelsea we don’t even have to exchange words but merely a glance in each other’s direction and we can laugh uncontrollably. I don’t know what causes it, we just have this (weird) connection that has helped shed the expectations of striving for perfection and appearing to be normal and instead just be weirdly authentic. Chelsea and I can go on road trips, play drinking games or just random adventures and we end up sharing stories, laughing, and without a doubt, doing things that strangers would look upon with a WTF?! I’ve learned to appreciate and embrace those moments, because they make life more enjoyable. The stressful times don’t seem to eat away at you so badly, the sad times don’t seem to be so unbearable and the times of fear and doubt seem to be mere adventures ready for the picking.
Yes being weird is fun, but surprisingly it has improved my life in more ways than just making it more enjoyable.
Chelsea has taught me how our weirdness develops our faith. Learning through Chelsea’s example, God is our God – he is here for us and with us and who we need Him to be, is exactly who He wants to be. We can simply look to the sky or the world around us and feel and see his presence in ways that are so beautifully special we may just miss them if we don’t pay attention. We can bond with God over a song that’s words are special, or a moment that may be exciting, and different. She has taught me that getting closer to God is not just a solitary experience but one that is developed through your experiences and your relationships with others.
I remember the last night my group of friends spent together as undergrads at Canisius College. We wandered around campus together sharing stories and laughs. Suddenly the sprinklers came on and Chels perks up with an “Oh my GOD!!!!! The sprinkles are on!! We HAVE to run through them!” And whether we were for it, or reluctant we all ran through getting soaking wet, laughing, and somehow in some special way we all became closer, closer than we had ever been in that split second. It was almost this weirdly spiritual experience bringing so many friends even closer. It was because of this experience and a person like Chels who can spot the weirdness that needs to be lived that we all shared a moment we will never truly forget.
When you can tap into what makes you different you suddenly become more of an asset to the people around you. Like my group of friends, Chels stands as the pillar for support, advice, a good laugh, a fun moment, inspiration and a reminder that we are all good enough. She looks at life differently, but the way life should be looked at. She understands living to be happy and having fun while you can. She understands following your passion and how that is our vocation in life. She understands the twists and turns and how there is a silver lining in whatever we are given. She has this wonderful sense of optimism that is not idealistic or fake. I find that it’s rooted all in the fact that she doesn’t strive to be perfect, she strives to be herself and pushes everyone to embrace the best version of their own selves.
If there is anything that is equally as weird as we are, it’s life. Life doesn’t work out how we plan it, no matter how hard we try. We can aim for one thing and end up in an entirely different area. We can see the world one way, and in any given amount of time our tune changes. So why not greet life’s weirdness with our own sense of it? To live life in any other way would be an injustice to life itself. Life is not meant to be lived perfectly or normally, but rather with excitement, adventure, exploring the new and different and ultimately finding our best selves and sharing that with others. I find that this beautifully describes what it is to be weird, but it can also be used to understand how to love, and how to live happily.
If one of the definitions of ‘weird’ is to control fate or destiny – I would say it fits perfectly to describe Chels and the example we should all take from her. It’s not so much trying to control life by mapping out every solitary moment, or try to be perfect to impress everyone else. Rather it is taking life by the balls, embracing who you are and what special gifts you have to make this world a better place. Once you have that figured out you’ve already won the game of life, because nothing can prevent you from truly being happy. Nothing can knock you off your game or tempt you from changing courses. You know you, you know your passion and you are ready to start the world on fire. Chelsea by far lives this everyday, and there’s no doubt that she has already won the game of life in how she inspires hundreds of people to find this in themselves!
So don’t be afraid to embrace your inner weirdness. You’ll stand a part from the ordinary people clinging to misguided hopes of perfection and normalcy. And trust me when I say it – you will never regret being weird, even a tiny bit. So next time you see a sprinkler – run through it. I dare you. And afterward, I bet you will have a moment that will never fade from your memory. It is moments like this that I understand that being weird is good. Being weird is love. If love is the best thing we do, weirdness is what helps understand it all.
Thank you, Chels – my favorite weirdo – for making that ever so apparent to my life, and the lives of everyone you come across!
“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”