Embracing My Weird

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine.

“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.” William Arthur Ward



Any girl who has been on the business end of a camera knows that she’s got two choices: smile and hope she doesn’t look weird or look weird on purpose so everyone can tell it was on purpose.

“Look weird on purpose” is my signature move.

I’m not sure when I learned it, but for as long as I can remember I’ve always been the first to laugh at myself—it’s the only guarantee that you’ll be in on the joke.

I do this in so many places in my life—I choose the weird plans, the unconventional ideas, the pipe dreams, the novelties, the constant adventures. It started as a way to compensate for a million insecurities, but it turns out I stumbled onto something brilliant …

Lean in close, I have a secret to share: being the weirdo is the easier road.

Two years of reading vulnerable SheLoves blog posts from beautiful, brilliant, talented women has made me see that every single woman I know struggles to belong, to be good enough, to be smart enough, to be the right kind of employee, boss, mom, daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend … These incredible people I know still look in the mirror some days and wonder if they can get it all right or even just okay today. Some days they still miss the beauty of what God created staring right back at them.

I don’t want to feel that way when I look in the mirror. I don’t want to disregard this life the Creator uses even when it’s a mess. I don’t want to play small, just to blend in. So when I don’t like what I see, I scrunch up my nose and stick out my tongue and then I laugh at the joke I just made. The truth is, I’m probably not going to “fit in” anytime soon. I’m not going to “make it” in any kind of typical career. I’m not going to look average.

And I’m OK with that, because being a gallivanting, nomadic adventurer has a major perk—nobody expects my life to look “normal” or anything close to average. I’ve carved out a place in the world where being outside of the box is what people expect from me.

It turns out my camp in the margins is the safest place I’ve ever been. It’s where I’ve learned not to try so hard to belong or earn love or look a certain way. I’m still going to struggle sometimes with insecurity and self-doubt, but it happens less often these days. I am finding my footing as a created being who is also a total weirdo.

My view from way out here is where I witness so many incredible things God is working on—people and ideas that are unconventional and often unnoticed. I’m learning how to taste and see a little bit of the whole wide world—and I like it. In embracing my weirdness, I am becoming more authentic.

Here’s to the weirdos who aren’t afraid to live a life that doesn’t look quite “right,” but it still shines.


Image credit: Carey Rose

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