I believe in embracing my idiosyncrasies. I love being quirky. But I was not always so confident. Through elementary school, middle school, and some of high school, I was the nerdy, quiet girl. I was not really quiet though. I had a million thoughts going through my head that I wanted the whole world to know. But I was afraid. I was deathly afraid of what people thought about me. I feared the reactions I would get from other people if I told them what I thought about when I stared blankly out the bus window. My imagination whisked me away from the sharp shouts and strong stenches of the long bus ride home to a far away land with courtly castles and tall trees. I wanted to tell the girl who tried to chat with me about my dreams and desires, but I believed she would laugh at my farfetched future. I did not utter a reply to her questions as she sank back into her seat.
After many years of unhappiness and solitude, I began to wonder why I acted the way I did. Why did I say things I did not mean? Why did I essentially lie to all my close friends because I thought they would like me better if I did not have any weird qualities? Why did I care what anybody, but myself, thought about me? None of the things I did changed the fact that I was weird. I still had many peculiarities. I just hid them. It was then that I decided to tell my friends exactly what I thought, and exactly how weird I was. Not only did I embrace my true self, my friends supported me along the way and embraced the new me too.
After changing my way of thinking and embracing the way I am, I feel much happier. Today I am not afraid to tell anyone about my weird qualities; I am fascinated with people. I would feel content to sit on a park bench and simply watch people pass me by all day long. I absorb their quirks and I find some beauty in each one of them. I want to understand how they became unique, beautiful, and wonderful individuals. I like to make funny voices with my family and friends. I cannot deny I enjoy receiving their positive attention. I am obsessed with having soft skin. I wear Chap Stick and lotion almost obsessively.
Although it took me some time to mature and figure out who I am, I am glad that I did not wait any longer. My quirks are very unique to me, and they make me who I am today. I could not be happier as any one else.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.