I lived so many years of my life in the grips of this Happiness Hijacker: If I could just be like her.
I cannot tell you how many times I tried to conform when I was a kid, in order to fit in.
I felt . . . weird. I never felt like I had the right clothes, the right “look,” the right skills. But let me tell you something: I busted my butt trying.
Even at age 16, somewhere inside of me, I knew how exhausting it was to live my life trying to be someone I wasn’t.
But there was one friend I could always be real with — and she could be real with me. Her name was Carla. She was my very best friend. We were baptized as babies together. We were confirmed together. We lip-synced together. We rode bikes together. We talked about boys together. Everything, together. We knew each other’s strengths and quirks. She was the one person who could tell me I was weird, and I took it as a compliment. And vice versa.
As I have grown up, I still feel weird — maybe weirder than ever.
Yeah — won’t lie — there are still times when I’m tempted to conform to what the other moms do, what the other speakers say from the platform, to write like the other authors write. But when I am faced with that temptation, I think about the freedom I felt when Carla called me weird. It was proof that I could be the fullest version of myself, and be happy — quirks and all.
So. Can I tell you something? You’re weird. And I love you that way. More importantly, GOD loves you that way!
You’re weird, and you’re you, and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. When you are your own weird self, two things happen:
- You put the brakes on the exhausting work of trying to be someone else.
- You give others permission to be their own weird selves, too. It’s a whole revolution of weirdness, which breaks the cycle of shame people feel for being “different.”
Keep it real today, friends. Get your happy on. Stay weird.
Be sure to join us over on our Facebook page at noon EST today as Jennifer Dukes Lee takes over for another fun live chat! And, for Tuesday, read Chapters 13 & 14.
Head over here to join the conversation. If I could just be like her. How have you see this Happiness Hijacker at work in your life?
Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of The Happiness Dare and Love Idol. An award-winning former news journalist, she is also an (in)courage writer. She loves air guitar, dark chocolate, emojis, messy people, and Jesus — not in that order. Jennifer and her husband live on the Lee family farm in northwest Iowa with their two daughters, where they spend at least five minutes every day in the pursuit of happiness.Leave a Comment
Suse Fish says
My daughter was just this morning feeling sad because a friend had called her ‘weird’. I was trying to explain that being weird was actually kind of wonderful, because it means that you’re special and awesome and unique. I relate to the not fitting in part… but now realise that weird is rather wonderful because it’s how He made me. Thanks for this xx
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
TOTALLY agree. I have written over on my blog and social media channels quite a bit about being weird, and usually those posts are shared widely. I think the reason why, is because we are all aching to be the fullest, realest versions of ourselves — not some vanilla person conforming to the world around her. When we want to be “original,” we are really speaking into that place in our soul, where we realize that we were uniquely created and handcrafted by God. It takes a while to get to that place, especially for kids, but even for adults. But there is a certain kind of freedom in finding that your “weird” is what makes you “wonderful.”
Thanks for sharing your perspective, Suse. Right on, sister.
S. Bridges says
I love today’s post! I never felt like I fit in either but as I’ve blossomed in my relationship with God I now know why. We were never made to fit in. We are as he says in 1 Peter 2:9 ” a peculiar people”. I whole heartedly take on my weirdness and know that is who he created me to be and I will proudly wear that title. Thanks for reminding me that weird is wonderful!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have always felt different and weird. Always wanting to be like someone else. Always putting other people on pedestals because I thought they knew how to live right, or how to be a better Christian than I. God has called me to slow down, drop some activities. I had filled my time, had become afraid to be alone with open time on my hands. Not sure what He wants me to do or not do right now, but I am now waiting on God and resting in Him. I have tried to do it my way and be in control but it is exhausting so I surrender to Him. Maybe it’s not what other people I know are doing right now, but it’s right for me. I hope He can help me to embrace my weirdness and be happy in the person He has created me to be
Yep.. We are all a little weird in one way or another and as over older, I understand that it’s completely great to be a weirdo… A good weirdo I mean.. Growing up with parents who immigrated to the US, it was twice as hard trying to fit in. I remember trying to honor my parents and the culture I was born from and trying to be cool like the kids from my school. Not easy trying to live in two different worlds..
And it was the fear of rejection from both groups that hurts the most, being caught in the middle trying I figure out which one to be in. But I now know God has a plan and purpose for this, creating in me an understanding of both worlds and appreciating it. So weird as I had been, so thankful for it… Thank You Lird for loving this weirdo!!!
Kim Booker says
Thank you for this post. People call me weird because I stay to myself. I’ve learned over time not to let individuals ” Pull” me into there mess! I tend to spend my time giving All Praise and Glory to God. Praying for Our Nation, the Children and lifting everyone up in prayer. Because I choose not to gossip,defraud or critic others but remain in a Hopeful and Joyous frame of mind giving Thanks to God for every moment. Individuals assume I’m Weird,Smile! But I am a child of the Most High and Mighty God. If that makes me Weird, then I am Truly Happy and Blest, Amen…Thank be to God.
Nancy Ruegg says
Why is it we EVER think being like everyone else is desirable?! BOR-ING!! Bravo to you, Jennifer, for embracing your uniqueness and encouraging us to do the same. To live out the fullest versions of ourselves, to be happy (quirks and all) and celebrate who God made EACH of us to be–now that’s the way to live. Thank you for steering us in the weird direction!
Toni Cascio says
I’m weird because I put my Boston Terrier in harnesses that look like dresses. I wish I could attach a picture so you could see how adorable she looks, but many people still think I’m crazy. Oh well….
being “my sort of weird” is fun and it makes my family cringe. I sing opera around the house, no, I am not an opera singer, I have done this since I was younger, my adult children are quite aware and my hubster just laughs. The other strange thing I do is have all kinds of nicknames for our dogs, sometimes I just amuse myself…haha and I carry on conversations with the dogs. I am very lucky that my husband laughs along with me!
Ran smack into my “weirdness” when I was negotiating and working through a problem. I was so upset with my weirdness and feel it gave me a big disadvantage. But just reading this made me feel so much better! God knew when He made me, all the experiences I would have. Thanks again!
Lora Cotton says
My husband ( a 40 yr love FINALLY fulfilled 1.5 yrs ago) and I have found that we are so VERY (ALIKE-LY) WEIRD! We knew at 12 & 13 yrs old that we were “meant” to be, but life got in the way, so we’ve spent most of our lives apart from each other, both living with that happiness hijacker – trying to “conform” and make others happy, while exhausting ourselves and being terribly unhappy. When we FINALLY reunited (4 yrs ago, we immediately began destroying the damage that hijacker had wrought over all those years AND learning that we’ve NEVER BEEN HAPPIER than we are right now, BEING WEIRD – TOGETHER!!!!
Beth Williams says
I, too, felt weird and out of place as a youngster. Didn’t fit the norm at all. Didn’t have many friends and was shy due to hearing troubles. Now as I’ve aged I embrace my weirdness. I enjoy being me and showing the real me to the world. I guess that’s why God put my husband in my life. He is a good hard working geek & I love him dearly! We do weird together and love life!
I also had a hard time fitting in and always wanted to be part of the “in” group but was never included. I thought it was because I was just too weird and just didn’t fit in for some unknown reason to me. Until this fall. I was asked by the “in” crowd to join their bowling league until Christmas because one of their members was having hip surgery. I agreed because I like to bowl. I just didn’t expected to be asked to join them for lunch after bowling after the first time, which surprised me. I gladly accepted the invitation because that meant I could join the “in” crowd for lunch one time. But they kept asking me week after week. I was now part of the “in” crowd, (at least I think so), which I thought was wonderful. But over time I realized something: they were actually quite boring people to be around. I’m a Thinker, so I consider their conversations to be rather superficial. I guess that makes them weird to me. But I’ll still go to lunch with them because it is at least more interesting than going to McDonald’s for a burger by myself.
I think that the truly weird are those who are not in touch with their weirdness. Those are the ones you need to watch out for! I embrace my weirdness and warn others when necessary;) And I call people out on theirs if the situation calls for it. That’s what friends do for each other. “Hey you have spinach in your teeth.” “Pssst. Your zipper is down.” “Hey, you’re weirdness is flaring.” Where it with style, Girls!