Sometimes you meet people who are so different, so comfortable in their own skin and so in tune with their own eccentricities that you want to emulate them. But in doing so they would no longer be different, which would ultimately take away from the very thing that attracted you to that individual in the first place and would also make you nothing but a sheep. Why be a sheep? Where’s the fun in that?
I was reminded about the power and significance of being different this week and wanted to give my two cents as to why it is such a brilliant feeling to be comfortable with your quirks and foibles and why you shouldn’t give a rat’s arse about what anyone has to say about them. After all, we all know they’re just jealous anyway.
On Sunday afternoon I found myself in London’s West End, walking past the National Portrait Gallery towards the underground when I saw a 9 foot tall man. Maybe even 10. I didn’t measure him and it seemed inappropriate to shout out at him from the other side of the road “hey Mr, do you mind telling me how tall you are, I’m thinking of including you on my blog and I want to get my facts right”. That ish might play in some parts of the world, but this is London, we don’t make eye contact with those we know let alone actually speak to strangers. Most abide by this unwritten rule but of course for every tube journey or sandwich eaten on a park bench, there’s always the one person, possibly from somewhere out of the city and more sociable, like Aberystwyth or Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr – I’ve heard people are very friendly there – who has no qualms with looking you head on and engaging in pleasant conversation.
“It’s hot in this really tiny, claustrophobic train, isn’t it pet?”
You try to nod politely but in a way which discourages all further means of communication but nope, suddenly that minute movement of the chin opens the floodgates and a tube full of passengers are staring at you in shock as your new best pal breaks the rush hour silence, ignores the METRO in her hands and delves straight into your personal life, asking such intrusive questions as “Are you on your way to work pet?” and “I don’t know how you cope with being trapped on the underground like a sardine every day”. I mean really, the injustice the rudeness of it all! Making conversation?!
But no really, fair play to the strangers on the train who aren’t afraid to be different. To break the silence and strike up a conversation, maybe I should have taken a leaf out of their books, crossed the road and asked the 9 foot tall man why he was walking around on stilts. He’d probably have had a really interesting story to tell. He may have wanted to know what it would feel like to be 9 foot tall. He may enjoy looking at unsuspecting balding men’s heads or thought it would make an ingenious mode of transport to get to the Tesco Express round the corner.
I’ll never know why he felt the need to be so different and so tall because I didn’t dare ask. I greatly admire his difference though.
We all have things that make us different. It could be loving a band that none of your friends have even heard of let alone appreciate, it could be a love for creating sand art outside of tube stations like this lady at Camden station or it could be a great appreciation for neon lycra leggings even though they have never been fully appreciated by any fashion house or pop culture during our reign on this earth. Needless to say you don’t mind because you’ve learned to appreciate your differences and don’t give a rat’s arse about what anyone else thinks about it.
If you’re not at that stage of not caring quite yet, I hope you get there soon because there is nothing more fantastic than feeling comfortable in your own skin and being able to be you, letting those around you see what makes you unique. Because we are all unique and that is what people with warm to, why they will buy your books, attend your workshops or choose to be your friends, because they appreciate, admire or are intrigued by what makes you tick and what makes you different. Because nobody wants to be with a bunch of sheep.