Maybe you both like wear costumes and go to Comicons. Maybe you’re both covered in piercings. Maybe you spend your Saturday nights together doing advanced mathematics. Maybe one of you is a 40 year old size 18 who genuinely loves Justin Bieber and maybe the other is an Elvis impersonator for retirement homes. Maybe what you do is kinky….
You can geek out on cars, computers, fish, books or games etc., or maybe you’re one of those weird guys who works in an office where you wear dead alligators on your feet and you tie one of those thin pieces of fabric around your neck in a weird elaborate pattern, and maybe you date someone who wears fake eyelashes and pays money to go somewhere so she can climb fake stairs in a room surrounded by mirrors. It all sounds crazy if you look at it from another perspective.
Look, there are no normal people. We’re all strange. But our personal thinking convinces us that we’re alone. Even the people that match the tall, thin white people in most movies and advertising in the Western world feel all feel alone. I know a lot of ethnic kids believed they were the ones that were teased in school because they were “different,” but they they thought people need bigger differences than they do.
I have numerous Asian friends who dreaded taking out their lunches in school for fear of being teased for their “strange food,” but then I pointed out to them that English is one of Canada’s official languages, the English created the notion of Canada, and yet when I was in school I was teased by German kids for eating jam and cheese sandwiches–something entirely normal in England. So even being English doesn’t insulate anyone even in Canada.
It’s not about you. It’s about people asserting differences as ways of distinguishing themselves in a group. And if they tease you then they’re just attempting to lower your standing in the group and thereby raise their own. It’s very human, you do it too. At this level it’s juvenile, but where else would you be juvenile except while you’re in school? It’s still all just words. You decide if they hurt you. And no one’s immune. The German kids that teased me ended up being teased for eating stinky cheese.
Everyone feels like they don’t belong and yes, I also mean the most “successful” people you can imagine. You either feel insecure and fail, or you succeed and you suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Either way, what an ego does is think it’s not worthy, but it only does that because of its constant narratives about differences. Those narratives separate us from the connected feeling that would otherwise be natural.
The reason us weirdos find other matching weirdos is because these are the few people we’ll let our guard down with–and yet when we do look what happens! Once differences are ignored and similarities are shared people naturally feel connected. It’s why we almost feel like we become one person with our best friend. The connection comes from each party acknowledging the underlying truth that, without the interference of thinking, our natural state is to see people’s beauty.
There are no losers in love. It’s a wonderful experience. Don’t let things as ephemeral as people’s opinions prevent you from experiencing it as much as possible in your life. Be yourself. Everyone’s opinions live only in their own consciousness or for as long as they say them out loud. After that you’re free to be the weirdo you are, and that is super important because there are a lot of other very compatible weirdos looking for you. If you watch for each other I’m sure you’ll find each other.
Be weird, be free. In the end the only calculation is, how much loving did you do?
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.