Monday, August 15, 2011

You Think I'm Crazy?

While I was attempting to meditate this morning, my mind began to shuffle through the past few days. True to form, it acutely focused on all of the stinging interactions I've had with people instead of the lovely ones.  And also true to form, it wanted to judge me for those previous stingy interactions. The stingiest (ok I'm not using the word again, promise) of all of these interactions were a few that revolved around a reoccurring theme for me. That theme being the idea that I am just  plain nuts. I hear it incessantly. I've heard it my whole life. In different ways of course (and almost always laden with a large dollop of judgment and/or sarcasm)...

"You're weird"
"You're special"
"You're not right"
"You need therapy"
"What's wrong with you?"


"Why is your hair like that?"
"Why do you do it that way? That's weird."
"Why would you do that?"

Or my all time favorite:

The blank stare.

Once when I was going to school at Temple University, a teacher actually pulled me aside and very boldly (and rudely) told me he thought I needed therapy because I showed the class that I didn't shave my legs. Now I'm not saying I didn't need therapy. Part of why I'm a little "different" is because of a uniquely tumultuous and bumpy childhood and the therapist I've been going to for a almost a year now has been invaluable. But I don't think I needed to go to therapy for my hairy leg show and tell. Geez.

And I won't argue with people who say that I am a little different, but I need to say this: I know I'm different. K? I don't need you to tell me in a thousand different snarky ways every week. However, I know that you're still going to. And I realized a long time ago that I'm just going to have to be okay with that.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people like me are considered insane by most unless we become famous, and then people begin to creepily worship us. It isn't until a new idea (or a person with a new idea) feels big enough and safe enough that sections of the masses feel secure enough to then click the "like" button and gush about the "genius" of it all. Do you know what that means? That means people like me everyday have to fight hard to bravely and persistently raise their freak flags in a sea of people who fearfully think that freak flags are an abomination. Unless it's safe enough to think it's cool. And then freak flag raising is okay. Right?

I'm telling you straight up, somedays it's hard to even feel comfortable saying what I want to say because I've gotten so many judgments and rude words in response. Part of why I don't stay still long is because I don't always want to be fully seen. We "different" folk sometimes have to have shields up for protection and mine is a squirrelly shield. It's defense is to ping pong all over the place so you never get too close and see just how weird I really am. But as I get older, this squirrelly ping-pong thing is losing steam and sometimes he's off duty and sometimes he's on and it makes for quite the internal contradiction.

I need a point don't I? Okay. Okay. Let me think here...

My point is two-fold:

One is: that if you get told you're nuts, try to take it as a compliment. I know it's hard. (obviously I'm having a tough time with it now) But without you, and your amazingly freaky ideas, this world would be filled with dull, mechanized, drones. (aka people who have forgotten that they too have a freak flag somewhere). We don't just need you. We desperately need you. Mechanized drone world is going out of style. And even though it feels like it, you're not alone.

Two is: people are afraid. I think we're afraid of being made fun of, being called out, being singled out as different. We don't want to feel alone and we don't want feel inadequate. We huddle in mass groups and judge each other, for fear of letting our guards down, for fear of letting our hearts open. We don't want to get hurt. But I have come to understand that the more you love yourself, the more you can love others and the higher that freak flag goes. Because I believe what we're really, really afraid of is our love and our inner creative power. There's this great quote by Marriane Williamson that starts off like this, "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.."

We have to open our hearts and let the freak flags fly because, and the end of the quote goes like this, "as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear our presence automatically liberates others."


Dance the funky chicken in a crowd of non-freakflaggers.
Sing from our hearts.
Let our guards down if we can.
Say something off-beat just because we want to.
Push boundaries.
Try to choose love over being right even if it's not popular (and it won't be).
Allow the squirrelly ping-pongy shield (or whatever you call yours) have a day off, or a week off, or if we're really feeling frisky, let's fire their asses.




  1. "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.."

    I love this. And I love that we are friends.

    I'm definitely a little crazy but that's what makes us fun!