The other day I went to an interesting event that happens once a month called Creative Mornings*. It goes on in many cities at the same time talking about the same topic. There’s something powerful when a large group of creative people exchange ideas and experiences.
As I walked into the room to sign up they gave me a name tag where I had to complete the sentence "I’m weird because…" I put my name tag on and continued, hoping the free coffee and breakfast would help me think of the many reasons why I'm weird. Free food must ignite creativity, right?
But as I sat there I thought “I'm not weird”. I never considered myself that. If I'm honest I've always thought weird had a negative connotation. The topic of this month was, you guessed it, “weird” and the speaker was Kyle Brooks, an artist also known as Black Cat Tips. If you look at his website and see his artwork you may think it’s a little weird. He makes what he calls “whimsical roadside art and paints the world happy”. He paints, writes, and tells stories.
Listening to him made me realize that being weird is good because if you're not weird you're normal. I don’t want to be normal. Maybe it’s just me but I think “normal” is the expectation to act like everyone else, and I want to be me. I don’t want to dress according to the trends or define success the way everyone does. I want to reach inside, find my passions and gifts and share them. I want to see the good in every situation and know that if things are a little tough now, something better is on the way. I want to be happy and share happiness. Does that make me weird?
I love how Black Cat Tips talked about his journey. Think about it, how does a man decide to start putting bear signs along roadsides and how does he make a living from it? He had a regular job, many of them, but somehow his passion kept calling him and at the end he gave himself a set time to make it work and it did. He told the audience to think about regular things in a different way and to do what makes you happy for your enjoyment without judging yourself. Is that weird?
I still often think about something Kyle Brooks said: “I want a big bowl of happiness.” Doesn’t that sound amazing? What does that bowl look like to you? Maybe we're all a little weird and our weirdness is expressed in what we're passionate about. Sometimes we may be too shy to share it with the world, too busy to even notice, or too afraid to be judged. But it's there. Maybe being weird is not so weird after all.