“Googly Eyes” (Photo Credit: Stuart Chalmers)
OK, I admit it. Call me an egotist, but today I did something that surprisingly I have yet to do. I Googled myself. Everyone knows what Google means, right? If that sentence had been uttered even fifteen years ago, you probably would get a lot less handshakes, but I digress.
Anyway, I Googled my name. And HOLY GUACAMOLE! Only six lines down, is this breaking headline found in search engines all over the world:
Liz Gray drinks her own urine live on national TV!
Complete with YouTube video. Freaking Fantastic! Nothing about writing. Nothing about photography. No, just Liz drinks her pee! She also dabs a pinch here or there on her face and has totally clear skin. She even uses a neti-pot full of pee and no longer suffers from nasal allergies. Who knew? This fountain of youth and health could be so easy.
So of course, I did what any normal enquiring mind would do. I watched the video—twice! (Don’t worry, I know you’re curiousity has the best of you now. If you just can’t take it, skip the remaining paragraphs and just watch the video below!)
Now I’ve had some rather public and quite private conversations with my peeps lately about how once you finally start writing, you find out that perhaps you are weirder than not only what others thought you were, but disturbingly way more than even you thought you were. Learning to write, if it’s autobiographical at all, is like being your own paparazzi exposing your inner self to your friends and family kind enough to read it, and a few random strangers all over the world who could run the gamut from a deranged terrorist to a grandmother who runs a kitten mill. You just never know.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that attempting to regurgitate your thoughts from your brain pathways, and this time bypass the standard highway, that is the mouth, and instead divert these thoughts directly to the fingertips is a steep challenge. But since when has not knowing what I’m doing ever stopped me before?
See we all carry weird secrets around! You know–that thing you do when no one is looking, the way you sing in the car where the rest of the world can’t hear you, that smell your Tupperware has when you bring a lunch from home, those inappropriate things you always say in a social situation. What’s that? That doesn’t happen to you? Oh, maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, I’ve tabulated some polling data lately from a few other friends of mine that write, whether it’s columns, books, Facebook status reports, or professional email correspondence at real jobs where real grown-ups work. It’s unanimous. After much discussion, we have all agreed we are all a little weird.
We didn’t start out that way. But somewhere along the lines of marriages that defined us, kids that nearly consumed us, jobs that threatened to overtake the last strand of our identities, weight that sometimes nearly smothered us, and money that rolled in and out of our lives like the tide, well, somewhere in the process we all evolved. We got weird.
I’ve heard it said that sometime around our forties is when we become who we always were. Ah yes, high school is over. We kind of don’t care so much now what others think of us. In fact we’re pretty certain anyone who actually knows us at all, always knew there was that “something different” quality about us. It used to be a compliment, but now we know it for what it is, when somebody tells us, “You know, you’re really different!” “I’ve never really met someone quite like you.” “You are so unique. Always interesting knowing your take on life.”
Yes, we know. It’s a round-about way of saying , “You know—you’re really nice, but you are a little bit weird.” People just don’t come out and say it. It’s okay. They’re being polite, because rudeness is also a variation of weird, if not practiced in a tactful way.
But I say embrace your weirdness. Put your foot in your mouth from time to time and enjoy the taste of dirt. Wear that hideous outfit to work and when someone gives you an artificial compliment, embrace it with grace: “I know, right? I paid like $2 for this at Goodwill and always get so many compliments. Thanks for noticing!” Ladies, put a bow in the ugliest haircut you ever had. No, especially if you’re a man. We wanted attention when we were kids; why do we go to great lengths to avoid it now?
Yes, I say, “Be Weird!” Because sometimes in this world that doesn’t make sense, someone will be exposed to your weirdness and suddenly find great comfort and solace knowing that compared to you, they are actually pretty darn stable. That builds up their self-esteem, you feel good about yourself, and now everything is happy, happy, joy, joy!
So go ahead. You have my permission. Be weird. Weird was always your “new normal” anyway. Embrace it. Keep it. Love it.
Watch Liz Gray Drink Her Pee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMZaCOaLf9Y
P.S. She seems like a lovely little lass who may even lift her tiny pinky finger when sipping a nice cup of English Pee. I beg her pardon if we never sip together!