I want to be weirder. I want to let the real me out to play and not get so hung up on being “perfect.” Because being “weird” just means being you.
Get On the Dance Floor
Every Wednesday evening during the summer, there’s an outdoor concert in downtown Boise, Idaho called Alive At Five. Boiseans come out in droves to listen to live music and drink a local microbrew. Every week, there’s a different band, playing a different genre. Rock, bluegrass, Americana, soul, country. Children (sometimes adults, too) kick off their shoes and run barefoot through a water fountain. We are all celebrating the freedom of summer.
Standing in front of the stage, listening to the music, I am always struck by the diversity of the crowd. Even more so, I marvel at the free, open, uninhibited vibe of people dancing. Little kids, even those who can barely walk, dance barefoot. Some just run in circles around the perimeter of the dance floor. One tiny blond girl wearing a tiara and a swimsuit covered in stars hops and stomps back and forth along an imaginary line on the ground. A woman in corporate attire sashays near a dude with gray dreadlocks. A man in a cowboy hat spins a woman through the crowd.
And I’m strangely fascinated by one guy who is always at Alive At Five, alone, moving in this sort of flowing way, a mix between dance and yoga, completely out of time with the music, grinning the whole time. I always think, “Man, that guy is weird.”
I Want To Be Like the Alive At Five Guy
Recently, though, I stopped myself when I had this thought. I asked myself, why am I judging this guy, attaching the label of “weird” to him?
Maybe what’s really going on is, I’m jealous of that dude. He’s dancing the way he wants to, being himself, unreserved, and doesn’t give two hoots what people think.
I want to be more like him. I want to step on the dance floor of life and get my groove on. I want to stop over thinking and obsessing about every single step I take before I make it, worried that it won’t be “perfect” or that I’ll somehow break “the rules.” I want to get in the habit of trusting my gut and getting out of my head. Because really, the only person who is closely scrutinizing my every move to see how badly I screw up is me.
Weird is the Best Way To Be
What’ll happen if I just let the real me flow on out and dance like the biggest weirdo on the planet? I think what’ll happen is, I’ll learn that just being me is the best way to be.
I bet if we all get weirder, get real, the world will be a much better place. Because the real us is infinitely better and more interesting (and more fun) than stifled, watered down, careful, politically correct, restrained, walking-on-eggshells us. And that’s true everywhere, whether at home or work, not just on the dance floor of a live music festival.
Maybe if we’re in a place or situation where we don’t feel like we can be authentic, it’s the wrong place to be. Maybe there is no such thing as weird, there’s just you being the real you.