The idea for this essay (originally called “In Celebration of Weirdness”) came from a few major changes that occurred in my life over the past six months. Personally, I started dating someone whose weirdness matches my weirdness. Writing-wise, I finished my master’s program and had a few of my essays published on a couple of well-known websites.
Those publications were a big deal to me in more ways than one. Yes, they seemed like signs that maybe I could really “make it” at this writing thing. More than that, though, they were kind of like my big reveal. Suffice to say, I’d been a bit guarded and secretive about my writing for a long time. I truly believed if I told people the type of stuff I was spending hours working on – an analysis of the effects of Facebook and Kim Kardashian on identity formation, or musings on the metaphorical and psychological implications of makeovers and hair dye – that they’d think I was weird. Not a serious, sophisticated, writerly weird. Just lowbrow, navel-gazing, writer-in-air-quotes weird.
Having my work read and responded to by others, however, made me realize that maybe I’m not that weird after all. Or perhaps, we’re all a bit weird, and when we share our weirdness, we can relate to each other on a whole new level.
I’ll admit, it’s cloud-nine exciting to not only have your work published, but to see it shared thousands of times on social media (yes, I’m shameless, and I was tracking the shares all weekend). But the coolest thing to come out of this was that one woman followed the links in my bio to not only read this blog but to personally message me on Instagram, saying she enjoyed and related to my essay – that in fact, one of her school breaks involved a Disney-Channel-star concert with a parent (for her, the Jonas Brothers with her mom). Being able to hear from and connect with someone I’d never have known otherwise makes all those hours of writing, and all of my so-called “weirdness,” totally worth it.