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.”
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.
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.
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.