Sometimes, you will stop and look down at yourself and you will realise something.
I am not normal.
Especially when you are hiding hedgehogs behind curtains for photo shoots and wrapping mannequins in red and positioning them in mid-air leaps across a blue backdrop (another photo shoot… don’t ask). Perhaps the worst low point was tucking said mannequin into the arms of said hedgehog. It is times like these when I tell myself: this is why I’m still single.
I often find myself halfway through a sentence before I realise that I should not continue, and my poor suffering audience are already upper-face-levitating in confusion.
Is she really playing peekaboo in a public place with the Unicef woman?
Why is she strumming an air guitar on her leg?
Why does she always look like she’s wearing pyjamas?
There is a less traveled path (in the words of Robert Frost) that you can choose to take. It is a dimly lit path and it is overgrown and sometimes it’s hard to even make out. It’s also full of other freaks like yourself, who were also mad and stupid and brave enough to take it. Maybe they eat raw lentils and carrot sticks sans hummus because they are barely human. Maybe they wear giant nappies and travel the world blind folded. (Perhaps some people should just take the normal path and stop thinking so much…)
Maybe they take strange photos of inanimate objects too and perhaps they salsa into new friends just the same.
There is a list too long to do justice to but here goes. Sometimes I big spoon my cat (because it really freaks her out) and for a minute, before she really panics and leaves the room in a huff, we snuggle. Sometimes, when the family are out, I dance with the stair banister as if it is a partner. When given a hostel room to myself, it’s such a rare and triumphant moment that I will slut drop to One Direction. I will sing, at random intervals, during a conversation, on my own, without even noticing (I’ve been told it’s quite annoying). I eat raw broccoli, on its own. When I meet someone new, I teach them the dead arms dance (if I ever meet you, I’ll show you).
I am weird. You probably are, too, if you read this title and clicked on it.
People will tell you things, things you should ignore. Like ‘I wouldn’t do that’, or ‘oh dear that’s terrible’, or perhaps ‘not quite right, try another one’. These people are comparing you to something that is normal (which we have established, you are not).
Don’t be afraid of the neglected path in the trees. Don’t beat yourself into a more common outline. You’re an absolute freak, fine. Society has always needed you to push some boundaries, cross some lines, shake things up, maybe get arrested, maybe start a few fires (I am not condoning arson, before anyone tries to sue me. How unoriginal, by the way.)
There are more boxes than ever before (the one on my lap right now, with the large screen and the bright lights. The one you sign before you get the job. The ones we carry in our handbags and check for messages every three minutes. The ones we tick at election ballots, the boxes on the box sheet in the box cubicle in the box building in the box Borough in the box system. I could go on…)
It’s never been more important to think outside of them. So thank you, for being odd. You are necessary and appreciated.