I saw this on Pinterest the other night and it struck a chord with me because as you’ve probably already figured out I’m weird. I’ve known this since I was a little girl. While all the other little girls were playing house and messing around with their mother’s makeup, I was under a tree somewhere with a book, or trying to get the feral kittens to let me pet them in the barn (don’t try this at home unless you don’t mind long nasty scratches on your arms).
For years I hid my obsessive compulsive list making, note scribbling, recipe collecting, physically awkward, animal dork, real person from the world. I raised a family, bred horses, kept a rather demanding job and dressed and groomed myself sufficiently that no one figured out just exactly how weird I really was.
One of the best things about getting older though is that I’ve quit caring what people think of me. I’ve talked to a lot of people my age who say the same thing. They feel secure enough about themselves they can actually be authentic, weird or not. In my case, that would be a definite weird and I’m ok with that and actually at this place in my life, confident about it.
For example, a friend of mine brought me some eggs from his daughter’s chickens. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I took about twenty pictures of them before I put them in the refrigerator. I could see by the look on his face he thought this was REALLY REALLY weird, but he just rolled his eyes. Something like that would have bothered me when I was younger. Now though, I just flip it off in my mind because my older self knows he’ll hang around to see if those eggs are going to turn into something good to eat and if I take another twenty pictures of whatever I make from them he’ll get a chance to roll his eyes again, but he won’t turn down the food.
Another thing that helps with the whole weirdness situation is to find friends as weird (or better yet, even weirder) than you. This gets easier as you get older, because older people don’t care about hiding their weirdness as much as younger people do. If I had figured this out years ago, I’d just have gone out and found some weird, old people to hang out with right from the beginning.
In some ways I did. When I was first widowed and breeding horses, the old farmers in town were all my friends. They’d stop by to see my new batch of babies every year and make jokes about feeding my mares from old paint cans so they’d have paint foals. They drove flat bed trucks with hay on the back and the requisite Border Collie, Australian Shepherd or Heeler, pacing back and forth constantly on the truck, looking for something to herd. I loved these guys and they loved me because I understood what made them tick. They saw the weirdness in me and connected to it because they were weird also. Instead of wearing a suit and going to church on Sunday, they were hiding in the barn drinking coffee and watching the new set of babies run around. Instead of wearing a dress and going to church on Sunday, I was sitting on a hay bale in jeans with a coffee cup watching my babies pester their mothers, which was and still is my definition of spirituality.
At any rate, if you’re reading this you’re probably weird too because you wouldn’t hang out here for long if you were normal. Confess up, dear virtual friends! What makes you weird? Inquiring minds want to know.