When you see things differently from others or say something that others consider weird, do you feel like crawling under a rock?
Are you sitting there saying, “AH YES!” Are you remembering moments where you wish you could press a rewind button and say or do something differently?
I hope this story will get you to give yourself a high five for the times you were considered weird.
After an evaluation, at six years old, Jenna, my niece had to wait a year before starting school. The decision was based on her response to one of the evaluator’s questions.
“Can you tell me one thing that is in the sky?”
Jenna looked out the window, raised her head up and stared at the sky for a few seconds. She turned to him, with a shy smile on her face, and replied, “a pony.”
Slapping both hands straight down onto the table, he shouted, “A pony!”
He took a deep breath and said, “Wait here a few minutes, I need to speak to your mom for a while.”
He closed the door behind him, looked around the waiting room, marched straight in front her, put his hands on his head, shaking it back and forth in total disbelief.
“There is no way that your daughter is ready to start school this year. Her answer to a very simple question is totally absurd and makes absolutely no sense! A child who thinks that a pony is a thing in the sky will have a lot difficulty in school. She will just have to wait for next year. You may go pick her up in my office. I don’t have time for this.”
Later that night, as she read to her daughter in bed, she asked, “Jenna, today when the man asked you to name one thing in the sky, what did you say?”
Mommy, it was a beautiful pony,” she replied with no hesitation and excitement.
She looked down at her daughter, wondering, “What was she thinking? She surely knows the answer to that question. I mean, we have sat many times together looking up at the stars, the moon and the sun. She has even mentioned how much she loves looking at the clouds and their shape.” And then, it hit her!
“Jenna, were you looking at the clouds when the man asked you that question?”
“Yes mommy, the clouds made a beautiful shape of a pony.”
Society has become so stuck on rules and regulations and how we should or should not act. Some of them are not based on any real foundation. As soon as someone comes along with a creativity or imagination beyond anything society considers acceptable, that person is labeled as “crazy” or “weird.” No one will dare to step back and question, “Hummmm, maybe there is something we have failed to see. Maybe this person’s reasoning is beyond anything we could imagine.” It is easier to point a finger and label someone as “stupid” and laugh at them.
What if instead of labeling Jenna, he had questioned to understand her response? A kid does not see the world as an adult. Imagination and creativity are key in learning, success in life and above all FUN!
Today, at twelve years old, Jenna has always thought differently and at times, seemed to lack focus on things adults considered important. She would spend hours sewing outfits from rags which she would later dress her dolls up in. By enrolling her in Sewing classes, her mom has given Jenna the opportunity and a place where she can be herself and let her imagination and creativity grow.
Give yourself permission to be weird, to be yourself, to express your inner uniqueness , rather than what others want you to be or convince you to be. Your biggest strength, what makes you original and memorable is connected to that little weirdness about you.
What is the “craziest”, “weirdest” thing you have done that made others feel they were normal because of it? Cheers to you, for expressing your authenticity instead of valuing perfectionism the way society has taught us.
Crazy people are not crazy if one accepts their reasoning – Gabriel Garcia Marquez