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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Beaing Yourself by Bea Tifton

I remember the first time someone said I was weird. I was in fourth grade. The school store sold these folders that had scenes on them for coloring. My friend Cathy asked several of us to help her color the forest scene she had chosen. I colored a mushroom red and put white spots on it instead of coloring it a solid color.  Cathy called me weird behind my back, which another girl gleefully reported to me. I answered, “I’m not weird, I’m interestingly different.” This response, of course,  made me seem even weirder. For my entire life, honestly without meaning to, I’ve danced to my own tune. 

I was a bully magnet all through school and even at some adult workplaces. But don’t despair, Dear Reader.  Throughout my childhood and into adulthood I’ve learned that the key is to find a tribe that is my kind of weird. I’ve had a few great, loyal friends and that certainty makes the bullies easier to bear. Many creative people are viewed as weird. My friends use the word quirky to describe me now. And they say it with complete acceptance, even admiration in some cases, and much love. So, if you’ve ever been labeled or bullied, here are some quotes to lift you up. 

“Be Yourself, because the people who mind don’t matter. And the people that matter don’t mind.”  Dr. Seuss. 

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself. “ Rita Mae Brown

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else. “ Buckminster Fuller

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing, and work hard. The right people-the ones who really belong in your life- will come to you, and stay.“ Will Smith

“My philosophy is: it’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.”  Sir Anthony Hopkins

“Follow your inner moonlight. Don’t hide the madness.” Allen Ginsberg

“Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”        Dr. Seuss

Beth Trissel is a little under the weather. Get well, soon!  Thanks for letting me fill in.


  1. I like this so much. I was out of school a long time before I realized that being a geek was not only fine--I really liked it a lot!

    1. I'm glad you've embraced your inner geekiness. Thanks for your comment.

  2. I remember a graduation speech Bill Gates did about 10 years ago. He said something like Look around you at the geeks you tormented during school. You are now looking at your boss. I use the Eccentricity of Genus, which was a popular saying at our house growing up.

  3. I don't know any creative people who fit the mold of the masses.

  4. Yeah, we were all geeks, right? I think it's a creative thing. No one could understand how I could love high school college prep math and English Lit. at the same time. Great post. :)

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your comment.

  5. Fabulous post, Bea. I think everyone wants to be "popular," but the price of "fitting in" is too high, and maybe we geeks, eccentrics, oddballs—whatever word you want to use to label those who are different—know that and are unwilling to pay that price.


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