The majority of my teenage years were spent wondering why I was so horrifically uncool and, in my opinion, odd in comparison to my peers. My days at school were focused less on passing my exams and more in awe of the girls who seemed so inevitably flawless.
Why wasn’t I effortlessly awesome and why didn’t all the boys fancy me? All of the other girls weren’t interested in documentaries about Harry Potter and they most likely didn’t spend far too many evenings scribbling various overanalysed thoughts into an overused diary.
Was I just horrendously awkward? I wasn’t cool under any definition, nor was I conventionally pretty. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I’d become comfortable with myself and thought that perhaps it was more interesting to be imperfect.
A friend at the time described me as ‘quirky’, a term that I found almost offensive until he explained further. He said it was better to be one with plenty of quirks than none at all; that too many people, including the both of us, made too much effort to be just like everybody else when the differences are what makes us interesting.
Everybody has their quirks. Even those who seem annoyingly perfect. Our interests and habits and patterns are what make us fascinating; they should be embraced and celebrated rather than hidden away. The most amusing, radiant people are those content with emphasising their quirks – our best loved fictional characters and celebrities tend to be those with ridiculous and relatable character traits.
We love Lady Gaga for her extravagant and eclectic style and her tendency to be unapologetically honest without fail. We admired Michael Jackson’s distinguishable dance moves. Emma Stone has that adorable laugh, Elvis Presley possessed that smouldering lip curl and Kristen Stewart has that effortless ability to appear as if she is permanently dissatisfied.
Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Hermione Grainger – they all have individual and wonderful quirks that we grow to love. Your idiosyncrasies are yours to own and celebrate.
Last week I was referred to as ‘quirky’ once again, this time as more of an insult. As wonderful Marilyn Monroe said “it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”. No longer do I hide all of the things that are ridiculous about me.
I love my quirks. And I love everybody else’s.
Your quirks are brilliant. The things that we tend to keep to ourselves are what others find most endearing. If you collect old Barbie dolls, don’t hide them away when you have guests. Don’t be ashamed of your ability to recite every line from The Notebook or to sing the Periodic Table song without fault.
As Mr Gerard Way said : “All your quirks and all your problems – even your depressions and your failures – that’s what makes you you”.
Image via CateSevilla's Flickr