An old boyfriend used to ridicule the way I spoke. Initially, when we first began dating, he appeared in awe of my colourful vocabulary, stating how he envied the fact that I could express my feelings so well through words. Though, that blossoming admiration was short-lived. And sure enough, it wilted.
Green didn’t suit him. As things soured between us, he would tell me that I didn’t need to use so many commas, telling me that I was confusing him with my choice in synonym and that my daily vernacular angered him, yelling at me in the middle of the street, “Why can’t you speak like everybody else?!”
In hindsight, I think he thought I was being pedantic – patronising him by using my words as weapons. But in actual fact, the only one attacking was him. And the only one left hurt was me.
As you can imagine, we’re no longer together. That relationship was doomed from the start. The phrase, “opposites attract” is utter BS. People are not magnets. If I believe in God and you worship Satan, we’re a match made in hell (no pun intended) And trying to converge to another person’s belief system is only going to thwart your own personal growth.
Ever since college, I’ve been fighting with myself. Back in those days, I was an emo kid attending a Catholic School, surrounded by people with superficial conformity and moral deformity – they looked the part, but their inner-philosophies were skewed. By no means did this apply to everyone I knew there, but a notable few managed to keep a squeaky-clean appearance despite their obvious dirty laundry. We all knew their secrets. Party antics and photos online were a giveaway, but it was rumour mill working 9-5 that made sure no one’s past was kept behind them. Nevertheless, it didn’t seem to affect them. The system was rigged. Teachers favoured the brazen because they dressed in colour, and high scores were delivered to those who claimed status to God. It wasn’t fair. Even then, I angered people. My biggest sin being that I wasn’t a hypocrite.
In all of that time, I have tried multiple ways to fit in with the demands of an ever-changing society. From small things like wearing pretty clothes, listening to popular music and embracing modern fads, to bigger ventures like getting a normal job. But like an ill-fitting skirt, none of them sat right with me.
Normal. I hate that word.
Looking back, this is what everybody wanted me to be – someone who fit in with the masses, quashing my hopes and desires because they deviated from what was ordinary; telling me that I needed to stop dreaming and knuckle down. But what the hell is that?! In my opinion, people who are “normal” are f**king boring. Getting your face injected with fillers is now considered “normal”, being glued to your phone is “normal”, having a shitty job is “normal” – but those things aren’t me. And if they’re not me, then…why should I try and fit in with them?
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde
Inner-peace has only been found by exploring what makes me, me. Through all of my faults and passions, I worked out who I am and learned to embrace each and every part. Being single for a while helps with this journey, too (which is another thing I’d definitely advocate if you ever feel spiritually lost, because you have no other choice but to fill the gaps others left behind) You realise what you like and don’t like, how you want to spend your time and who you’d enjoy sharing it with. An appreciation for life comes tenfold when you embark upon this journey.
Depression nearly swallowed me up so many times, and – in all honesty – I still carry the fear it will try again. But no matter what troubles I encounter, I know each time that I grow stronger. My skin is growing thicker every day and I wear my scars with pride. Yes, I have been burned, but no matter the pain, I keep on fighting. Because I believe in myself.
I sometimes wonder what would have become of me if I’d succumbed to the wishes of others: to speak the way they wanted me to, dress the way that they liked, to work in the jobs they expected. In truth, I don’t think I’d be here today.
Being passionate about words made me write a book, loving rock music gave me an escape, wearing black makes me feel sexy and exploring the world beats my heart. And if that’s weird, then so be it! I’m not changing for anyone, and nor should you.
Being weird saved my life.
Celebrating that is my reason for being.
It’s good to be weird.