What is weird, anyways?

I wear my mini top hat every opportunity I get, which is a lot.

I wear my mini top hat every opportunity I get, which is a lot.

I remember the first time someone called me weird. I had always been considered weird because I didn’t talk like everyone else. My parents were Yankees, and ‘ain’t’ wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. But no one had ever said it to my face until high school. I would have been insulted no matter who told me, but because it came out of the mouth of my weirdest friend, it really hurt.

Annie was smart, funny and quirky. I never knew what would come out of her mouth, her driving made me want to pee myself in fear, her choice in boys was questionable and she was awkward. I liked her a lot but if she thought I was weird? Well, I was in trouble.

For me, being different in high school was not desirable. I wanted to fit in with the crowd, go by unnoticed and unscathed. And while I liked Annie, I thought her weirdness brought her down. I was naïve to the fact that being weird is a good thing.

This mustache, which is awesome by the way, was a 29th birthday present.

When I went to college, I left a lot behind – my friends, my family and my image. I was dropped off in a Midwestern town ten hours from my Southern roots. I knew no one. My accent was different again but in a good way. To them, I had a Southern accent. It was like everything in my life had flipped. I no longer had to play to the small town image I had – responsible and straight laced with a bit of a stick up my butt.

This is an array of my favorite hats.  The head dress was for a birthday, the balloon hat for Lollapalooza and the warrior hat for a race.

This is an array of my favorite hats. The head dress was for a birthday, the balloon hat for Lollapalooza and the warrior hat for a race.

I was relaxed in college. It was a fresh slate without any preconceived notions so I let my freak flag fly. I let it out occasionally in high school, but it was never flown for a long period of time. I hoisted the flag sometime my first semester of college and have never taken it down since. Today, I’m weirder than ever.

I was talking to my trainer yesterday, when she said, “I saw your New Year’s photos on Facebook. I love your mini top hat. It’s the same one from Halloween, right?”

This shirt was for a trip to Toronto to visit Lana.  Evelyn, Lana and I wore different kitten shirts for a day of site seeing at Niagara Falls and winery tours.  Classy.

This shirt was for a trip to Toronto to visit Lana. Evelyn, Lana and I wore different kitten shirts for a day of site seeing at Niagara Falls and winery tours. Classy.

My mini top hat is black and sparkly with a bow. In the middle of the bow is a skull and cross bones. I originally bought the hat for a friend’s bachelorette party but have since worn it every opportunity I get. It’s weird. Yet, most everything I do is weird.

I wore this for my 25th birthday.
I wore this for my 25th birthday.

For this post, I was originally going to show only a picture of my mini top hat but then I got the idea to look through some pictures for some other Elyse weirdness. After about ten minutes and a lot of photos, a pattern emerged – crazy hats. They are one of my favorite things. When I have on a hat, I am allowed to be silly, and it’s like a costume without the commitment. It’s a win, win.

I also found pictures of various wigs and some kitten attire. In every picture, I’m with a group of friends with smiles on our faces. We are having fun, laughing like hyenas and enjoying life with flair. If that’s weird, well, I’ll take it. Being weird is much better than being ordinary.

 

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A New Year Means New [Lofty] Goals

GoalsI kicked off 2013 the same way I’ve kicked off every other year for the past decade – nursing a wicked hangover. I woke up in Evelyn’s bed blinded by the sun. She always complains it’s too bright in her apartment. While I always responded that it wasn’t so bad, yesterday, I realized she has been right all along. I tried everything to slow the drumbeat in my head – my arm splayed over my eyes, the pillow wrapped around my head and blankets pulled high. Yet, as usual, nothing worked except time. As Tom and I made the epic journey back to the suburbs pale faced and nauseous, he asked me what my mom always asks me, “Was it worth it?”

I was quiet.

For the first time in my life, I found myself not answering an enthusiastic “Yes!” Instead, I was rewinding the night. I was fortunate to ring in the new year with my best friends – Evelyn, Jack and Tom. Yet, I could have had just as much fun if I had only 3 glasses of champagne instead of the countless number I drank. But as with every new year, I celebrated with the freedom of ending one year and the hopefulness of another. It’s a fleeting feeling but one that fills me with joy to know there are new beginnings ahead.

As I drove into work today, relieved to feel like myself again, I thought about the year ahead and the things I want to do. I’ve never been one that’s good on follow through but last year I began to make a series of life changes. Work is going well, I’ve been working out regularly, being more money conscious, writing, etc. Surprisingly, those changes have added up, and somehow I’ve turned into a responsible adult. With this revelation, this year I’ve decided to make a few more hearty resolutions. When I texted them to Tom this morning, he said, “Wow, that’s a very comprehensive list.”

He’s right – it is. But I’m already on my way. This year is about taking the changes of last year and bringing them to a new level. Here are my resolutions, exactly as I sent them to Tom:

1. Enter a writing competition
2. Continue to work out each week to get into my goal pants (I bought the pants a year ago. They didn’t fit when I bought them so I’m not sure why I bought them. They taunt me every morning in my closet).
3. Reach new goals professionally – this one is vague but includes trying harder at work and/or a new job in the city
4. Maximizing the money I put into savings
5. Try to limit the processed foods eaten at home (this one is a bit aspirational). I want to continue exploring how to make things from scratch.
6. Be the best person I can be for Tom, Sam, friends, etc. This means always contributing at home, coming up with and initiating things to do on the weekends, being kind, etc.

So there you have it. I am welcoming 2013 and all it has to bring with open arms…and lofty goals.

What are your resolutions?