Find Your Tribe

Despite what the movies tell you, it truly sucks when you don’t “fit in” with a group of people. For whatever reason, you just don’t vibe or click, and it can make you wonder what’s wrong with you. 

And to that I say: nothing. Nothing is wrong with you. You just haven’t found your tribe. 

Because the people who you fit in with are dying to meet you. 

Listen, I’m an expert on this one. It’s not that I’ve been bullied or anything like that; it’s only I’ve been a weirdo my whole life looking for other weirdos to weird out with. I have what I like to call Lady GaGa syndrome: even when I’m asked to do a “normal” task, I need to add my own spin. (Which turns into doing a full on smoky eye when showing up to a casual event or carrying around a black umbrella for a day at the beach.)

So, trust me when I say that there’s someone looking for your weirdness right now and who fits in perfectly with you. 

And by the way, if you don’t fit in, it’s not always because you’re weird. Sometimes it’s just because you don’t go with the flow, or aren’t willing to adapt to the mainstream. Because a lot of people do that to fit in with people they probably wouldn’t get along with in the first place (I’m looking at you, entire population of people who bought a unicorn frap knowing full well it tasted awful.)

And that’s okay too. It’s okay to want to fit in. As long as you aren’t pretending to be someone you’re not. 

At the end of the day, if you still can’t find anyone to fit in with no matter how hard you try, you should be just you. In fact, scratch that. Just be you all the time. And you’ll find your tribe eventually. Hang in there. Or come hang out with me. 

The “W” Word

My sister was describing a friend of hers to me, and she used me as a reference point. 

“She’s just like you,” she said, “just not as unique.”

To which I replied, “you mean not as weird.” 

She pulled a face and kept talking. 

But I knew I was right. And I know I’ve been throwing around the “w” word a lot lately on this blog but I can’t help it. It strikes me and fascinates me so much that people see being weird as a bad thing. That they sort of unconsciously or consciously avoid it. I know people don’t like to be called weird to their face, and I know my sister was just trying to be as diplomatic (and honest) as possible, but what’s wrong with being weird? 

Isn’t it a good thing to not be like anyone else? To be different? 

But that’s not enough anymore, is it? You can be different but still fit in pretty well. Still be in the in crowd. 

What we need is weird people. That make you see something in a new light because you’ve never thought of it that way before because it’s so out there. People who scare you (but don’t terrify you). People who are unafraid of themselves. 

I love being unique and different and quirky. But I also claim my weirdness. I like having opinions and beliefs that are unlike anything that I’ve ever come across. (And I like coming across other opinions and beliefs too.) But I fully recognize that I’m weird. And that not everyone is going to enjoy that aspect of me. 

So, whatever you are, just make sure you own it. Which, I think, will inevitably make you weird too. 

5 Weirdly Pleasurable Activities

Is there anything that really compares to the first sunburn of the summer? It’s usually awkward; a perfect inverse portrait of you wearing sunglasses or the bathing suit tan line that makes you realize how eenie weenie that bikini really was. The burn turns a vibrant red color and has its own heartbeat come nighttime. Then, the next day, you kind of look okay. The angry red has subsided, and your skin has a bit of a glow to it. Fast forward to the day after and you realize you’re peeling. Snowflakes made of you slough off and onto your clothes.

You’re immune to sunburn, you say? Well, you’re rather lucky in terms of the gene pool, but you are rather unlucky in another department: the weirdly pleasurable activity department. Let’s explore this strange utopia, shall we?

1. Peeling dead skin/Popping pimples

I’ve been told that both of these activities are not good to do and both are sort of gross. However, there is something endlessly satisfying about peeling a sheath of dead skin or popping a particularly stubborn pimple. I think lancing blisters also falls under this category, but that might just be me.

The Reason: People like to feel a sense of accomplishment. Before computers, I think popping a zit was the closest we could get to “instant gratification.”

2. Snapping Bubble Wrap

Way less repulsive than the first activity, everyone can experience some pleasure or relieve some stress by popping bubble wrap. But did you know “Bubble Wrap” is a brand name? It’s just like Xerox, Band-Aid, or Post-It! Weirdly enough, I feel especially satisfied when a bubble burst is particularly loud. Feel the urge to pop some bubble wrap right now? Do it here, virtually.

The Reason: Maybe bubble wrap is a metaphor; we let the air out to let our frustration out. Or, it’s just really, really fun.

3. Crunching Fall Leaves

Ah, the crisp fall air and the even crisper fallen leaves! When the trees drop their leaves in Autumn, I get a little sad to see the bare branches. But when I look down and see the dried, crackly leaves, I feel like a little kid again. It is very pleasurable to step on an especially brittle specimen. Like this one:

Image

OOOOH, YES. SO CRUNCHY! (And a truly beautiful photo.)

The Reason: I have no idea. Crunchy leaves are a mystery all on their own.

4. Wiggling a Lose Tooth

Loose teeth are one of those weird pleasure pain moments. It hurts so good, sort of thing. The more you wiggle it, the more you sort of feel weird and good for doing it, which also describes about 95% of the moves I see on a dance floor in a club.

The Reason: I’m just guessing here, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that your body wants to get rid of the tooth, so it has to make it sort of interesting and desirable for you. I don’t know. Ask the tooth fairy? Or Tom Hank’s character in Castaway.

5. Smelling Books

I thought this was only me, but it turns out that many book lovers enjoy smelling their books. Don’t believe me? Check out this book perfume. It’s a bit pricey and a bit too strange, even for me, but for some book lover out there or lover of said book lover, this is paradise.

The Reason: It’s often said that there is some kind of chemical in paper that degrades and makes a book smell good. But the truth is, it has more to do with environmental factors and how the book is handled. Unfortunately, some books don’t smell all that comforting. They smell foul. So, be a cautious sniffer!

Need more weirdly pleasurable activities? Check out this Cracked article, and post your favorites in the comments!