Years ago I used to work with a girl called Alida.
She was about ten years older than me.
And she had what I can only describe as “presence”.
What do I mean?
Well, she had hair down to her waist, and had dyed it every colour under the sun.
She wore crazy high heels and sparkly, twirly dresses to work.
She was into crystals and auras.
And she oozed confidence.
Not in a fake or arrogant way.
In a totally natural, genuine way.
Now, it’s rare that you meet people like this.
She sounds like a character from a novel.
(She also sounds annoying... but that’s the thing about Alida – you either loved or hated her!)
One particular day...
One day I was shopping with her in a fancy dress (costume) store, and I found a quirky hat that I loved.
It was a green felt fedora, and had a beautiful ribbon rim.
When I put it on, I felt like a movie star.
It looked good!
But at that time - in my twenties - I didn't have confidence to wear it.
I didn't buy it, even though I loved it.
Alida, of course, encouraged me to buy it.
She didn’t pressure me; just said that it suited me and she thought I should buy it.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t have the guts.
(Isn’t that stupid?!)
After we left the shop and were walking down the street, I said to her:
“But when would I even wear a hat like that?!
When would I go anywhere where I would need a hat like that?”
And I’ll never forget her answer.
She stopped, looked me straight in the eye, and said:
“One simply wears a hat when one wants to wear a hat."
(But of course :)
I loved this!
And I loved her for it.
It sums her up.
Because she knew who she was.
And that meant she could be herself... all the time.
It was easy to be her: she was clear on who Alida was.
She was okay with being herself, not someone else.
And this was a great lesson for me:
On being 100% you... even if other people think you’re weird.
On finding out who you really are...
So you can show up as yourself.
Of course, it's a skill you develop.
It doesn't happen overnight.
But it's doable.
For some people it's easier than others.
(For some of you reading this, I'm sure you can discount this as you’re already comfortable in your own skin.)
But for the others, here’s my message to you today:
Don't be afraid to be weird.
Don't be afraid to be you.
The world needs you!
Not a copy of someone else.
You can be you - and that's perfectly okay.
In fact, it's totally awesome :)
We need you to be you.
So please keep being you.
You are the best at it in the world!
And by being you, you can help others be comfortable with being themselves as well.
Which is pretty cool, eh?
And now, over to you!
I’d love to know in the comments: What makes you weird?
Go on - I'd love to know your weirdness :)
Encouraging you to stay true to who you really are,