My little sister turned 16 this year and today she got her driver's license. Oddly enough, I thought I would feel way older, but alas, I do not. Today I feel alive, radical and in love. With that being said, on the evening of her 16th birthday last month, my family went around the table and shared our birthday wishes for her. Yes, some of us cried because we love her so much and really, where does the time go?
Anyways, I was last to go and share my wish for her 16th year. And as I listened to all the beautiful wishes for her, mine just blurted out and it went a little something like this:
"I wish for you, I actually dare you to embrace the weird. Embrace the awkward, uncertain, crazy, nerdy, odd, did-that-just-happen moments. And be so beautifully and weirdly you. It is way more fun, I promise."
In that moment, I really wanted her and actually all of us at the table to embrace and truly love ourselves more. Be gentle with who we are, be empathetic and get out of our all too normal of a boring comfort zone. Know that we are human beings out there giving it our best shot and well, some times, it is really effing weird out there. Am I right?
So as the sun starts to slowly set on my 20's and I embark on a new decade in 2014, I actually ponder this advice and am really feeling it these days. A minor detour to 2004, my dear friend I met studying abroad in Australia had a gnarly pet peeve that would absolutely grind his gears. He hated with the utmost audacity when people spelled the word 'weird' with an 'i' before 'e' (like this: wierd). Oh man, when AOL instant message was all the rage, he would use all caps (which was yelling) and call me out and demand I spell it correctly. And in correcting me, he shared that he used this little trick. He said, "the word weird is spelled with 'ei', NOT 'ie'. Think of this to remember ei, like emotional intelligence". Boom, that stuck and I have been spelling weird right since '04, people.
And actually, the word weird had taken on a new definition since that conversation via computer chatting. Because yes, I do think it takes a level of emotional intelligence to own your own quirks, know your unique and radical joy, rock your crazy morning routines and sing out-loud in public. It takes effort, love and failure, yes failure, to start to feel out who we are and who we are not. And goodness, it takes time, time, time. It took me just about 30 years to get there and this journey will continue. But man, being weird and knowing it really rules! I have found: you get to be yourself, not worry about looking good or fitting in to someone else's ideals or goals for you and with the biggest heart, you grant yourself permission to put yourself out there and truly share your passions. I am telling you, you have got to try it.
Wait a minute. No joke, I just typed in 'define weird' in the google search bar. I was curious as to what the actual definition was while writing this post. Have you ever looked up the word? This is what you read from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of WEIRD
Origin of WEIRD
Middle English wird, werd, from Old English wyrd; akin to Old Norse urthr fate, Old English weorthan to become — more at worth
: unusual or strange
Full Definition of WEIRD
Mind blown. Did you know it was a noun that meant fate or destiny (I scratched out the ill fortune part)? I had no idea and yet, I totally get it. Because then, if you look at the second available definition as an adjective, you will see extraordinary character, fantastic and magic. So being weird is truly about being confident, rocking emotional intelligence and being radical.
So again, I daresay I embrace this emotional intelligence and own the magic that comes with being weird (adjective meaning oddly fantastic) and I am clear that it is my weird (noun, meaning destiny) to rock goals and share radical insights.
Today, I dare you to be weird and reach for your weird. Rock your journey and be gentle.
And by all means, spell it correctly with your amazing emotional intelligence.