I grew up "normal." In high school, I did all the things I was supposed to do. I was in sports. I played in the band. I was even a cheerleader. I got good grades and I didn't get into trouble. I had a string of photos in the year book and was on homecoming and prom court. (Can you guess which one is me?) It was all good. But it wasn't interesting. I wanted to be weird.
I've always admired people who have gone against the grain. When people tell me they feel like they don't fit in, I have an immediate sense that I'm going to like them. As a child, I longed to be on the Island of Misfit Toys, feeling like there was something unique and special about those misfits that I was missing.
This morning, I watched a video about celebrities who embraced their weird and the world opened up for them. What's my weird? I wondered.
Over the past two years, I've had a song on repeat when I drive alone in the car: John Mayer's Who Says. There's something that draws me to that song. And while I don't identify with the desire to get stoned or the need to "meet all the [boys] in the county line," there is a spirit of, I'm going to be me and you can't stop me, that has turned this song into my current anthem.
I belt this line out in the car, "Who says I can't be free from all of the things that I used to be....rewrite my history...who says I can't be free?" I don't want to re-write my history, but I do want to free myself from the normal, traditional, fitting-in that sets boundaries on my life. If I fit in and am like everyone else, how will I make the impact that only I can make in the world?
And so I sit and wonder, What's my weird? My kids think I'm plenty weird when I encourage them to break the rules, when I hug strangers, and when I expose my emotions to anyone I meet. And maybe it's that simple. All of those things are pretty good ways to make an impact. Be vulnerable so others can be too.
What's your weird? Wonder what it is you need to embrace to become more of who you're meant to be? Listen to people when they tell you how you're different. When you go against the grain, notice how it feels. Does it awaken something inside of you that's been longing to be free? What's your special way of interacting with the world that nobody can take away and that everybody needs? Do it more. We need your weird!
NBC4 Covers the Soar Project
This week NBC4 Washington came to Alexandria to cover the Soar project. I hope it broadens the impact of Soar outside of Alexandria and helps others think of what they can let go of so they can be more free.
A huge thank you to Bean Creative for the use of their land, all of the donors who have helped to fund the project, and everyone who has contributed their time building the framework and folding birds. This is a true community project that has created a safe place for people to reflect and open to new ways of being. If you haven't yet followed the We Live Big Facebook page, I encourage you to do so to keep up with the project's evolution.
Tune in for #WeLiveBigWednesdays
Each Wednesday at 9am Eastern Time, tune into the We Live Big Facebook page for a live announcement of this week's #WeLiveBigWednesdays challenge. Last week, I invited you to come face-to-face with your fear of failure. So many of us worry that if we fail, it defines us as a failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you're paralyzed by the fear of failure, the words of Theodore Roosevelt might inspire you to dare greatly:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Embrace your weird. Dare greatly. The world needs you.