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On being “weird”

I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me I’m “the weirdest person they’ve ever met”.

I actually take that as a compliment, because it highlights exactly how predictable and average the person exact-opposite would be.  Do you think THAT person would be ’really interesting’ to hang around?

 

I’ll tell you one thing…consistently taking people by surprise and exposing them to new ideas NEVER gets old.  When I can break someone out of their comfort zone and show them a new way to REALLY have fun, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.

 

And for my birthday this past weekend, I did exactly that.

 

On Wednesday night around 2 AM, I suddenly had the idea to throw a birthday party for myself unlike anything done before.  I texted 8 of my closest friends – telling them to meet at my house on Friday at 7:30 sharp.  I also asked they either let me know if they’re 100% “IN” or 100% “OUT”.  I woke up the next day to all of them responding 100% “in”.  (When you’ve got friends that make a priority like this, it feels pretty fucking awesome.)

 

So come Friday, I had something in store for them that they would have never guessed.  I decorated my place with tea lights and candelabras – and prepared monk robes for everyone to wear as if it were a ‘secret society meeting’.  I also filled my refrigerator with 40 oz of beer as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  There was no way 9 guys would finish off 60+ bottles, but the hell with it.  Sometimes you do things just for the fun of it, no matter how impractical it is.

 

 

As the night got started and I was looking for my robe, I came across some animal masks I had in storage from photo booths I had done prior (I work as a photographer if you didn’t already know).  An idea came to me that would add to the fun for when the pizza guy came…so we all put on the masks, and my friend Rich had the genius idea to play the pandora station labeled “chanting monks.”

 

 

What ensued during the pizza delivery would be one of the funniest pranks we’ve ever done.  (See for yourself below)

 


 

Now while that was hilarious, I can’t tell you how much MORE I valued the remainder of the night.  One of the main reasons I wanted my friends to come was so they could get acquainted with one another – and by the end of the night everyone was cracking jokes, talking trash, and sharing stories as if they’d known each other for years.

 

Here’s the critical part – not only did we have a fun time enjoying the spirit of this random idea, but we also talked about some pretty meaningful life-stuff.  I went around the table to introduce everyone, and with that – explaining how each of them has uniquely inspired me in a certain area of my life.  We went on to talk about the most ‘difficult challenge’ we’ve ever faced in life and how we grew from it – and man…what better way to get to know someone at their core.  One of us talked about what it was like seeing his friend die, (one of us talked about a time when he, himself, was legally ‘dead’ for a brief moment in time!), one of us talked about what it was like being in a gang, and these kind of strong experiences revealed some serious insight into each others lives.  Learning from what they’ve experienced was extremely impactful.

 

The night surpassed any dinner I’ve ever been to, and is one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.  My friend Jon said at the end of the night, “this is the most fun I’ve ever had without girls.”

 

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Now I want to take a second to talk about being “weird.”  When I had told others about my idea for this party prior, they told me it was really ‘weird‘ and some seemed genuinely concerned for my mental health.  Some suggested I shouldn’t go through with the robe idea out of the assumption that my friends would think I’m crazy.

 

But you know what?  After it was all said & done – people “got it” and now think it was ‘hilarious’, I’ve seen people asking my close friends for invites to the next one.  (The video above was shared on Facebook 30+ times from people) Funny how that things turn out like that…

 

***UPDATE***(7/30/13) – The video has since gained over 700,000 views on YouTube, was featured on the today show (they express the exact opinion I’m talking about), and I was interviewed about it during a live news segment for the Huffington Post.  On top of all that, a company sent me a check for $500 to license the usage of it for their prank show.

 

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me in the past where people doubt my ideas and try to influence me to go the ‘normal route’.  And sometimes I’ve listened…which I now regret doing.

 

I’ve never felt more sure and secure in my ‘weird‘ nature than I do now.  I know EXACTLY what I want out of life – and I see no reason why anything or anyone should get in my way.

 

And they shouldn’t get in ‘your way’ either.

 

You wanna put yogurt on your toast instead of jam?  Go right ahead.  I do it all the time.  People make fun of me, but it’s the bomb and I don’t care.

 

Awhile back I was meeting my ex-girlfriend’s parents for the first time and I wanted to be ‘sure’ that I made a great impression.  My roommate suggested I pick up a bottle of wine and some flowers.

 

Safe bet, right?  TOTALLY.

 

It *was* safe.  And they’d probably think it was really nice of me.

 

However, it wasn’t *me*.  So I came up with the idea of getting fresh blueberries and orange juice along with some champagne for the mom instead.  My roommate assured me they would think I was weird.

 

“Fuck it.”
I did it anyways.  And you know what?

 

Her dad CRUSHED those blueberries the next morning and suspected that his daughter had TOLD ME to get him the orange juice – because he apparently LOVES fresh OJ.

 

Looks like my “weird” intuition was right again.

 

My point with all this is – if you’re ever feeling like an outcast because you want to stay home and knit mittens while listening to Rammstein on a Saturday night - go right ahead! Hell, post that you’re doing that on Facebook!  I’m betting somebody will see it and be like, “damn Jenny, that sounds legit – mind if I join you?”

If you want to do something and feel like ‘society standards’ would frown upon it or it would be looked at as ‘weird‘ or ‘uncool‘ – you have to question *who* exactly you’re living your life for.  Are you living based off what others think?  Hell-to-tha-no. You do what YOU want, WHEN you want. “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

I hosted a blog party instead of watching the Super Bowl and mentioned it to a friend while in a text conversation.  He responded back saying, “you know what, fuck society standards – I’d love to join you.”

 

Be a leader of “yourself” and others will be inspired to do the same.  And it’s REFRESHING AS HELL to lead a life doing exactly what you want without influence from others.  I suggest you try it and let me know how it feels.

 

If you’re weird like me and want to help others find their inner “weirdness” too, I’d love it if you shared this.

 

And if you just want to give me a holler and say “hell yeah Tim – that was on point!”  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Hope you’re having an awesome Monday.

 

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Here’s a few bonus photos of me being weird just for the fun of it:

 

This was a holiday card I made this past December.  Again, tried to tell people the concept – thought I was weird.  Once they saw this masterpiece they immediately understood.

 

 

I had to ask a friend if I should include this next photo.  I asked her, “Fire jumping’s not weird, is it?”

She responded, “Tim – it is weird.  I think you just have a skewed perception of normal.”

 

 

A ninja costume themed pub crawl my friend James held a couple years ago.

 

 

On Halloween of this past year, I spent the evening working on my website with my friend Jason.

Drove around with this Peruvian mask on in my car during the day for the hell of it.

 

 

Every time I visit my dad, we play racquetball at the college gym. He usually beats me in a lopsided victory.  One time I visited and beat him by a big margin.

And…it just so happened that the school was doing a fundraiser-portrait-day for kids in the art school to go to a photography conference. I figured what BETTER way to remember this day in history than to get a portrait of myself right after the game!

$10 later my dad now has this portrait to haunt his dreams of the day that I viciously destroyed him in racquetball.

 

Dressing up just for the hell of making the photo *that* much better.

 

 

My friend Julia trains horses, and invited me up to her ranch to go riding one day.

Again, made it more fun by playing the part.

 

 

Halloween weekend last year was super foggy.  Decided to get out some monster gloves I had in my prop storage and have some fun with in the streets with my buddy Matt.

 

 

Had a really long layover in the Gangzhou airport on my way to snorkel in Indonesia.  Decided to get my gear out and have some fun.

 

Nina Krafft - SO good! Keep doing what you’re doing! Much love.July 30, 2013 – 8:35 pm

Tom - Fucking hell I love you.
Seriously, you seem like an amazing person, and I really wish I knew you. You seem like the best type of friend – the best type of person! None of that seems weird to me, it looks like fun.
The way you live your life is so inspiring to other people, you’re just so awesome! Again, I really wish I knew you. :(July 17, 2013 – 12:22 pm

Alice - Wow. This is so inspiring. I’ve struggled with being myself and basically every kind of anxiety. I’ve actually wanted to do “weird” things and speak out but it just takes over me. Anxious about what language I speak, and how much I speak of it. (I grew up and live in the Philippines but I’m terrible at Filipino. So much that I am dubbed an Englishera [I speak too much English, apparently] and some people just avoid me) Anxious about my friends. Caring about what people think of me. Confidence issues. Thoughts like “Am I really good at this? Should I just stop altogether because whatever I’ll do, people will make fun of me anyway? Should I tell people when something good happened to me? Will they think I’m just arrogant? Do I even have real friends?” Too much but you get the idea.

What is considered “normal” seems strange to me. The people I’m around everyday have affected me. Over time, I have conformed to their cliche teenage girl ways and every day I hate that I changed. I hate the fact that THEY of all people caused me to change. Sigh. (My life is a cliche high school comedy movie)

But you, my good sir, have brightened my day. Reading your story has inspired me to go the distance. (Disney’s Hercules reference, anyone?) A personal account does so much better than psychological studies, self-help books/articles, and even my best friend STATISTICS. Being yourself is all that really matters. Normal /is/ overrated.

In unrelated news, I think I saw your holiday card on Tumblr. EPIC. You are amazing. That prank brought me here, and gave me a better outlook on life.

Sorry if this whole comment might not make sense at times, but you’re awesome. I can’t thank you enough for this post. DFTBA.
And to anyone who read until the end of my comment, I salute you.June 8, 2013 – 7:01 am

Katie Young - THANK-YOU. Reading this beautiful post at this exact moment in time has given me immense inspiration and validation. This is something I’ve struggled with lately- others not liking my ideas and thinking doing the same thing over and over again is more fun than inventing your own board games or going to a club dressed as superheroes (WHY, I DON’T KNOW?!) Thank-you for reminding me that I am f***ing awesome and my ideas are fantastic no matter what others say. I spent the other day by myself (because NO ONE wanted to join!) going to a festival embracing international cultures, a musical about drag queens, and riding around the city in trains alone, and I have to say IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS I’VE HAD THUS FAR. Other readers, I hope like me, you will continue to let your freak flags fly. I’d rather be weird than boring. And I’m so much happier as the awkward chick who doesn’t really give a f***. ^_^June 6, 2013 – 7:27 pm

Andrew - I just decided to write to say thanks. You remind me of all the people in my life who make me genuinely happy to be around them. the guys that want to do things because the alternative is to be normal, and there really is no point (and no fun) in that. this post is seems to be a guide on how I want to live my life. So thanks, and keep on being weird, man.June 6, 2013 – 6:00 pm

Laura - “You’re weird” is always the best compliment I can receive. And while I’ve struggled in the past with people’s perception of me, I’m glad I no longer worry about it. Props for describing in many words something that for most of us is hard to explain.June 5, 2013 – 9:16 am

Jessica - Oh my god i love you, that is completely brilliant :D good on you, they don’t own you and you’re happy, who cares if you’re ‘weird’. Normal is relative after all :)June 5, 2013 – 1:06 am

Frida H - You seem like you’re an awesome person! And I agree, who the fuck cares if you’re not doing like everyone else? You should do whatever you want yourself.June 5, 2013 – 12:24 am

sui sea - I agree with someone else that you don’t seem *that* weird to me, hahaha! But maybe I’m just weird, too. Still, cool. That pizza guy’s reaction was awesome, though. It was cool that he kind of went along with it — might’ve been even more hilarious had s/he been someone who freaked out about it ;)June 4, 2013 – 12:18 am

Gwen - When someone tells me that I’m too weird, implying that it’s a bad thing…I generally stop talking to that person. I really don’t find 90% of the stuff I do to be that weird. I mean I found most of your pictures humorous, not weird. Alright the Christmas one was kind of weird, and when I use that word I just use it as a euphemism for “unconventional” which is definitely a good thing. Most “conventional” things are…unpleasant. I also get really annoyed when people imply that something “weird” I’m doing is embarrassing them. It’s like “Gee, I’m sorry that you’re an insanely boring person but I can’t…not be me. Good day.” and then I’ll burst into song (this tends to go well if we’re in public) typically a Whitney Houston number, and then I do a hair flip and leave them standing in the middle of a very populated area looking dumbfounded.June 3, 2013 – 12:37 am

ajira - Got to admit that I’ve always thought normal was a euphemism for boring and unnatural. I’d rather be me.March 28, 2013 – 8:34 pm

Sarah - Thank you so much for posting this! It is truly inspiring. People tell me all the time that my ideas won’t work, or theres no way i can do something. And you know, i know i can, and you’ve just reminded me of that. Thank you :-)March 21, 2013 – 5:35 pm

Dakota Sterling - This.. Was just brilliant. It truly was. It was inspiring. Not in a “hell yeah, I’m gonna do crazy stuff.” But more of a reminder for me to not back down in doing what I truly want to do despite everyone telling me I’ll gain nothing from it. ..thank you. So very much.March 18, 2013 – 11:07 pm

Jenny - THANK YOU for making this post, sir. It was great and absolutely FANTASTIC to read. Keep on being awesome dude.March 18, 2013 – 9:11 pm

Samantha - On point sir. I’ve always been “weird”, occasionally self conscious about it, but ultimately it makes me happy. So “weird” it is.

I think it helps to have good friends.

My 21st birthday, I bought 15 dollar store squirt guns and a pack of 400 water balloons then proceeded to have a giant water fight. We finished out the night with indoor blanket fort building and a Jurassic Park marathon.

Best birthday I’ve ever had.February 28, 2013 – 2:18 pm

Samantha Eschborn - On point sir. I’ve always been weird, sometimes self conscious about it, but ultimately I like it, because it makes me happy.

I think it helps to have good friends to be weird with.

My 21st birthday I bought 15 dollar store squirt guns and a pack of 150 water balloons then my friends and I had a squirt gun and water balloon fight before building indoor blanket forts and watching the Jurassic Park movies.

Best birthday I’ve ever had.February 28, 2013 – 2:13 pm

Kat - I found this website through some interview that you had with the Huffington Post. May I say that I am exceptionally happy that I took the extra effort to look your website up. I am constantly being ragged on by friends and acquaintances about how “weird” I am. Although I brush it off and reply with a thank you, it still bothers me to some extent. I’m one of those people who can’t sleep at night if I know that someone dislikes me. Also add to the fact that I’m a naturally cynical person.
Alright so my fashion sense isn’t really normal in any sense. Yes, I know, you don’t see many girls walking around wearing a fedora. Often time I can be found saying strange things and people tend to be “weird-ed out” with my creative way of writing. As cliche as it is to say, normal is totally overrated. I mean who exactly gets to set the bar for being normal? If being normal requires me to wear short and revealing clothes while fan-girling over boys with usually little talent, then I want none of it.
Watching your video made me realize that that’s something I would probably do if I had the chance. It can be rather discouraging when you’re constantly beaten down about being abnormal. I’ve been on the receiving end of many sarcastic and sometimes downright cruel comments about my oddity. Recently, I’ve been quite saddened with all of it and have been trying desperately to “fit in.” Somehow, I always manage to stand out though.
My whole point to the surprisingly long rant is that I want to say thank you. Thank you for posting something that a lot of people can’t or won’t post. Having recently moved, I haven’t really found any friend that are my brand of “weird.” I’m grateful that you’ve reminded me that there are other people out there like me, I just have to keep looking.(Perhaps with some bird calls (Not that I’m particularly any good at them.).) Also, that I have to stop trying to suppress my amazing-ness just because society dictates I must. Thank you again, and sorry for the tediously long comment.February 27, 2013 – 9:15 pm

Sebastian - On point! I believe that for many people anything unusual, non-conform automatically is weird, simply because it is too different to what they know and expect and they cannot process it. Personally, I’d describe you (if I had to call you anything) as being a little eccentric, which I believe is more of a compliment than anything. Being eccentric is celebrated in some countries (just look at Great Britain or Australia).

If we’re all the same, and always do what people expect us to do, life becomes horribly, horribly boring for everyone. Bet the same people who call you weird are the ones who will, at the next boring dinner party, tell the story of that crazy guy they know so that they themselves seem a bit less boring. To being yourself!February 27, 2013 – 6:39 am

Courtney - Tim, thank you for this post! I’ve just come through one of those months where my family has experienced the loss of a loved one and I’m reminded just how short life really is; reading this post made me laugh (yes, out loud), tear up, and acknowledge some of my own weird, inspired ideas that have yet to become a reality. Thank you. :)February 26, 2013 – 9:17 pm

Kinze - Love the video and the story behind it makes it even cooler. I absolutely LOVE the fire jumping picture and I don’t think you’re weird at all. You seem like a legitimately nice and funny person and I hope you keep being yourself, because you seem pretty badass :)February 26, 2013 – 8:02 pm

Rakel - You seem like a pretty normal guy to me. (maybe I’m just weird too?)
But I like that you don’t let other people think for you.
Keep up the good work!February 26, 2013 – 4:58 pm

Nathaniel Drake - awesome post man, keep up the good work. the world most definitely needs more people like you.

ps. if you are interested check out Brandbjerg Højskole. That is a school in Denmark that encourages people to just be them self and exit there comfort-zone. made my life way better to learn that.February 26, 2013 – 4:39 pm

Jesse - You’re the man, pure and simpleFebruary 25, 2013 – 10:22 pm

Rayna - You, sir, are a model of ridiculous fun times and a hero to us all. Raucous applause for your viewpoint on how to make life rad for yourself and others at the same time!February 25, 2013 – 10:00 pm

Rachel - You seem like a blast to be around, this is awesome.February 25, 2013 – 5:18 pm

Rick - You have reconfirmed a philosophy I have had for years: Screw Conformity! Thanks for this post. I knew I was not the only wierd one on the planet but its nice to actually see others who share the same thought process. Good job on the video. rofmao!!February 25, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Bethany Ann - Right on!!!! Keep on being weird !!!! It works. :)February 25, 2013 – 5:42 am

Wes Morrow - Hey, Tim!
Great article. I love putting people outside their box in order to get a reaction. It’s funny because most people get so wrapped up in the boring and mundane of everyday life, that they are genuinely happy to see something out of the ordinary. Keep on keeping on!
WesFebruary 18, 2013 – 2:42 pm

Cate O'Malley - So many awesome photos and scenarios. Love the fire jumping one, and the scuba gear in the airport. Great memories for you, I’m sure. The monster glove one reminds me of a scene from Teen Wolf.February 15, 2013 – 8:20 am

ami - I think that it’s your unwavering confidence in being weird that somehow transforms being weird to being interesting. Maybe it’s shyness that goes along with some people’s weirdness (mine included) that makes everyone else feel uncomfortable and therefore it actually becomes weird to be around?

Your post really makes me feel like, fuck, I play it so safe! I think I’m putting myself out there sometimes, but I’m still just dipping my toe into the pool as opposed to throwing myself in. I know how weird I am, so I hide it. IT’S SO STUPID.

In that way your blog frustrates the crap out of me, but I guess that’s why I like it too. It sheds a light on how much awesomeness is out there if you only allow yourself to go get it.

P.S. Couldn’t stop laughing during the video
P.P.S. Most amazing Christmas card everFebruary 13, 2013 – 8:59 pm

Craig - Holy Shit Tim! Loving the snorkel shot! Weirdness is the new normal!February 13, 2013 – 8:26 am

Chuck P - Love this blog, Tim. Thanks for posting your Xmas card. Absolutely the most rocking, hilarious photo ever. A few comments in response to the notion of “weird”. Says who? The thundering herd? Most people skim across the surface of life, only to sink placidly into a shallow grave, never really having explored the depth/breadth of life in its infinite variety. At the end, life’s journey is a “grip it and rip it” affair. On my journey, I have learned that new, fulfilling experiences and life surrounded by nurturing relationships are what it is all about. Be weird. Be yourself. Be YOU at your best. Most importantly, act well the given role. Ciao for now, bud.February 12, 2013 – 11:45 am

Pam Boyd - Oh, yeah! Go Weird! I always knew you would be awesome, Tim…even when you were a whacked out kid! haha Reminiscent of Walden, Emmerson’s Self Reliance, Ayn Rand, and Walt Whitman. Good company! Keep up the “men (and women) of whom the world is not worthy” linage.
BTW, great discussion after stunt. Love the questions. Use them all the time. But one time I asked, “the most embarrassing thing that you ever did” at a couples dinner and it was like throwing ice water on everyone. Didn’t really end well. Wasn’t too kind on some of the egos.February 11, 2013 – 7:06 pm

Twyla Lapointe - Totally awesome. I laughed so hard at the end of your video when everyone cracked up.

I have had aspirations to do crazy things and I usually “think better” of it, but you’ve inspired me to consider being a little crazier. =)February 11, 2013 – 6:59 pm

Saundra McBride - It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch but I have kept up with you since your blog challenge. That challenged opened my eyes and I can truly say that I’m in a great place because of it. So now I want to join in the “weird.” What a fantastic and inspirational experince/post. Thank you for sharing every moment of it.

SaundraFebruary 11, 2013 – 6:50 pm

Lisa - “knit mittens while listening to Rammstein on a Saturday night” – well YeUH. What’s weird about that?February 11, 2013 – 6:34 pm

Ricardo Loera - I love this and yes Tim you are on POINT.. I hear this all the time from all that I am just a weird character, but I have always been myself and I enjoying been the weird me. But in the end of it all I will be true to myself and that is all I can really do !!February 11, 2013 – 3:06 pm

Erin Oveis Brant - I dig your weirdness. Safe and “normal’ is totally overrated. So hell yeah Tim – that was on point!February 11, 2013 – 1:47 pm

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