We need the Freaks, Geeks and Whackadoos! We need brave courageous people to live life according to what is right for them, showing us that we can all do the same. We don't need to fit into a mold, we don't have to be-look-do as everyone else in this world.
We are free to be whatever, whoever we want to be. They give us this gift.
I would see him standing there every morning on my drive to work, always a few feet away from the other kids, waiting for the school bus. He would be in a little sport coat and tie with basketball shorts one day, jeans and a blazer with a bow-tie the next and some days wearing several different items from several different sports teams. His hair was various shades, from brown to blue to pink and everything in between - sometimes styled wildly, other times just a brilliant color. I found myself looking forward to his outfits every day. He was maybe 10 years old and always seemed to be totally alone, the other kids ignoring him.
One day while out for a walk, I met his mother. When I mentioned how awesome his style was, she grimaced and said that was nice of me to say, thinking I was just being polite. After I made it clear that I was serious, she gave me this huge smile and told me how amazing it was for her to hear that, going on to tell me how hard life was for him. Bullied daily. Tormented and harassed. How it hurt him but seemed to fuel him on at the same time. He liked his style. He liked being himself. So, he tuned them out and did his own thing. They labeled him a freak - he decided his was okay with that. Their loss.
I see him as a brave little kid.
One of my best friends is incredibly intelligent. Really smart. She also has this way of looking at someone and reading their soul - more often than not, freaking that someone out completely. She is self-taught on many different subjects and has this self-awareness about her that makes some people uncomfortable because of how she shines. She is the type of person others either love or hate. There is usually no middle ground. She's smart, outspoken and confident - and people hate her for it. A little while back she came to me, frustrated and confused. She never handles confusion well because she keeps running whatever is bothering her through her mind until she breaks it down and gets it. A person she looked up to had told her she needed to and I quote: "Dumb herself down so people would be more accepting of her." This "helper" went on to tell her to be "less of herself" and "quieter" - to not do so much all the time because it made others feel bad. She had no idea how to “dumb herself down.” Though, at first, much to my chagrin, she actually tried to. Thankfully, not for too long. She figured out pretty quick that a. she had no idea how to, and b. she wasn’t living in her truth and to her that was unacceptable. She told me over coffee she didn’t need people to like her and she was fine being alone. She never ever felt lonely as the thoughts in her mind always kept her company.
To me she is a mystical geek who gets life in ways most will never comprehend.
There is this man who wanders around the town I work in, always talking to himself and making random gestures to things no one can see but him. Many of the residents have tried over the years to send him away, somewhere - anywhere, else. They call him weird, mental, a whackadoo because they don't understand him. They fear him. One day last week, while eating my lunch in a local park, I saw him walking along the bank of a small pond. Whenever I see him he’s smiling and honestly, it’s one of the most open and happy smiles I have ever seen. Every few feet he would stop and bend down to grab something and I realized - he was picking up the trash left by others. He would fill a plastic bag he had looped around his arm and then put it decisively inside the trash can. As he got closer to me, I went over to him and held out my hand to shake his, which he wouldn't do until he had wiped his own clean on a napkin he pulled from his pocket. When I said thank you for being so awesome and picking up that trash, he just looked at me and winked, gave me one of those smiles and strolled off back to the pond, opening a small can of birdseed to throw to the ducks while he picked up more trash.
I love the whackdoos in life - for they see what most are too busy to notice.
I have a huge respect for people who do their own thing, regardless of what the world says to them. People who wear what they want, marry who they want, work at what they love, and live their life whether anyone gets it or not. The square pegs who could care less about fitting into the "appropriate" lifestyle the people around them tell them they should. Those who march to the beat of their own personal drummer. The world needs more of them, whether it wants to admit it or not.
The doers, the creatives, the out-side-the-box thinkers, the ones who refuse to tame their wild spirit because it makes others uncomfortable, the ones who not only demand change but fight for it, too. The ones who challenge the status quo, who refuse to dull their shine because others in this world can't handle the brilliance. We need more of those with the courage to walk to the center of the stage of life and loudly shout to the masses; "Yes, I'm different. So what?! I’m going to live my life whether you understand it or not. Your approval or acceptance isn’t required! However, if you care to set your ego aside, I am positive we could be friends."
We need people who challenge us to look at all the ways we could be living more authentic to who we are. We need their courage to bolster our own. We all need to absorb the lesson – no one needs to understand us. No one needs to approve us. We must approve and accept ourselves and we need to learn to accept others who are different than we are. Hating someone because they are doing, behaving or living a life you don't approve of is ridiculous. Your approval is not only not needed, it's not warranted or required for those people who want to live out loud regardless of what people think of them.
Something I noticed a long time ago - A lot of the time people hate the freaks, geeks and whackadoos because they lack the inner strength to do it themselves. They allow themselves to feel less and instead of using that to fuel themselves to reach greater heights – they try and bring those soaring beings down to their level. They bully, shame and negate all that these shining souls are doing because it makes them feel better about themselves. It’s a false feeling though, for it is built on hate. They don’t hate those who are living according to themselves, they hate that they themselves are not.
We need more who shake things up, who force us to reexamine our lives, our beliefs and maybe, just maybe, open up to more of what life has to offer. We must search out other like-minded souls and band together, if one soul who refuses to dull their shine teams up with another and so one and so forth – think of all the awesomeness that would be born.
We need the Freaks, Geeks and Whackadoos! We need brave courageous people to live life according to what is right for them, showing us that we can all do the same. We don't need to fit into a mold, we don't have to be-look-do as everyone else in this world. We are free to be whatever, whoever we want to be. They give us this gift. They shine their light into the darkness and say - look at what you can do. They suffer the fools and come out on top triumphant in the fact they never gave in and never gave up.
I was talking the other day about some of my quirkier traits (all writers are quirky – it’s a requirement) and a dear friend of mine said it was about time I flew my Freak Flag high. I challenge you to do the same.
Fly your Freak Flag high!
Stop hiding who you are, who you want to be and just do it. It’s brave. It’s courageous and it’s the only way to live the life you dream about.
We freaks, geeks and whackadoos must stick together!
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