Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't be Like the Rest of Them, Darling.

"Be who you are and say what you feel..."
"You're one of a kind!"

You hear them all the time... the sayings, the quotes, the mantras - all directing you to just be yourself. Telling you to not be like everyone else, because...well, you're you and they're who they are. It's kind of redundant, isn't it? Everyone always preaching you to seek joy in yourself, forcing you to shove your uniqueness into the light so the rest of the world can either study and dissect you, or accept and embrace you. It's just so... real.

When I was a child, I was different than everyone else. Perhaps living through my parents divorce (and the countless hours of religious 'post-divorce' treatment) kind of put me there. I mean, I was a really weird kid. When I started school, I devoted my time and efforts to being the loudest and strangest girl in my class. I was always sucking my thumb, twirling my hair, verbalizing my opinions on everything - even when I wasn't asked - singing and dancing, and even talking in a British accent. Whenever my mom would go to Parent/Teacher Conferences, my teachers would always say, "Adele is doing great, but she needs to stop talking." Why? So I can tune out my creative thoughts that are 99.9024847% more interesting than anything you're about to say on The Kid Who Ran for President? Is my imaginative war between Snow White's fairy godmothers and the Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys nowhere near as captivating and exciting as the Civil War? 

It's crazy that everyone is so passionate about forcing kids to be unique, yet they are the first to shut them down when they verbalize a fantastic idea. Well, I want to be the one to remind them - to remind you, that there is no criteria for who you should or should not be. Why should everyone be the quiet child that raises her hand to state the correct answer from the reading she did three days prior? Why should everyone lack creativity and nonsense and spend most of their time half-assing a project they found on Pinterest? Why should everyone follow the guidelines of being a completely boring and overrated human being? They shouldn't.
When I was a girl, I yearned for attention. I sought it everywhere I went. I was constantly singing in public, laughing really loud, or rocking a clashing outfit. And you know what? I was the cutest little clashing singing laugher in the whole room. Why? Because I embraced that weirdness at a young age. So what I was a little chubby and I had messy hair? I appreciated every little frizzy curl and every bite of pizza I didn't miss taking. I think this blossomed me into confidence a lot earlier than other girls my age. I grew up knowing I was different and had interests in everything, but my differences appealed to a variety of people and didn't limit me to just the "theater kids" or the "jocks" or "the cool kids."
I recently met a young woman who said something so completely off the charts that I had to step back for a moment and say to her, "you're weird..." The second I said it, though, she smiled and said, "I know. But I'm me and I love me." Folks, that is one cool child. To be called out on a trait that others would find insulting, and to truly appreciate oneself for embodying such a characteristic, is impressive. I believe I responded with a, "...I think I love you, too?"
You shouldn't feel bad if someone doesn't see things the way you do. You shouldn't feel neglected if some people aren't as passionate about what you're passionate about. There are other people out there just as crazy and strange and unique as you are. Find those people, love them, and let them love you. You'd be surprised what you can gain from a little appreciate of individuality.
So if you're unusual - embrace it. If you spend more time reading books or over-analyzing Pretty Little Liars theories instead of basketball scores - do it. If you sing the lyrics to "Pusher Love Girl" by Justin Timberlake out loud on your evening run - sing it. Just don't accept the "norm." If you're different, wave your freak flag high you big weirdo.
Just don't be like the rest of them, darling.


  1. This was AWESOME. My friends and family have always told me I'm a bit on the weird side, but I have no problem with that.