Ever feel like a fish out of water? A stranger in a strange land? Ever feel like it’s obvious the emperor has no clothes and wonder why the heck NOBODY is SAYING anything about it?
Welcome to my world.
The good news is, you are not alone.
The bad news is, I bet you are afraid to say what you see/to be yourself/to stand out. I know how you feel and I am not telling you that it’s wrong to be afraid. There are a lot of bullies, fear mongers, “trolls,” and well-meaning critics who can be pretty darn scary both on the internet and in life. People who like to make fun of those whom they see as “different.” Why? Because controlling others through shame makes them feel good. Their hurtful words are often said with the best of intentions, but deep down they really want you to do one thing: SIT DOWN and SHUT UP.
For example: the phrase “hipster” is meant to mock an entire generation of young people who are seeking to express themselves in their own unique way. “Hipsters,” is a phrase MEANT to be dismissive. I know, I know… it doesn’t seem that hurtful but if you’ve ever heard this phrase while wearing a fedora or showing off your sleeve tattoo, it’s possible that you knew they were in part talking about you, and you felt a little SHAMED.
What to do, what to do.
Trust me, I have tried in my life to accommodate those who wanted me to be less than myself simply so that they could be more comfortable around me (relatives/so-called friends/teachers/neighbors/bosses/colleagues…) I’ve tried to adjust to what “they” said I “should” do about my hair/weight/face/clothes/career/art/dreams/goals/desires/taste/FEELINGS… but it just made me one thing: MISERABLE.
I’ve even tried various ways of being self-destructive in order to numb the pain/the voice/the desire in me to meet life with all the creative gusto I have in me, but it didn’t work. The ONLY thing that has helped me move forward/feel comfortable/be HAPPY in my life, is to simply BE DIFFERENT ANYWAY.
It boils down to choice. Do I want to be happy and follow my own path, no matter if it’s flawed/choppy/awkward/obscene to others? Or do I want to accommodate those who would critique me?
Do I have the courage to STAND OUT or would I rather be INVISIBLE?
It seems like a choice…right? But here’s the thing. Trying to be invisible HURTS. It physically/emotionally/spiritually HURTS. Wearing the clothes that no one will comment on (or that are guaranteed “approved by society,”) doing the job that “everyone” thinks is acceptable, saying the same things your friends do just to fit in… all causes PAIN… deep down in your soul.
So what do you do with that pain?
You numb it, right? Food/shopping/prescription meds/money/sex/drugs/gossip/over-exercizing/TV/work …are all ways we use to numb the pain… and the list goes on and on. And these distractions from pain can become so all-consuming that you don’t even realize that you are still in pain.
I don’t want to live that way.
So there is no choice. I’m just a weirdo, and that’s that. I have to accept that people will say mean things to me on the internet, not understand or support why I want to do something… mud will continue to be flung. I simple have to continue to just do my work: the job of being true to myself.
This blog is not meant to be an exercise in emotional self-masterbation. It’s also about YOU. I hope today you will be BRAVE and do a little something today that feels AUTHENTIC and TRUTHFUL for YOU. Because I deeply believe that what YOU have to say, who YOU are is a gift to the world.
Buy Barbie head shoes. Get a ticket to a magic show. Take that little project out of the bottom desk drawer and put a gold star and glitter all over it. And if you want, tell me about it. I like to hear about other people fighting for their unique way of living in this world.