Yesterday morning, lazy-eyed and yawning, the coffee cup half-way to these lips, I opened the Kindle Fire and glimpsed this email forward from a friend:
When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with cries of “Me too!” be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe. –Nanea Hoffman
An involuntary grin arose.
Isn’t it an amazing moment in life when someone actually celebrates your quirks? Instead of writing you off as too wild, too weird, too awful, too socially inappropriate?
What would the world be like if we all celebrated quirks instead of judging them (if even in our own minds)?
We’d be quirky world! (Which we are anyway, but wouldn’t it be much more cool if it was combined with kindness and tolerance?)
As a society, we often attempt to fit in. To do things with the approval of others in mind. Yet that can sometimes stultify our behavior, keep us in tiny boxes of expression.
Certain creative or brave souls rebel and attempt to follow their heart, no matter if society cluck-clucks its tongue and looks down at attitudes or actions outside of cultural morays.
I’ve done both in this lifetime. Followed a distant drummer and attempted to fit in.
One of my greatest joys has been finding friends who celebrate creativity, delight in quirks, adore difference. People who express with a sparkle in their eye: “Me too!” and want to jump out of the box and into unknown possibilities.
I’ve been lucky to know so many who refuse to be stifled, to be boxed, to be chained to the expectation of others. Who bravely meet their fear and still express the fullness of themselves even when their lips are quivering.
You are my heroes and heroines, you warriors of the heart.
I wouldn’t call us a tribe of weirdos, though. I would call us individuals exploring new frontiers. Women who run with the wolves and coyotes and deer. Men who swim in Lake Superior in September. Children who drawn pictures of blue suns and pink moons. Folks who refuse to see the world solely through the lens of the ordinary.
Are you comfortable with your own quirkiness? Have you found friends who celebrate it with you?
I am one of the tribe! The more I tried to fit in the more I knew I did not belong. Blessed are the shapeshifters, those who march to a different drum, who dance with the moon, and sing their own songs.
I really like how you put this, Jeff. Your poet side is coming out! Must be all this Blogging 101. 🙂
Oh you mean my Hallmark card writing skills? Lol thank you!
I love the theme of the “Let your freak flag fly!” generation. I’ll admit to often working at fitting in rather than being “too” over the top. The fact is it never quite works. I adore the quirky people in my life. Let’s face it, we’re all a little quirky. We just need to find the people whose quirks are complimentary to our own.
I have never heard that phrase, Lisa. Hmmm, Freak Flag, learned something new today. Glad to hear that you enjoy quirky folks, too. And perhaps it’s healthy to balance fitting in with quirkiness. Yin and yang…
Isn’t it always about balance? Darn.
I have only a few friends and and two of them I’d say might be quirky in the views of the world. I’m not sure if I’m in the quirky department but my children call me eccentric because I don’t travel, rarely eat out, almost always wear jeans but these are nice ones, (I have dress up clothes and shoes that are always on stand-by) drive a “98” GMC truck, don’t go to the movies and, generally prefer animals and nature to people.
For years I had to conform to dressing appropriately for work and the only places I ever went were to the grocery store, vet’s office, to work 5 days a week and Pets Mart. Yes, I reckon by most standards that is weird or odd but I don;t see myself as quirky. Yet! 🙂
In my book eccentric = quirky, Yvonne! You strike me as someone who marches to her own drummer. Guess that’s what I meant by quirkiness. Glad to hear that you can wear jeans these days and enjoy them. After those work years, you should get to wear them as much as you want!
I love quirky, but my family doesn’t and that has had a tendency to rein me in. Quirky is a contextual issue. People down South think my love of the UP is quirky. 😉
John, you are probably right about quirky being contextual. Didn’t think of that when writing this. One of the first quirky things I did–well, maybe not the first–but one of the first real big ones–was move to da UP.
Kathy — a resounding, hearty CHEERS to quirky! 🙂
Laurie, I feel like my quirky friends enrich life so much! People who are choosing to follow their own inner drummer. I think you qualify as one of those.
I am one of the tribe, too! Well, sometimes. Sometimes I try to fit in. Sometimes I follow my own quirkiness to wherever it leads. Quirky friends are the best kind. 🙂
I so agree with you, Robin. I suppose there might be a point where quirkiness turns into just too much weirdness. But life without quirkiness would be so darn awful!
Celebrating quirkiness with you, Kathy. Love the surprises quirkiness blesses us with when it arises in friends, family, and in ourselves. Fabulous 🙂
YES! I love it when friends *get* this. Thank you, Susan D!
I still recall (with joy) the time my dad and I (adults at the time) delighted in dropping leaves and twigs in the flooded gutter, damning it up and then following the floating debris down the street after we broke the damn.
I still feel like a child masquerading as an adult.
I’m more comfortable now with my high degree of quirkiness and have treasured friends who love me for it and would have me no other way.
That is really a beautiful quirky story, Sybil. Perhaps to be quirky we HAVE to still honor the child within. Otherwise, we’re far too adult. Thank goodness for friends who treasure us in all our quirkiness.
I’m just fine, it’s everyone else who is quirky! (that was a joke, I am going off now to think about what you wrote, and what people put in the comments)
Ha–that’s a perspective I never even considered, Elisa! To think that everyone ELSE is quirky…you may be on to something!
Ah, I love this post! I spend too much time trying to fit in…or trying to APPEAR to fit in, when I know I don’t. Writing this blog – where I reveal my true foibles – has been an eye-opening experience as I learn that it’s OKAY to be myself, warts and quirkiness and all!
Cindy, I did the same for years. Really couldn’t relax into being just who I am. It’s funny–people seem to like me better when I started being me with all my quirkiness instead of a made-up creature who tried to fit in. Still try to fit in at times, but it’s lost a lot of fear or something. Think of the people who die without ever learning to accept who they are.
yeah! Why not just enjoy the quirky-ness and appreciate the differences? I agree with you totally! 🙂
Quirky can be so fun, Sonali! I still sometimes cringe about the word “weird” though. It sounds so socially unacceptable. Have you heard of the origins of the word weird? There is an anglo-saxon word called “wyrd” which corresponds to our fate or personal destiny. It’s as if the two words are somehow intertwined, isn’t it?
Quirky? Ummmm, yeah, I guess perhaps I am. Thank God for my friends who accept my weirdness. and me.
Bonnie, don’t you think that artist and creative sorts often feel that weirdness the most? It’s because we dive out of the box through our creativity, I think. Society enjoys creativity…just as long as it stays within social norms. I am glad you have friends who accept you.
I’m one of those “me too” people although I do try to fit in most of the time. 🙂
Karen, it sounds like maybe you’ve found a balance. That “me too” makes life so interesting, doesn’t it?
We’ve all probably heard the phrase, “The more the merrier!” Now I understand what it means. I have so many weird quirks, Kathy, that I must belong to a LOT of tribes. That is delightful! I think it is possible to have great skill and ability to “fit in” without losing any individuality and your posts truly inspire that, Kathy.
Patty, I love what you said here. A LOT of tribes! How fun. And, yes, you are so right. We probably can and do fit in without losing our quirkiness. I like to think so anyway! LOL.
Reblogged this on K's Blog and commented:
I LOVE this blogger, every time I need a lift I come and read her blog!
I know it’s been forever since I commented on the blog of yours. I have a confession to make, I only need your blogs when I need something to lift my spirits. This also made me realize, that I should read your blogs more often. My friends to celebrate with me my quirks and then live with me and at me because of a lot of things I post on Facebook. I done I do love your blog.
Hi, Kryssy, haven’t seen you for a long time. So very glad that your spirits are lifted when you stop by and read this blog. Do come by again soon!
Your blog reminds me that it is the quirky that makes this world more interesting and downright fun. Long live quirkiness!
I so agree with you, Debbie. Think how dull the world would be without quirkiness! Thanks for coming by and commenting. I appreciate it.
Hey, who are you calling quirky!? 🙂
Only another quirky soul!! 🙂
Yes, I, too, have embraced my quirks and tried to fit in. But I’ve found a friend who sees my weirdness and finds that the two of us fit perfectly as friends, idiosyncrasies and all!
I don’t think you’re weird, Kathy. I see you as an explorer, a pioneer, an indomitable spirit – and an inspiration. xo
Glad you have a friend like that, Stacy. It is a gift when we can find a friend like that. A gift of grace. Thank you for saying all those kind things, Stacy. I like your view better than weird! Big grin.
Just FYI the quote “…those weirdos are your tribe” was written by Nanea Hoffman owner of sweatpantsandcoffee.com. The quote is actually under copyright. Please give the author credit if you are using it in a public forum. Thanks! If you like that quote you’d probably like the entire site. I encourage you to check it out! 😃
Thank you. Did so!
Reblogged this on purpleborough and commented:
This seems to fit with the theme I am blogging about now…Tolerance.
Thank you to Lake Superior Spirit’s Kathy for posting this last year.