On weirdos

by Amanda Woade

I was thinking about my mission statement the other day.  I came up with "To inspire weirdos to be comfortable with themselves at every age".  I feel really good about it.

A lot of people probably think of the term "weirdo" as derogatory.  People think it's an insult to be called a weirdo.  But I disagree.  It's a great term that encompasses all kinds of people outside the "norm", and it should be appreciated and loved as such.

I think it's a treat and an honor to be weird.  Just think of Weird Al, he's an inspiration to me in his endless goofiness, wit, talent, and desire to spread the joy of accordions to the world.  He's not everyone's favorite artist, but he brings something different than everyone else to the table.  That's what it is to be weird, to be a weirdo - to bring something uniquely you to whatever you do.  To not hold back and let yourself shine through.

I've been a weirdo my whole life.  While I haven't always embraced the term, I have always been different and I've never fit neatly into a box.  I was never popular growing up, and I always pushed the boundaries of what was expected in unusual ways.  (Some of the outfits I wore...!)  My parents not only allowed my weirdness, but fostered it and nurtured it.  I was always allowed to make my own weird decisions to do my own weird stuff.  It's given me a lot of self-confidence, and it's all done without a second thought.  It helps that they were weirdos themselves, and that my brother was another weirdo before me.  But we stand out, make changes, and inspire people in unexpected ways.

So let yourself be a weirdo.  Show off that interest you know that no one else shares - you'd be surprised who else has been hiding it.  Put on that outfit that makes you feel great, without a thought of other people's opinions.  Make a strange joke, ask a different question, try something new.  It might feel uncomfortable at first, but trust me - it'll feel amazing soon.