Why Being Weird Can Sometimes Work

When I was in third grade, I was told that girls were scared of bugs. At least the boys at school who ran up to me with grasshoppers in hand believed that. But I wasn’t, which put a damper on their enthusiastic decision to chase me with said grasshoppers.

I watched the boys visibly deflate as I calmly looked upon the terrified grasshoppers clutched in their fists, instead of screaming and running. Some of them thought I was weird because I was not afraid. Others wanted my friendship, because I was not afraid.

What they hadn’t reckoned on was me having an older brother who inspired me to collect grasshoppers. Between us, we filled a jelly jar with them. (Mom was not thrilled.)

You probably realize by now that I was a weird kid, driven by curiosity. For example, I wondered why grasshoppers hopped. Why did they spit a brown liquid that looked like the tobacco juice my elderly tobacco-chewing relatives spit? (I know. TMI.)

(Apparently, others called this liquid “tobacco juice” too. Look here.)

Years later, after I had been an adult for a while, a publisher specializing in educational resources needed someone to write curriculum for elementary school-aged kids about insects, amphibians, and other animals. Guess who was asked to write it. Yep. Weird me.

Sometimes weirdness has unexpected benefits.

Lately, I’ve been viewed as weird for not having cable or even a working TV. Nowadays, books are my TV. Well, books and YouTube videos about Pokémon, movies, or new toys.

   

This is what’s on TV these days.

Being without a TV has helped me to better understand the characters in a book I’m slowly working on. I have more time to think about the questions I have concerning their lives and motivations.

Being without a TV also has enabled me to work on my paper crafting. For example, I’ve decided to do the same scene in different seasons. Winter (below right) is mostly done. I’m working on autumn now. I’m taking liberties with the colors, however. Instead of having a gray bench with a snowflake throughout the seasons, I decided to change the bench for each season. I need to draw and cut out hundreds of leaves to scatter on the autumn scene. After that, I will tackle spring and summer.

Some might view this activity as weird. But who knows where this weirdness might take me in the days to come.

In what way(s) have you been designated as “weird”? How has being weird worked for you?

Grasshopper from freeimages.com. Grasshopper in a jar from commons.wikimedia.org. Other photos by L. Marie.

36 thoughts on “Why Being Weird Can Sometimes Work

  1. One of my father’s favorite things to say to me is, “You’re weird.” From the foods I eat, to my germaphobe obsessions…I embrace my weirdness. LOL! As for not having a TV, that’s not as weird as having six and rarely watching any of them.

    • My father has told me that on occasion too, Jill. I used to feel bad about it. But I am learning to embrace it. I now realize that my father meant it as a compliment. 😀

  2. I think weird is good and typically used to describe someone as being unique. We always seem something outside our personal norms as weird. I get called weird because I’m an author, watch anime, read manga, am a hands on father, and the list keeps going depending on who is judging me.

  3. I respect your ability to stay weird despite some external pressure. When I was an adolescent, I allowed peer pressure to suppress my natural weirdness, which for me was connected to my creativity. I was 40 by the time I allowed myself to write fiction, let alone fantasy. Now that I’m nearly 50, I’ve fully embraced my weirdness and I don’t apologize for it anymore. (At least I try not to!)

    • Laura, I did the same. Peer pressure is a sad motivator. I stopped writing fantasy when genre writing was frowned upon in college. I tried to embrace the norm. Life was so colorless when I did. 😦

  4. Bugs were never my thing, but, yes, weird. Even as a young child I was a walking encyclopedia of history. It took me a while, though, to appreciate historical fiction because at first, all I wanted were “the facts.”

  5. I usually call myself a freak, because I never fit into the social norms. As a teenager, peer pressure never worked on me to do what everyone else was doing. I never wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be me. To this day, my husband says that if you tell Lori she should do something, she’ll do the opposite. I never fit in with any crowd. When I was younger, it used to get lonely, but I could never go against what my heart calls me to do.

    I think it’s cool that you don’t have a TV. I wish I wasn’t so addicted. I’ve gone without cable and could again, but not without my internet.

    Thanks for sharing about your positively beautiful, unique, weirdness.

  6. I have a horrible feeling I might not be weird. That’s a depressing thought. I must go cultivate some form of weirdness instantly – though I assure you it won’t involve bugs of any description! Perhaps my spreadsheet obsession is a tiny bit weird… do you think that could get me into the club? 😉

  7. Love it! I’m not sure I would be considered weird, but, probably in the odd category. Are they the same? I will squeal with childish glee if a butterfly flits past and have been known to turn the car around if I’ve seen a heron. Then, there are books. Sigh. My sister and her friends once made fun of me for reading “Animal Farm”.

  8. I don’t think capturing grasshoppers is weird…it may be ‘outside the norm of expected behavior for females in the USA’ but not weird…In fact, I view all of the above as being curious and actively engaged in LIFE!!!!! But then, I worked with a herpetologist as an undergrad…
    BTW: do you remember lightening bugs that were different colors other than the usual yellowish green? I remember some being orange, others being a true chartruese!

  9. Yay for being weird! I’ve learned to embrace my weirdness and the weirdness of others over the years. I even considered myself a Weirdness Warrior. Yep. Weird is wonderful. 🙂

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