My children, my family, hell, friends and people I know, all come away with similar thoughts about me. I’m strange. And you know what? I am. To paraphrase Cameo, I’m strange and I like it. I wouldn’t live this life any other way. I’m cool with my strangeness. I embrace my strangeness. I stand in awe of my strangeness. My strangeness is my defining way of knowing I was cut from a different cloth. There are no other cookie cutters that look like my cookie cutter. YOU should be doing everything you can to make sure yours isn’t a duplicate, too.
My strangeness was something my mother disliked, yet respected at the same time. She knew I’d plow through whatever, come hell or high water. Let me state for the record, my journey to womanhood was filled with moments of rebellion, not of the “kiss my ass, bitch” type, but of the “I’ve set my mind to it, and I’m doing it” kind, because I refused to be set in a mold of somebody else’s making. I understood later down the line that my mother had a lot of fears—some valid, some not. But I also realized that her fears were her fears, and that I couldn’t take them, pack them in my bag and carry them with me, because they were a creation of hers, not mine. Whenever my own fears began to kick around in my bag, I’d toss it to the ground and step on them. That’s how I’ve always confronted my fears. Head on.
As a teenager, I gave birth to my first child. There was no need to tell me that finishing school was still important. I’d never conceived of anything else. I became an honor roll student with a baby. I still did that. I not only did that, but I did a part-time job and then college. When college didn’t work for me, and the job opportunities went to hell in my small town, I joined the military. I gained much in the way of experiences and how other parts of the world live, but I lost a lot, too. My older two children can probably attest to that. BUT had it not been for those experiences, THEY would not have had the experiences they had. They more than likely would not have had the close ties to their grandmother they enjoyed, without the apprehension and reality of poverty interwoven. So many things would have been different. It can’t help but be, if you don’t do the things the same way you did them. That’s why when I hear people saying they’d like a do-over, I can’t fully grasp that. Kanye, as off as he comes across in his own strangeness, was right when he stated “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am.” I’ve done great things in my life, and in the same dimming light, I did silly things. I have no regrets about anything I did or did not do. That’s part of accepting your strange.
My strange has taken me around the world. My strange has brought about encounters with the rich, the poor and those in-between. I’ve sat down to conversations with the wise, the unwise and those, also, in-between. I’ve been the unwise. I’ve been the wise. I’ve been the in-between. The greatest value to being strange, is that you’re willing to place yourself in situations that others would immediately turn on their heels and run from. Not the strange. We run smack into it, not missing one brick, and ever grateful when bricks turn out to be mere mirages, but not caring if they happen to be real, because we’re coming for them anyway. When we’re done, they’re all doors, because windows can be too damn small for us.
Strange . . . and I like it.
Are you strange? Do you make moves when others say you shouldn’t? Are you that person, who for most of your life, have felt you’re in observation mode? Noticing everything, dabbling in the moment for a moment, but not really part of the whole reality? Do people know you, but don’t really know you? Someone once called me an interloper, and I denied any parts of it. I don’t see myself as an interloper, because my not belonging doesn’t come about due in part to me being where I’m not wanted; my not belonging, if anything, has a lot to do with my strangeness that’s difficult for others—not me—to understand. I need people, like I don’t need people. I love to be around people, like I don’t love to be around people. That’s that strangeness. The one thing you can count on with those of us who are strange . . . and we like it, is that if and when you genuinely need us to be there, we’ll fuck up a wall to get to you. Every brick will become a mirage.
How’s that for strange? Do you like it?