I'm opinionated, sexual, unapologetic, and evolving, which can be unsettling for some people.
My partner and I have been together for four years — a feat to some, considering he's a real estate agent with a penchant for golf and video games, and I'm a writer who runs a magazine that explores the occult; I've read across the globe at poetry readings and erotic soirees.
Maybe that's considered "weird"? The perfect night for me is red wine and art films. For him, it's neither of those things.
I've always had a love for the word "weird." I'd gladly be called "weird." Unlike middle school, when that word had nail-biter-in-the-back-of-the-classroom, Manson-worshipping connotations (misunderstood, but certainly not a bad thing), "weird" has since been reclaimed. And if it hasn't, I hope it will.
Weird means different, original, unafraid, independent and disinterested in the comings-and-goings of the basic, boring status-quo. I'd much rather be a Wednesday Addams than a Regina George, nicely fitting into a pretty pink box, obsessed with social standing, looking at perfection as an ideal.
I've built my life and career on curating and telling stories, which means I've spent the better part of the last decade listening in on the world: coaxing secrets out of strangers, writing books, dressing up and playing in the shadows.
There are Google-able pictures of me in lace and pearls found in major newspapers and magazines, while my boyfriend remains somewhat quiet, at least digitally. Anything that represents him digitally is something I've put there for him.
So it's no secret that I'm the strange one, archived for all to see. Like many of you, I'm opinionated, sexual, unapologetic, and evolving, which can be abrasive or unsettling for some people.
As for love, likely, to the rest of the world, we're mismatched — a walking omen.
The fact is, it's not a bad thing. He lets me be weird, whatever my weird means, and he appreciates it. Maybe because he recognizes my freak flag as kin. Maybe because we're all a little weird at the end of the day? The most important thing I've learned over the past few years is that "weird" is subjective.
At his real estate firm, he's the only one with lime green glasses. Half Brazilian-half-British, he's well traveled and doesn't seem to "fit" into a box. He spends time choosing his outfits, which often are made up of, for example, a three-piece suit with delicate, nearly transparent skull detailing, while his peers wear blue and white.
He's considered "different" and yet I consider him to be our normal half.
Our love wouldn't have worked if he tried to hush my weird, my drive, my art, or my dedication to innovating my life. I'm always looking to learn and grow and explore, and anything I do, I do to support my creativity and curiosity.
He lets me write when I need to write. He's totally supportive of me coming home at 4 AM after writing a play-in-poetry with my friends. He answers my strange, late-night questions about life and death. He comes to my readings and he calls me a genius. He's fought for me when people believed I was too different, too intense, too dark.
If I met someone today who questioned my motivations and vision, he'd be out. I had that before and it bored me. I was too young, too scared of being alone to speak up for myself.
I was a burgeoning writer and actually was asked by this "lover" of mine why I wrote. "There's no money in art," he said. (This was a guy who thought Walt Whitman was a type of alcohol.)
You can be totally confused about history, art and creativity but anyone who judges someone for creating (or simply being themselves) isn't worth your time. And any hint of judgment ("Do you make money?" "Why do you do that?" "Why are you wearing THAT?" "That's so weird; I wouldn't say that out loud") is intolerable and worthy of a shut-down.
Dating always requires sacrifices, but not of who you are.