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I’m Weird

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Graham MooreThe 2015 Oscars had many poignant moments for me. It’s interesting that I remember more of the extras than I do the actual movie awards. But for me,  Lady Gaga singing The Sound of Music and the moving acceptance by Julie Andrews, Patricia Arquette speaking out for equal rights for all women, which is a long time battle that is not won yet, were two that stood out to me. Something that I related to more than the others was when Graham Moore in his acceptance speech for his work in writing the script for The Imitation Game, spoke of his experience with a suicide attempt when he was 16 years old.

“When was was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong,’ said Moore who is now in his early 30s. And now, I’m standing here.”

When I was 16 years old I also felt weird. I felt isolated from the others in school. Everywhere I went I wanted to hide, to escape and to find relief. I wasn’t like the other guys at all and I certainly wasn’t like the girls, even though I felt more comfortable around them.

I wanted so much to become an architect but I felt stupid and believed I could never pass the prerequisite classes to sign up for architecture classes. I skipped physical education classes as much as I could and flunked it in 10th grade all because of how much I wanted to avoid being around the guys. I took “COOP, on the job training” in my senior year just so I wouldn’t have to attend school as much and I’d separate myself from more of the discomfort of High School. So I worked a full time job from m my junior year on believing I just wanted to make money and support myself. I was emotionally shut down and did everything I could to avoid the reality of my home life and my personal existence.

I wasn’t a brave soul and therefore suicide didn’t enter my mind but as I grew older and experienced even more the pain of life I began to ponder ways in which I could remove myself from this world. I thought it would be much easier to kill myself then to go on.

Several weeks ago my husband and I were babysitting our little five year old niece, Morgan. We were having loads of fun, laughing, singing goofy songs and just being crazy. At one point Morgan spoke up and said:

“I’m the weird one in my family”

I immediately responded and said,

“Morgan, I’m the weird one in my family too.”

It struck me that at my ripe old age of 60 I finally accepted that I’m weird and I always have been. I’m finally comfortable enough to reveal my quirky personality with more ease. I’ve accepted myself to a point now where I’ve begun to accept my weirdness as a positive character trait. I believe I give something to people around me that brings laughter and fun to their lives too.

Just yesterday we ate lunch with some of our church friends. I said some really crazy things, teased a friend as we often do, talked about sewing, gardening, carpentry, antique collecting, winning the lottery and many other random things that come to my head in one sitting. Yep, I’m weird!

“Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message”

-Graham Moore

As I heard these words come from Graham Moore I knew they were coming with wisdom and personal life experience. He was offering hope and courage to young people who are like I was, the weird ones in their families. I wish I’d had someone who could have affirmed me when I was 16.

I’ve known some amazing, wonderful, creative, and mysterious weird people. I’ve seen how much they add to my life, to our society. It grieves me terribly to think of those who have not made it to adulthood where they can accept themselves. We are missing part of our family of diversity and I’d like to see more acceptance and support for those that are with us today.

I LOVED Lady Gaga’s performance in the Oscars. The contrast of her beautiful voice, her tribute to The Sound of Music, and her tattoos and reputation for her unique personality and intelligence. It shows something that we can all learn from. Weird people can be well appreciated by others and accepted for who they are. Even in the popularity contest of the Oscars.

I’d like us all to think of the weird people we’ve known and ask ourselves how much color and wonder they add to our lives. The next time you see one of your weird friends, please tell them how much you love them and what their weirdness adds to your life.

I can’t wait to continue to affirm our little niece in her weirdness. She is incredibly intuitive, intelligent, and adds so much color and wonder to our family’s life. I cannot imagine what it would be like if she were no longer with us. I hope she’ll grow up accepting herself as she is and that her strength will lie within her confidence to be who she is.