“Wow,” my mom said when I told her. “I though you had to be way older. That’s really cool.”

Last week someone was describing first-impressions and one of the words he used for me was eccentric.

I mentioned this after church, and one of the women seemed to grow offended or anxious for my sake.

“Did he really know you?” she asked. How could he say that? was all over her tone.

“That wasn’t the point,” I tried to explain, not sure how to say that no matter how he meant it (and I was convinced he meant it in a neutral way), I felt honored by the word.

You see, though I didn’t have the label for it yet (that came about two days later), I was sure eccentric meant strong. It takes a distinct measure of strength to continue to be notably different from the world around you.

I’ve expressed how thankful I am that I was homeschooled, because it meant that I wasn’t pummeled into some standardized mold by my peers.  I don’t think I would have been this strong then.   And I rather like who I’ve grown into.

When I meet (usually in a story) an individual that is both weird and attractive, I just assume they’re good at something. The Bunny-Ears-Lawyer can get away with anything because they are. that. good. so no one forces them to change.

But I have a few people in my world that are just weird. Not the eccentric + attractive combination that is necessary to assume skill.  So I was sort of putting myself down, putting myself in that (“merely weird”) category, when, two days after I found the label, another recent acquaintance spontaneously addressed this.

I’ve gotten the distinct impression, on reviewing this last week, that God has been telling me over and over again, You have value.  A message I needed to hear.

“I remember seeing you at the last potluck,” the new woman said.  It was the first time we’d spoken much. “I saw you talking with all this energy and information– you had so much information– and there were people around you, and they were listening to you. And I thought, I want to sit near *her*.

Many many times I’ve been afraid of burning people, vaguely aware that my intensity is higher than, well, what people expect.

Whatever that means.

And I forget that God has placed people in my world who actually enjoy the way I am.  Including my eccentricity.

And that I’m allowed to enjoy me too. :)

5 thoughts on “Eccentric

  1. I love Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. From that source (and quoting an entry from a long ago post in a blog that is now private)…

    Eccentric ECCEN’TRIC, or ECCEN’TRICAL, adjective [Latin eccentricus; ex, from, and centrum, center.]

    * Deviating or departing from the center.
    * In geometry, not having the same center; a term applied to circles and spheres which have not the same center, and consequently are not parallel; in opposition to concentric, having a common center.
    * Not terminating in the same point, nor directed by the same principle.
    * Deviating from stated methods, usual practice or established forms or laws; irregular; anomalous; departing from the usual course; as eccentric conduct; eccentric virtue; an eccentric genius.

    Eccentric does not mean bizarre or strange. Why, it doesn’t even mean “nice weird!” This adjective simply means that I don’t have a common center with the rest of society. Our society is man centered. It is my goal to center my thoughts, experiences and life on God. So, this blog entry serves as my publicly embracing the adjective eccentric: from acceptance-to-joy! I hope to become more eccentric as the Holy Spirit works in me to take every thought, emotion, value and desire captive and bring them all under the will of my Creator. People will probably cross the street just to avoid me when I accomplish my goal of complete and total obedience!

  2. Hee! So true, Brooke.

    I try sometimes so hard to make others like me (not changing who I am, but emphasizing more what I think they might want), that I forget they’re not even the kind of people I want to be like.

    So why, again, is it I’m trying to make them decide I’m buddy-material?

    I’m trying to get out of that “everybody needs to like me” assumption. It’s just not healthy.

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