|Illustration by Gary Larson|
This particular young lady was not only new to our classes, but she was new to homeschooling. She had had a rough time in Middle School, and had begged her mom to bring her home. She was a beautiful girl, and very smart, but she really struggled in our classes. She seemed to focus a lot on her appearance, she was always on her phone texting, and she continuously complained about-- well, everything. She was a quintessential teenager.
One day, the dozen or so youth in our Shakespeare class were having a lively discussion and this young lady in frustration flung out the sentence "Ugh! You guys are so WEIRD!"
The other students blinked, looked at her in amazement, and said with smiles, "Yeah, we know."
She was shocked. Here she was, delivering one of the greatest insults in all of normalcy, and those "weird" kids were taking it as a huge compliment!
She quit after the first semester, and we've never seen her at any other homeschool gatherings-- I'm assuming she went back to school where she can feel "normal" again.
Like the "weird" students in my class (four of which were my own children), I've come to feel that being called "weird" is actually a compliment. I grew up in the Land of Normal, constantly comparing myself to my peers, whether it was in my appearance, my intelligence, or my abilities. Though I wanted to "fit in" and be accepted, I never felt that I ever measured up to what I "should be." I was told I was too loud and obnoxious, not smart enough, and definitely not thin or rich enough.
The battleground youth face every day creates a trail of broken hearts that rarely heal into adulthood. I know; I've been there! It's sad, because coming to accept myself as I am has taken me years and years-- and it continues on.
BUT, it has been so refreshing, so cleansing, so freeing to stand up and say, "I am going to try something different. And I DON'T CARE WHAT THE LAND OF NORMAL THINKS!"
Ahhhh. (Feels good!)
The Land of Normal is a very comfortable place for most people to stay. But where has normalcy actually brought us as a society? To materialism, body obsession, debt, ignorance, and down-right denial about the state we're in. (Heaven forbid we ever do something "weird!")
The citizens of the Land of Normal frequently shake their heads at me, my family, and my friends and all our "weirdness"-- some even giving me helpful advice like "You're crazy!" or "I'm really worried about your kids," or "What about the prom?!"
I'm finally okay with who I am-- that I'm "WEIRD." Remember, I think being called "weird" is a huge compliment.