A Little Off Center

oddoneWe all know a person like this.  They’re a little off.  Even if you can’t put your finger on it, the oddness around them sticks out like a blaring siren.  It’s not a terrible type of odd, just a little droll in their humor or the way they carry themselves or in their habits.  They’re simply eccentric.

And there certainly isn’t anything wrong with being off-course from the accepted norm.  Heck, I think it’s quite beautiful.  Consider it.  A person is so happy in their own skin that they comfortably exist on the outer rim of the social norm.  I think it takes bravery to exist like that because, let’s face it, there are so many pressures to be what everyone else expects you to be.

The simple act of defying those expectations takes courage, tenacity, and confidence.  Yet, when we meet people like these, we tend to recoil from them.  Even make snarky remarks about them when they’re not around.  I’ll admit that I’m guilty of that.  I’m not proud of my behavior by any means, but I’m brave enough to confess to my shortcomings.

I think it’s a natural reaction to take a step back when faced with the unusual (at least a perceived unusual).  It’s certainly more comfortable to retreat into the herd, and toe the line to the group-think expectations.  But what if we didn’t?  What if we, just once, accepted that odd duck for who they were, not for what we expect them to be?

It’s an interesting and compelling question to ponder.

I would like to think, no, I would like to hope, that if I did that just once, my world would open and expand to places that I’ve never experienced before.  Maybe I could glean some of that misfit’s courage – their confidence – their tenacity.  See the world through a different lens, and enjoy my journey of self-discovery.  Arrive at the end of my life expedition only to find that I am just as quirky as the next oddball, in my own way, and realize that I’m content in my own skin.

So next time you come across that not-so-normal guy or girl, maybe shut your mouth and open your heart – you might be pleasantly surprised.

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