It’s funny how we spend so much time trying to hide the things about us that are weird or different, even though they’re quite often the best things about us. I don’t know about you guys, but as soon as I hit those years where I became really self-conscious, I did everything I could to try to fit in with the other kids at school and be ‘normal’. What the heck is normal anyway? Nobody is normal, we’re all just on a big sliding scale of wonderful weirdness.
It’s really confusing being caught in the middle of who you think you should be, who you want to be, how you think people perceive you and all the stuff that goes on in your head and heart. I was in that middle place and it was the worst! Everyone thought I was an extrovert and I didn’t want to let them down, so I just went along with it and tried really hard to be that person. I’d go to parties and be loud and happy and full of beans, then I’d go home and feel crappy and wonder why. Turns out, I’m a really awkward introvert.
Matt was the first bonafide introvert I met and he wore that title like a brand new suit. He knew he was a weird little creature and he owned it. His confidence and self-assurance in who he is helped me learn to be confident in my own weirdness. If you ask Matt he won’t use any words like ‘self-assured’ and ‘confident’ to describe himself, but to someone who had no idea what an introvert was or how to embrace being one, Matt was my saviour.
The more honestly you live, the better you feel. That was a big turning point for me and a lesson it took me a really, really long time to learn. Just live from your heart, openly and honestly.
I used to worry if I didn’t behave how I thought people wanted me to, by giving into my introvert needs, that all my friends would go away and I’d be alone. But the opposite thing happened. The more I spoke from my heart and let my weirdness out, the better life became and the more people I connected with who felt the same way and made me feel like my true self.
There is absolutely NO one-size-fits-all when it comes to life and being who you are. There isn’t one type of person we should all be like. We should all just be exactly who we are, inside and out.
The best thing you can do is to talk about and share the things you’re afraid of. Work through them in your own mind and once you’ve understood and accepted them, find that one person you know won’t judge you or make you feel weird and share it with them. I’ve been so lucky to meet some wonderful people who experience the same things I do and every time I share something with them, I feel normal again. Heck, I share ALL my weird stuff on LGB with you guys and you don’t think I’m weird!Well, maybe you do actually, and that’s why you like this stuff so much.
What are the things about me that are weird?
Man, there are so many of them… I don’t even know where to start. Here are just a few:
- I feel way more comfortable wearing baggy clothes like tracksuit pants and jumpers. I also regularly steal Matt’s t-shirts to wear. This got so out of hand I had to start buying my owns men’s t-shirts to wear and now Matt and I can’t tell the difference between whose men’s clothing is whose. It’s a real issue. Also, I don’t enjoy wearing dresses.
- I’m not romantic and mushy. I feel extremely uncomfortable with over the top romance and have no idea how to react to it. I’m like a cat with an elastic band around its leg, I just drop awkwardly on the floor and try to wiggle free.
- I call my best friends ‘man,’ ‘dude,’ ‘mate’ and ‘bro’ even though their chicks. They accept that and also embrace it. We all call each other bro now.
- I find it hard to trust people who give weak hugs. It’s unnerving when you hug someone and it feels like you’re hugging an empty cardboard box.
- I laugh uncontrollably when I’m up to no good. This means I’m completely incapable of playing a joke on someone or misbehaving because I start giggling as I begin to plan the dastardly deed in my mind. I can’t hide and scare Matt because he can hear me giggling in the dark and knows what I’m up to immediately. This also applies to lies. If he thinks I’m lying, Matt just has to ask me a question and if I laugh, I’m lying.
- I have social anxiety and get really anxious before I see anybody. That occurs on a sliding scale though, so my anxiety before I see my best friend is around a 1 or 2… but the anxiety before I go to a dinner or event on my own is about an 8. Matt and my mum are the only people who give me 0 anxiety.
- I really enjoy listening to rap music from the 90’s and 00’s. I’m really into it and play it loudly.
- I get really uncomfortable when people are looking at me and prefer to slink around totally unnoticed, which is probably why I like to travel so much. I love the feeling of anonymity. You can imagine how awkward I was on our wedding day.
- I randomly have anxiety attacks. One time it happened in Woolworths, just as I was getting to the check-out. I freaked the heck out and had to abandon my trolley full of groceries and go sit in my car for 30 minutes until I pulled myself back together.
- I can be really OCD with some things, like where certain things are positioned or how many times I tap my toothbrush on the sink. BUT I can quite happily not fold my clothes for a week and leave them lying around. That makes no sense. Why, brain? WHY?!
- I feel sick to my stomach when I see a private message pop up on Facebook messenger. It is one of the worst things. Sometimes I’ll put off clicking the notification for a few hours because I’m worried it’s from someone I don’t like. There is no better relief than when I click on the notification and it’s from one of my best friends.
- I say things really bluntly and dryly and people can’t tell if I’m joking or not. It’s extremely awkward for both of us. For example, if someone gives me something to eat at their house and asks me if I like it, I’ll say, “Yea. I like it.” But I’ll say it monotone and they can’t tell if I’m being honest or sarcastic.
- When I was younger I had a nervous OCD habit of counting out and memorising the syllables of words on my fingers. I would try to create a pattern or find words whose syllables started and ended on the same fingers. Completely nuts.
These are just a few of them and, here’s the thing, none of them are bad. They make me who I am and, even though it took me a long time to learn it, I feel really good about that. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of any of them. They’re me.
Everybody is weird in their own way. All those things that make you weird are really wonderful and the more honest you are with yourself and allow them to shine through, the more confident you feel about trusting your heart and following your life path. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. Embrace your weirdness.
I’d love to hear some of you share the things about you that are weird. Don’t be afraid, just go for it! What are your weird points? Have you ever experienced any of my weird points? Share in the comments below or on Facebook. Uncage your weirdness. Let your freak flag fly!
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Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.