Posts Tagged ‘unique

08
Dec
14

One Person’s Quirk Is Okay with Another

I like to think of myself as a multifaceted therapist. I’m a great back massage giver. I call them magic fingers. I haven’t done much with it, but I consider myself a decent art therapist (using art exercises to help people work through their “mental clutter”). And, I’ve been a decent listener most of my life without collecting $75-250 an hour for my time and saying very little.

But, here I am catching a few minutes of one goofy talk show in a million and hearing these “professionals” tell people with quirks that bother them that they should get help…and all I want to say is, “I don’t mind that quirk. I think it’s kinda cute. It’s unique and refreshing.”

And, isn’t that okay? Aren’t our quirks okay? Or, is every little odd/unique thing we do automatically a reason to sound the therapist/nut house alarm?

Warning: I’m about to rant. So, if you suffer from a “short attention span,” you may want to skip down past the partitioned section to the wrap-up.

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That’s ridiculous! It’s a quirk. It was probably caused by conditioning from exposure to some particular behavior from other people…whether that’s family, classmates or coworkers. And, all it takes to get out of that “kink” is to adjust yourself to someone new who makes you more comfortable. Until then, any conditioning therapy is going to be like slapping a smoker on the wrist to make them quit. You might force change, but will that make you feel better or just break the habit? Will you feel good about changing yourself or just comply with one more reprimand from peers? Is peer pressure a prescription for costly therapy and/or hazardous medication?

If you ask a “professional” outside the office, I am sure they’d love to set you up with a session schedule if they are starved for clients. But, once you get in that office, if they tell you your quirk is just part of you that you need to accept, what are you paying them for? And, if they recommend treatment or pills, what are you doing in that crazy person’s office??

A “professional” cannot replace family and friends the person really needs who will likely know more about the person rather than have them have to dig up aaaaall the history anew for some total stranger collecting a steep hourly fee. And, if you add up all the hours it would take to go through all that family history to get the “professional” up to speed, how much do you suspect that would cost?

Have you ever heard these expressions?

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I am so sick and tired of what some consider a weakness or strange being sufficient reason for telling someone to “get help.” It’s bad enough kids get bullied in school for having a big head or small frame or a lack of a good role model/sport coach or extra body fat.

Well, guess what.

I suffer from poor self-confidence.

I grew up with a small frame and a big head for which I was frequently pestered.

I was bullied.

I had a fifth grade teacher who couldn’t stop clearing her throat; so I started doing it reflexively, and it took a whole year to break the habit. These things happen. The same way we pick up and lose accents when we live among different cultures.

I have lost some hair in places, and it makes me uncomfortable.

I wear eyeglasses, and they make me feel crippled; but I cannot see myself ever using contact lenses without infecting my eyes because my hands are too busy to be that clean when needed.

And, ya know what else?

If you’re kinda quiet, shy or humble (not as bold, confident and daring as the people around you), that’s just fine. I won’t mind.

If you feel the need to pick your nose, you’re human. Just do it when I am not looking and clean those fingers, after.

If you burp for whatever reason, an “Excuse me” is wonderful. But, I won’t think you rude or weird if you forget.

If you wear two different socks, is that such a big deal?

[I think I’ve said some of these before. And, it wouldn’t surprise me if you found them among older posts (like the “looking for love and happiness” ones where I state my “dating preferences”). There are habits I don’t like, including some people who talk incessantly without conscience as if they can’t tell when someone isn’t genuinely listening to them…yet they keep talking even as I walk away. But, if I wasn’t quirk tolerant, I don’t think I’d find someone like Zooey Deschanel appealing, at all.]

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If you have a quirk, some habit that is unusual to others, it doesn’t mean you are mentally ill or unworthy of someone’s affection/attention. It may be annoying to some, but I’d prefer not to think it bothers EVERYONE. And, if your chosen spouse or mate happens to be bothered by it, maybe you’re hanging with the wrong tree. Ya know?

Every piece of the big picture puzzle fits somewhere. It just may be more difficult to find their place for some (myself included). It doesn’t mean we cut off our “bumps” to fit better. But, if YOU don’t like some aspect of yourself, it’s your call to change/fix it.

[Gosh, I get worked up when “professionals” turn nature into costly experiments.]

23
Oct
13

The Trended or the Trendsetter?

Some of you dear readers might be of the sort who hate people giving them advice on how to be like someone they recently saw on TV, read about in the newspaper or met on the street. Some of you might be of the odd sort who put every bit of such advice to good use or through a remarkable filing filter. I am inclined to be of the former and not of the latter.

Who are you to tell me who I should be like? Other sources would argue I should be original. I am free to say no. To strangers, say, “Nay; stay away.” [Okay. That one wasn’t related to the subject at hand, but I threw it in there.] And, according to one soda company, be a vegetable with a unique t-shirt. [Although mixing a few dozen flavors together may be original, it doesn’t guarantee the product will taste good. I used to mix sodas as a kid, and it didn’t make the taste experience more enjoyable. I was just being a silly, experimenting kid with access to a restaurant’s soda dispenser.]

Someone recently handed me an article that boasted yet another string of quotes from a “famous” writer. [How many of you either receive these or hand out quotes from people you encounter, hoping to take up a flag like some kind of mantra for your life if you have the determination to stick with it?] And, as I read this document, I heard the echoes of a dozen voices. Voices that had already picked this up somewhere. They were repeating something passed through a grapevine from…someone.

As far back as I can remember, kids in my classes were spreading trends like wildfire. I’d go to class one day and find everyone but me wearing jelly bracelets or some weird kind of Swiss wristwatch with a rubber band stretched over the face to protect the glass. Why wasn’t I informed sooner?

Where am I going with all of this (you with shorter and shorter attention spans are asking)? You can either be TRENDED or you can be a TRENDSETTER. You may not get your name in lights, but if you aspire to be the latter, be original. Do what feels right to you (as long as it doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s domain or property).

What’s your reward? You won’t feel opressed or enslaved. You’ll never be uncomfortable in your own clothes (unless you–like me–struggle to find enough articles to fill a pleasing wardrobe) like kids who are forced to wear certain outfits by their parents and certain businesses that enforce a uniform. You won’t have to pass through anymore putty molds that make you more stiff/square or “well-rounded”/”diversified” at your own risk. You won’t spend the rest of or any lengthy portion of your life feeling like a machine for someone else’s profit only to clutch the few years of life you have left later with a bottle of pills and a boat-load of aches and pains which deny you the joys you could have lived with the universe in your grasp before your brain kicks the bucket. Hopefully, you won’t start an “ape-mad” rebellion and turn the world into flaming chaos. But, you’ll surely breathe easier instead of feeling like a number or dirt.

I’ll give you an example in recent news. Someone wanted a unique tombstone for their daughter’s grave. The funeral home/cemetery turned this idea down to keep a certain standard. Fair enough. The cemetery had a standard (as we all should). So, let the family take their daughter somewhere more open to the idea of a unique tombstone. Why should this life that is as special as anyone else be denied a last request? It just has to be done somewhere…else? Maybe that will start a trend. Maybe somewhere you’ll find a cemetery of cartoon tombstones. It will be an amazing gallery of characters people liked and continue to like…only in memory of the fans and the artists who drew them. An honor to at least two people per stone.

I may be a bit of a hypocrite to take a line from this article I read about a certain author’s advice to writers (because I just scoffed at listening to or repeating other’s advice), but, if I am going to write stories only I can write, I am going to have to do them my way. And, that may not agree with or follow someone else’s advice or rules or standards. I may not do a hundred “kiss-ups” every morning or recite “rubber baby buggy bumpers” and “roo-da-bay-ga” to loosen my lips. I may not drink raw eggs or run three miles every day. I may not write a book in less than a month for some annual contest or mimic some famous writer in the history books. But, why would I?

Hopefully, I will write with a fine English head on my shoulders. Hopefully, I will complete all of the stories I can imagine and put them in the hands of respectful readers. One day, you’ll read about me or something I wrote/crafted. You may not see my name attached because I am dead. You won’t find it on a certain trending website. But, someone read something I wrote or saw a picture I created. And, it will inspire them to take up a trend, to pick up a pen, pencil or brush and try to do what I did. Then, on that day, I’ll be a trendsetting champion, and you’ll hear me roar. [That’s right, Katy Perry. I’m “trending” you.] Maybe one day people will look back at my work and refer to me as a style to emulate like that one guy who is heralded for his tragedies full of swordplay and doses of poison…

…But, what if they try to do it their own way? What if they choose to be…original? Well then, there may no longer be any trends. It is the age of Aquarius, after all. And, no Aquarius wants to be the same as someone else. But, if every Aquarius is not like the other, doesn’t that still make them alike?

So, maybe I am writing this for nothing. Maybe all I had or wanted to say was, “No. I don’t need to copy what you did.” Maybe I’m already doing something that’s been done. Maybe every rebel is alike, too. If I don’t succeed in all of my ambitions, it’s no more a loss than that of one life in this massive yet seemingly small-minded world. I will still try to be a force of a creative nature.

If you read this far, you can at least say I fertilized your mind. So…so there. [Scurries away. Comes back to retrieve his soap box.] Carry on. Carry on. Move along. Walk. [Stumbles over something that triggers a car alarm and scares off an alley cat.]




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