This I Believe

Sarah - Moraga, California
Entered on January 6, 2007

Weirdness Is Worth It

I have an infamous line that will go down in history: “Why are we weird?” Baffled stares and an awkward silence followed after asking my friends this several years ago during lunch. They claimed that, because I was half delirious with boredom, the comment could be overlooked as a “dumb blonde” moment devoid of true idiocy. In retrospection, though it sounded stupid, my question is a philosophical one worth contemplating.

People have always told me I’m weird. They aren’t insulting me. Instead, people say it simply to distance themselves from idiosyncracies that make me unique, no matter how minute. This is a shame. Our society has a talent for encouraging conformity— denouncing the quirky little traits that make us individuals is just one of the ways. Our society also loves artificiality, which is why it hates weirdness so much. The eccentricities of our character reveal the deepest realness of who we are. So, in a defiant response to society’s suppression of human weirdness, I’m going to broadcast everything that makes me an utter weirdo. Join in!

I wear perfume, Clinique Happy Heart specifically, to bed. I eat ketchup on my green string beans. I have a long-lasting hatred towards Times New Roman font. I can often be found on Saturday afternoons trying on my dresses just for the sake of trying them on. I believe the word mango is a powerful bad luck charm. I write poetry at midnight, sacrificing vital snooze hours. I find odd numbers ugly and crude. I compose songs about my dog (“It’s Time to Have Your Dinner” and “Fatty, Meet the Fatty” are the family favorites). I take showers in the dark. I do yoga in ultraviolet-yellow spandex capris. I eat avocados and bananas with a spoon. My favorite magazine is not Cosmopolitan like most sixteen year old girls, but National Geographic Traveler. I’m obsessive compulsive about my book collection, which is organized alphabetically by hardcovers and paperbacks. My main cravings include York peppermint patties and watermelon Jelly Beans, eaten simultaneously. I read with a miner’s headlamp.

This is why I am weird. And why I am me. These little fragments of quirkiness make up my personality, make me interesting, make me an individual. To both cherish and flaunt the tidbits of innate being, my weirdness, is a priority in my life because doing so allows me to be free with who I am. If I were to create a wall of separation from my weirdness and instead aligned with cliche normalcy, the spirit of Sarah Henningsen would be dampened, would cease to exist.

If you think about it, isn’t everybody weird and different in their own way? No two people are alike—this is the beauty of human beings. We are all spontaneous, random, complex, and strange individuals that naturally refuse to develop a uniformity between each other. And this is why we are weird. Weirdness is us in our most uninhibited, wild, and real state. It is us in our best, though maybe imperfect, moments. I find it important to preserve, love, flaunt, accept, and, most of all, believe in weirdness. I believe in mine.