Be Weird

Sharon Needles
Sharon Needles by Austin Young
In the spirit of Halloween I thought that I would write about one of my favorite drag queens and season 4 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, Sharon Needles. There are a lot of styles of drag out there, from glam queens, fishy queens, club queens, campy queens and many other styles. But Sharon always seemed to stand out ahead of the crowd, which is a huge task considering it was a drag queen competition, so over the top is basically par for the course. Her quick wit and consistent attitude to never allow other people to dictate who she was made her one of my favorites early on. Well... That and dressing up like a zombie on the first runway challenge.

Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I'm not normal. I'm a weird guy who likes to be weird because it's fun. I think that being normal is boring, and that's probably part of the reason that Halloween is my favorite holiday, because you get to be as weird as you want and the weirder you are the more people seem to like it.

I think most people that strive for early financial independence are not your typical people. Something in us is wired differently, we don't understand why people want to work from 9 to 5 to 65. If you ask anyone they will agree with you that reaching financial independence early is something that they want in life, but many people don't do anything about it. Many people don't even start saving for a regular aged retirement because they just don't know where to start. I think the biggest reason that people don't strive for early financial independence is because most just follow what they think is normal. Even I didn't realize that early financial independence could come decades earlier until about 5 years ago. Sure I thought you could retire early by cutting off 6 or 7 years, but 20 years? I thought the idea was ludacris, that is, until I read about other people that did it. Suddenly being that weird guy that saved half of his income seemed like a great idea. Why spend 90% of your paycheck when you don't need 40% of the crap that you're buying.

Don't do things simply because that's what normal people do, think about things and decide if you want/need to do them. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond the choices we already make because we've never questioned why they were normal. For me I don't think that saving more than I spend is a bad choice, sure I could be living a more lavish lifestyle if I wanted... But I don't think that would make me any happier. That's my weirdness, and I'm not giving it up.

And I leave you with Sharon Needles response to the question, what it would mean to be crowned the next drag superstar:
"Being the holder of that crown would show that you don’t have to fit a certain mold to make it in any industry, or in any desire that you want. And for any gay kid out there, or just weird kid that gets picked on, just know: when in doubt, freak ‘em out; do whatever the fuck you wanna do. And if anyone ever boos you off stage, that is simply applause from ghosts.” - Sharon Needles


Happy Halloween!

16 comments:

  1. i totally agree! Normal is boring. People have to think outside the box to take a different path in life. Thanks for the fun Halloween post!

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    1. Normal is boring, I like being weird! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Love this! Being weird is definitely the way to go if you want to have any hope of retiring early! Endeavor to be different from the masses and don't buy crap you don't need.

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    1. If everyone was the same then how much fun would that be?

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  3. I think that I'm normal, but other people think I'm weird!

    I do live your weirdness though: " sure I could be living a more lavish lifestyle if I wanted... But I don't think that would make me any happier."

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    1. Actually I think I'm normal too, I think it's weird that other people are okay with working at jobs they don't really like for 35+ years. If you wouldn't do it if you didn't get paid then why would you do it for so long? Find an escape route!

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  4. Hooray for nonconformity! I think you're right: us folks who work towards financial independence have to question our priorities, act and spend differently, and generally make choices that are out of the norm. I'm fine with that. :-)

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    1. I'm fine with not being normal too, I just don't understand why so many other people don't do it either!

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  5. I think most people see things as a sign of success. A big house, luxury cars, etc are all signs that we've "made it" we are financially successful. To me, financially successful is saying screw it to a full time job as soon as possible and being able to live life on your terms.

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    1. You're probably right that people equate "stuff" as status. I know a few people that live way above their means to make a good impression but when you dig deeper you find their massive debt. I don't understand why people feel the need to go out and buy lots of rounds of drinks for friends when they can barely pay their rent!

      I'll stick with you on the whole ditching a full time job as soon as possible!

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  6. This is great! I had a student ask me recently if being weird is a bad thing? (from the most adorable sixth grader I have this year) I told her it's a good thing. Be weird.

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    1. I would be disappointed if my kids weren't quirky in their own ways. Being weird just makes you more interesting!

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  7. "You are strange child" was echoed off my mom's lips constantly as I was growing up. When I was in high school, I was voted "most unique" out of over 600 senior kids. I wasn't the kid who dressed in black and hid in corners, I was just being me. And who I was (and still am) is a cry confident person who enjoys people in all forms. I can talk to anyone and about almost anything and feel comfortable. When I looked back on this title I was given and wondering "what does it mean" as an adult I figured it out; I was unique because I was comfortable in my own skin and as a high schooler, that in itself is strange. Little did I know that the same thing would hold true as I became and adult. The only difference now is that people have become much better at hiding how truly strange they feel amongst others.

    But it is true that there still is pressure to conform. It is not normal to be married and not want children (though more people are doing this, it is still not the "norm" ). It is also not normal to have romantic love for more than one person or want more out of life than to just be comfortable. So by all means, be weird but know that being weird means that you will likely get to find your own happiness within that weirdness.

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    1. I don't know if my mom ever told me that I was weird, but I'm sure that I did enough strange stuff to make her think that. Even if she never did my brother and sister let me know. I wasn't voted most unique in high school, but I was voted "best dressed" and I think that's because I would dye strange patterns in my hair and simply dress in things that were very different from everyone else. So I never conformed to things even back then. Even now I sport the "corporate Mohawk".

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    2. When I think about it, it is pretty easy to not conform to certain things. Your hairstyle, for example, or being super extroverted. I was self-reflecting on this idea and started thinking how the one thing many people conform to is comfort and/or security. When people go against this, it is actually breaking a social standard. Just think of the person who leaves there high paying job for something more fulfilling, or the person who leaves their long standing marriage (even though there was nothing "wrong" with it) for something more challenging or exciting. I think it is easier, and more socially acceptable, to break from conventions that aren't, for lack of a better description, our life lines. So sporting the corporate mohawk may get some strange looks, but your goal to retire early (as you mentioned in other posts) is much more likely to pull in the "weird" vote.

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    3. conforming to a secure place is something LOTS of people do... many people stay at jobs simply because of job security. I actually think that early retirement is the easy way out of things. It's my rush to be financially secure for the rest of my life. There's no risk in aiming for that goal in my eyes, the only real risk will be finally leaving my job to say I'm done. At that time I should hopefully be set for the rest of my life, and if I'm not then hopefully I won't need to go back to as difficult or high stress work to continue my life.

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