Posted by: scintillatingspeck | March 9, 2015

Resolutely weird.

I was going to begin by writing, “When I was 8 years old, I knew with crushing certainty that I was a weirdo.”  Except I knew it at every age hence.  It hasn’t ended.  I’m 42 years old and I’m still weird.

How do I know this?  It’s all relative, right?  How could weirdness make any sense without the inevitable comparisons to “normal”?  All I need to do is a quick comparison of Me to the Relentless Onslaught of What We Are Told is Normal, and the gauge reads, every time, “Yep.  Weird to the bone.”

Would it have been easier if I looked more strange?  if there were some physical marker to indicate to the general populace, hey!  This creature is not what you expect!  She has flames shooting out of her eyeballs, and liquid tenderness flowing from her fingertips, and she keeps going blurry, and vanishing, and, wait, she’s an otter, an amoeba, a dragon, a lump, a chandelier, anti-matter, a Möbius strip…

I might make you uncomfortable, being myself.

How do I tell people?  I don’t.  I see when they realize.  Their expression turns to disgust, or confusion, or sympathy, or wild joy.  If they don’t realize, they don’t much care.  I can pass.  I have a lulling look.  My outer appearance is not extraordinary.

I used to be glum that I would never be cool, and would usually be regarded with a sort of panicked distaste by the Beautiful People.  I would like to gather up all the weird little children in the world, the weird adolescents, and the weird adults, take them all into my capacious, oceanic lap, cuddle them, smile at them, and say, “That’s a crazy gauntlet we’ve had to run, eh?  What the hell?  Who decided the Beautiful People were beautiful?  Can we nod our heads sagely when we determine that being force-fed Normality is a deeply creepy thing?  How could we have been led into such undermining of spirit?  Listen, Loves, we don’t have to follow that program.  We are not here to be programmed.  Cherish your weirdness!  I do!  Thank you to those who are already cherishing, and to those who aren’t, there’s still time.”

I would like to take my 8-year-old self in my 42-year-old lap, and say, There is much to look forward to.  You will do things you didn’t think you could do.  You will have the kindest, oddest friends.  You will cross thresholds of understanding, again and again.  You will reimagine yourself; you will accept; you will release the threads of identity that bind you.  You will be permeated with love.  You will feel, relentlessly.  You will cycle in and out of penumbral perspectives.  If weird is what you are, then weird is what is sacred.




  1. How well I remember seeing you for the first time, and loving your flaming authenticity!

    • Carolyn—you strode towards me, smiling, as if we had known each other all our lives. I remember. One of those “we are supposed to know each other” moments.

  2. This piece is so relevant to my life, and the way it ends in particular. I got happier as I became more and more accepting of, and ultimately militant about, the fact that I was simply never going to entirely fit anywhere. This process continues into middle age for me. Lots of love to you, Jen.

  3. I meant the way the piece ends, not the way my life ends. Don’t know yet how my life ends.

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