Everybody’s weird, and nobody’s weird. This is the closest thing I have to a consistent life philosophy. And even I only believe it about 60 percent of the time.
Full disclosure: when I was in high school, I self-identified first and foremost as “weird.” When you’re a teenager, that means something very specific–waxing rhapsodic about 80’s cartoons, bursting into song at inappropriate moments, and so, so many non-sequiturs. Also sporks, for some reason. My mom had a rough time convincing me not to have “Sporky” embroidered on my letter jacket.
That was the kind of forced randomness my peers responded to. Though I had many traits that were genuinely unusual or perverse (as does everyone), there was no point in emphasizing them–not if I was keen on being recognized as a “weirdo.” Weirdo was a demographic, a tribe. It was one more stupidly tiny box for my teenage self to stuff herself in, heedless of all the parts she had to cut off in order to fit.
Of all the things I’m glad to see the back of, my “Weirdo” phase comes in at number one. It was phony, limiting, and more than a little embarrassing. At the same time, I suspect it’s a natural part of growing up. It must be–because the next generation is doing the same god damn thing. At least, if this stupid clickbait article is to be believed.