“Don’t ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
It happened again the other day.
I stopped by the coffee shop. I was wearing my Kiss Hoodie as usual, one of my favorite items of clothing. An acquaintance of mine who just happened to be there asked me. “You like Kiss?” It wasn’t the question so much as her tone, like Kiss was a dirty word. So I said. “Nah, I hate them.” Like duh, why would you even ask that with their four inch logo emblazoned across my chest. Hellooo.
I felt like I was back in high school.
In my defence I hadn’t had any coffee that morning yet, so I took a breath, looked at her and said. “Yes, I do. I’m a little obsessed, I thought you knew that about me.” I left it at that. Then she said. “Yeah, one of the doctors I work with is obsessed with them too.” Then she whispered his name. Like it was a dirty little secret or a piece of baaad gossip. Like he was a drug dealer or something. I knew who she meant, because Kiss fans seem to find each other.
It was funny coming from this lady, because she’s usually very nice, but it hit a nerve. Maybe for both of us… probably more so for me, because I let her get to me. Guess I was caught off guard. But it brought me to another of these friends that had made fun of me for liking Kiss, (a woman over 40, too WTF?) and then she proceeded to make a comment about my bright red hair…good thing I was too shocked to mention anything about her mommy jeans or her 70’s haircut. But I digress…
For the longest time I tried to fit in…I think… and even now sometimes I still struggle with it…maybe because people tend to want to be around their type because they’re more like them. I struggled with being accepted because I had my own opinions, I struggled because I didn’t want to look or be like everyone else. I struggled because I always felt…different. I struggled, because like most artistic people I didn’t seem to belong anywhere…until I joined my first band. We were all a bunch of misfits and weirdos. It was awesome. But what was most awesome? We were doing something we loved. That made us happy.
As a writer, I’m a born observer. I watch people. Lots. There are a lot of people who look the same, act the same, do the same things as they’ve always done or what everyone else is doing…sometimes it’s conditioning, but mostly its fear of going out of their comfort zone, or fear of what other people think.
So this brings me back to those who have or had an issue with me doing those strange things (to them they’re strange, to me going into a leather store and taking a deep deep inhale is pretty natural), and trust me, this is coming from someone who’s always been made fun of in some way or other pretty much all my life…I’ve come to this conclusion: People are making fun or even criticizing because deep down, they wish they could be as courageous to have the purple hair, or the Kiss obsession. When someone has a nasty comment or makes fun of something you’re doing or wearing, hear what isn’t said…because they’re really saying: I would really like to (fill in the blank) but I’m too scared that someone is going to make fun of me.
The world has enough doom and gloom in it. Life is short, so yes, be proud to love the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.
You never know who you might inspire while you’re at it.
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