Always Nurture What Makes You Weird

My nephew sent me a picture of one of his cupcake creations this morning.

Always Nurture What Makes You Weird

He’s a young, single guy living on his own; hardly the first person you would think of as an enthusiastic cupcake baker. But he definitely is;  check out some recent pictures he’s sent me.

Having an unusual interest runs in his family. Among her other hobbies, his Mom enjoys dressing her bearded dragon and other pets up in costumes to celebrate the holidays.

 

Shark week

A photo posted by kmoore218 (@kmoore218) on

We can’t really point fingers in our family, though. This weekend, my husband is making a pilgrimage to Cleveland to attend a convention for lovers of the band Devo, where he will perform, in costume, with  Devomatix, his Devo Tribute band. He could not be more excited.

Always Nurture What Makes You Weird

Devomatix – my husband is the one… oh gosh, I can’t tell from this picture!

As for me, I’m sad to say that I think my most unusual quality is that I’m a staunch Democrat in one of the reddest states. But I live in a pretty blue area of the state, so even that isn’t particularly unique.

That wasn’t always the case. I was a pretty weird kid. In elementary school, I lived in a world of books and imagination. I wanted to be a writer and somewhere there’s a stack of the not-bad-for-a-kid stories I wrote then. I actually took a correspondence course (remember those?) with my mother in How to Write and diligently completed all the exercises.

I played with “paper dolls” I cut out of discarded Sears catalogs and made up elaborate stories for them for much longer than I would have ever admitted to any of my friends.

And that ended up being a problem. While I was in my bedroom reading the Narnia books over and over again, my peers were growing up. When we started Sixth Grade, I learned to my chagrin that girls and boys who are sneaking off for behind-the-playground games of Spin the Bottle aren’t interested in hearing stories about magic wardrobes and other worlds.

I wanted to get in on the Spin the Bottle action. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t happen.) So, like many adolescents, I began a years-long effort to hide any part of myself that stood out. Eventually, I hid those parts so well that even I forgot about them.

I regret that so much. I have friends who spent their high school years making short films with their friends, friends who learned to play guitar or other instruments, even friends who kept writing short stories. Meanwhile, I grew into a woman who wouldn’t take the New Yorker to the swimming pool when I lived in a very conservative community because I was afraid of my neighbor’s comments. I had spent years nurturing the part of me that cared too much about what people think instead of nurturing the true part of me, the weird and fun part.

The good news is that it’s not too late. I’ll soon have no children at home to be humiliated by my very existence. And when your husband is in a Devo Tribute band, the bar for the amount of humiliation you can bring to the family is very, very high. My interests at the moment aren’t all that esoteric: reading, writing, photography, cooking. But I’m looking for a chance to let my freak flag fly and I’m hoping you guys will join me for the journey.

In the meantime, let’s all be inspired, as I am so frequently, by Southern Culture on the Skids.

#MidLifeLuv Linky

18 Comments

  1. Beth
    August 12, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    You go, girl! Bless your heart

  2. Katy
    August 13, 2015 / 9:58 am

    That’s so sweet, you guys. I’ll be sure to nourish my weird side and post the results here. And a super special shout out to my sweet guy for bravely being the subject of my header graphic. That’s love – of either me or Devo. I’ll go with both.

  3. August 13, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    Fantastic! Get ’em tiger (trust me, it feels good)! -Veronica

    • Katy
      August 13, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      Thanks Veronica! I’ll keep trying! At least, I do read The New Yorker in public now.

  4. August 14, 2015 / 10:28 am

    I really wanted to see pictures of the fancy dress bearded dragon 🙂 Looking forward to watching you discover your inner wild child ~ Leannne

    • Katy
      August 14, 2015 / 10:31 am

      Oh no! I had an one of her Instagram pictures embedded. Is it not showing up! Check her out at https://instagram.com/kmoore218/ and you can see all her best shots!

  5. August 14, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Hi Katy! Nice to meet you from the Midlife Linky Party! And it sounds to me like you have plenty of inspiration around you to help you be bold and weird so I say go for it! I do think writing (and blogging) helps us all find our unique voice and expression so you are off to a good start. I too grew up wanting to be the good daughter, good friend, good person and what I’ve learned is that it really didn’t matter what I did, people either liked me as I am or they didn’t. All the more reason to be myself. Good luck to you and the journey! ~Kathy

    • Katy
      August 14, 2015 / 12:22 pm

      Hi Kathy! I’ve very much enjoyed meeting the community of bloggers around me – it’s a warm and welcoming bunch. I think you’re definitely on point with your comment – I’ve read before that people will either like you or they won’t so they might as well make their opinion for the right reasons. I think that’s probably pretty true.

  6. August 14, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    Like you said, ‘the bar for the amount of humiliation you can bring to the family is very, very high’ so as my brother so eloquently used to say: “Let ‘er rip, tator chip!” 🙂 #MidLifeLuv

    • Katy
      August 14, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks Paula! I’ll see what kind of trouble I can get into!

  7. August 14, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Oh my goodness – I only had to breathe to humiliate my kids when they lived at home! Loved your post – thank you. Oh and I found you through the Mid-Life Luv Linky Party. Keep forgetting to say that!
    Fly that Freak Flag high!!!!!

    • Katy
      August 14, 2015 / 4:41 pm

      Oh, me too, Gilly. Now that I’m an empty nester, I can get in all kinds of trouble!

  8. November 26, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    I love this, Katy! Our culture reveres conformity and shuns individuality- but aren’t these always the most interesting people? I think we learn as we traverse through life to regret closing off the parts of ourselves that society doesn’t embrace. There is nothing wrong with being different…I tell my children, much to their chagrin, that I am crazy and who wants to be normal- normal is dull! Occasionally, I meet the rare young person who is “different” and who doesn’t care to conform and wow are they ever terrific. So, be who you want to be and to any naysayers- so what? Yes, go for it and let your freak flag fly!

  9. January 14, 2017 / 8:53 am

    Wonderful! A friend of mine once told me that a child she was babysitting said, “Dana, you know, everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.” I have cherished this little nugget of insight for almost ten years now. The beauty of embracing who we are, and appreciating the quirky loveliness in others is incalculable. Thank you for the post!

    • Katy
      January 15, 2017 / 9:02 am

      That’s so wise from a child! Thanks for sharing.

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