I don’t know who’s going to end up reading this – I really have no clue. In some ways, that’s the beautiful mystery of the online blog format: it could be anybody, anywhere, from any background, perhaps someone who really needed to hear just that one crazy thought you decided to jot down. Yet in other ways this anonymity leaves a lot of doubt lingering in the air. I could be sending this out into the oblivion, where it will be logged and categorized on a dusty server in an untouched room, where it rests unheard for all eternity.
I don’t know about you (oh mysterious and hopefully-but-not-necessarily existent reader), but I have a very definite mental picture of “Bloggers.” They’re all nifty, thrifty, put-together masters of their worlds; their living spaces are either perfectly organized and economized, or charmingly chaotic, telling some beautiful story about their wonderful, creative life. Whether this mental picture is accurate or not, I’ll be pretty honest: I’ve never considered myself all that out of the ordinary – at least, not in a cool, hipsterish, “I wanna be that guy” kind of way. Yeah, I consider myself weird and odd at times, but more in the “You DO know grown men don’t listen to Owl City and Disney soundtracks, right?” kind of way. So here’s the first reason you (whoever you are) don’t HAVE to read this post.
1. There’s no reason that I can command your emulation.
I don’t really see why I would tell someone they needed to be like me. This isn’t to say I have no reason to be proud of who I am, it’s just that I’m acutely aware of just how different different people are, and my personal style might work for me, and be totally wrong for someone else. So I’ll be me, you be you, and we can be awkwardly mismatching friends, reveling in the uncomfortable stares of all those whose only desire is to be like everyone else. Which brings me to #2.
2. I don’t have everything together.
I’m a college graduate, I have a this-side-of-heaven-perfect fiancé, and I can make a really decent cup of coffee. And yet I’ve also had to live in 4 places in the last couple months, I’m still working on finding a permanet job that will support myself and a wife, I have little-to-no guaranteed stability in almost any area of life. If asked to write an advice column, I have literally no idea where I would start, besides the aforementioned caffeine-creation skill. I’m no perfect, witty, put-together blogger who somehow knows exactly what millions of readers want to read.
3. I have a glaring lack of crazy adventurous life experiences.
From what I can tell, I’m pretty sure the average blogger has been to at least 37 countries, knows every local shop owner in person, has been skydiving, bungie jumping, and flying-squirrel-suiting, has had exotic foreigners fall in (and out) of love with them hundreds of times, and probably has at one time ruled a small tropical island in-between searching for the worlds next greatest artist, and composing their own symphony. Meanwhile, as an almost-21-year-old, I’ve only recently been out of the continental US, and that for an important family event. My great life adventures consist of breaking my arm falling off a bunk bed as a child (and then respraining that arm parachuting off the back deck with a plastic bag for a parachute), and that really great chicken dish I made the other day.
4. You already probably receive way too much advice on how to live your life.
It. Is. Crazy. Scrolling down my Facebook feed for only a couple minutes I saw countless lists of “123 Reasons you MUST _____.” Then count all the sharing of innumerable “Once you see this, it’ll blow your mind!” posts. And that’s just on the digital realm. Pretty much everyone in life is more than willing to tell you exactly how you should do what they tell you to do, because of the need they’ve told you that you have. So I won’t add to that list. You don’t have to read this post, or emulate me in any way that you don’t arrive at on your own. (And even then, do it at your own risk; I’m far from normal, so be warned!)
5. Because your life is your own to make.
I can say with pretty absolute certainty that an embarassingly large amount of my life has been consumed by trying unsuccessfully to fit in, to make friends with the cool kids, to become the person that any rare person who showed interest in me wanted me to be. That pursuit has caused an incredibly large amount of pain, from losing close friends because of misunderstandings, to constant self-doubt about whether I genuinely wanted something, or simply wanted to be wanted. I probably owe a great deal of my retreat from that addictive mentality to my dear fiancé, who is one of the first people to have seriously challenged how I viewed myself and how I perceived my dreams and goals.
So there’s 5 reasons you really have no obligation to read this post. Yet, assuming you read this far, I’d love to pass on to you, if possible, a couple things life has been slowly drilling into my head over the past few weeks and months.
- Normality is incredibly overrated.
Seriously. Not only is “normal” relative to whatever majority you’re around, trying to be “normal” will almost always involve shutting off some of the best, brightest, most unique things about you. Don’t be afraid to be weird, my friends. But more importantly, don’t be afraid to be yourself.
- Seize the moment! Carpe Diem! YOLO!
I don’t mean this in the youthful, “do whatever you want, and it’ll probably end up okay” kind of way. That’s a super quick way to get yourself in all kinds of trouble and pain which yes, you will probably survive, but will leave you definitely no better off, and likely scarred. Instead, I mean that you shouldn’t be afraid to fail. There’s no better time to do something than now. Some of the best moments in life are unplanned, unscripted, and probably not even what you’d hope for in the moment. In the same vein,
- Don’t put off living until a “better time”
I’m incredibly guilty of this. I waded through High School, just wanting so desperately to be in college, where life would be more planned, more predictable, everyone would be more genuine, and people would be past all the stupid high school drama. HA! Biggest miscalculation of my life. Then I waited through College to have my degree, so that I could get on with normal life. HA! Life only gets weirder, more random, and even less predictable after college. Basically, don’t get caught in the “Everything be fine when _____” mentality. It’ll suck away precious moments, years of unique moments before you know.
I think that’s all I’ve got for now. If you read this far, bless you. While a good bit of writing this is for my own benefit of jotting down the thoughts that bounce around my head like a perpetual motion raquetball in a closed room, I always have a secret hope that someone reads my posts and is encouraged or challenged to be a better them. Odds are, if you’re friends with me, you’re pretty quirky and awesomely abnormal yourself, so I appreciate having a wonderful community of oddballs around me. Y’all really are the best. So go be weird, be yourself, live life for the daily moments and everyday glimpses of awesomely abnormal people like you, and remember – ultimately, no one can or will make your choices for you. You didn’t have to read this post, you don’t have to listen to any of my advice, and I’m glad. I’d hate to have lots of Kirks running around this little world – I’m too much even for myself sometimes, and I love the differences I get to see in each of my friends. Have a great day, enjoy it for it’s own beauty, and have a wonderful life!