In many ways my life is very weird. Sometimes when I’m about to make a statement like that I try to think of a relatable example of how I’m not weird in some way, but it’s hard to come up with one. I wear clothes like everyone else… except I only have one set. I sleep like everyone else, but I custom made my own bed and prioritize sleep over everything. I eat like a normal person, except that most meals are Chipotle.
There are ways in which being weird is difficult. There are far fewer examples of what you should do, since no one else is in a remotely similar position. A decade ago Sebastian Marshall wrote a really poignant post about how weird people don’t get the benefits of normal life.
I don’t really think of people as being either weird or not weird, but more as whether or not they accept the inevitable truth that they’re weird. That’s just my perception, though, I’m not really sure if it’s accurate. My theory is that if you have enough freedom to explore options, and enough courage to accept that you’re weird, you’ll probably realize that you are. So when I write about being weird it’s mostly to give those in the “not weird yet” camp some clarity on why they might want to make the jump.
One of the best things about being weird is that you have far more options than normal people. It can sometimes feel as though we have fewer options, since the world isn’t designed for us. For example, at an average train station there might be zero restaurants I’m willing to eat at, even though a normal person might have many options.
If we look a little further, though, we have many more options. If someone lived a very normal life and then all of a sudden quit his job to become a professional surfer, people would think he was nuts and probably seriously worry about him. He was in a certain mold for his whole life, and so once he popped out of that mold it was a sign that something was wrong. He knows that it would be seen as crazy, so he has a massive incentive not to do something so drastic. His bubble of normalcy is self-reinforcing.
On the other hand, I dropped out of school to become a professional gambler, then a pick up artist, then an author, then a programmer, then a nomad minimalist… and no one really batted an eye. The label of “weird person” encompasses pretty much anything you’d ever want to do. Even doing normal things is ok if you’re a weird person.
This freedom allows you to consider everything objectively, rather than through the eyes of those who will judge you and try to get you back in the mainstream. I consider fairly insane options all the time, and I do so with the knowledge that I could actually end up doing them, versus a more normal person who may just daydream.
The longer you’ve lived a normal life the more difficult it would be to embrace your weirdness and live a life that you design yourself. If you do, though, you’ll find nearly unlimited options on the other side of the fence. Most of them won’t be for you, but you’ll have the freedom to find those that are perfect for you.
Photo is a lizard warming himself up in Hawaii
No Tea Time this week, sorry! I had a last minute schedule change. Probably next week, but I’m not sure.