“Don’t ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.”
When I was in high school I didn’t have a lot of friends. Growing up with the internet I naturally went online to seek out connection. In my search I found a band called The Dresden Dolls with a lead singer named Amanda Palmer.
Their music spoke to me in a way that seemed to have more credibility than my suffering peers. Amanda has a way of making you feel like she is sitting beside you in your pain. I followed Amanda’s blog and music from then on. She taught me that you can be an adult and weird and have a community and be loved and happy and successful. This hope got me through high school with something to look forward, and beyond that gave me a mission: to try to convey an ounce of this inspiration to others who feel like an outcast.
Now with emerging adults I see the same struggle but dialed down a bit. The struggle goes like this: can I show my freak flag and still be a professional?
Owning the label of misfit (or geek, gamer, nerd, etc.) may be easier as an adult than during those teenage years, but some of the shame still stirs in the undercurrent of our lives. The shame wakes up in moments where we choose to disclose our influences and interests when we are in vulnerable situations. It shows when we look inside and ask ourselves what it is we really want to do for a career. Or when our bosses ask us what we like to do on a Saturday night. Hiding can feel like wrapping up in a protective blanket but it can also feel disingenuous, and we can become so used to hiding part of ourselves that we lose the whole.
My hope is to provide not only a place of tolerance but also a space to celebrate who you are. I intend to start this acceptance in the therapy room, and together we can cultivate it beyond that into your personal and even professional life.
If you’re interested in connecting, you can e-mail me here. I am accepting new clients in South Austin at this time, so I’d be happy to set up a free 30-minute consultation with you.
Check out Felicia Day’s video on embracing your weird:
Watch this TED talk by Lidia Yuknavitch on being a misfit: