Embrace Your Weirdness – My Messy Beautiful

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!


We’ve all got “that” friend. The one that is slightly embarrassing in public, the one that says what everyone is thinking but you don’t ACTUALLY say it! Confession time … I AM that friend. I am TOTALLY the person that doesn’t know when to stop. I say too much. Or as my college room-mate would say, I have diarrhea of the mouth. My brutal honesty and complete inappropriateness just comes flying out of my mouth!

I get over excited and when that happens … WATCH OUT! My hands start flying, my voice gets loud, I talk really fast, my hair starts flipping all over the place. AND if I’m really excited I start jump-dancing around. There is no hiding when I get excited.

I am the friend that pushes the boundaries and can sometimes be a little much. The friend who seems to have missed a few life application lessons along the way. Funny thing, is that I’ve been through way more than the average 30 year-old. Ejected out of a car, learned how to walk again, graduated college pregnant, single mom, spontaneous triplets, lost my precious baby Owen to SIDS and most recently divorced just to name a few life experiences.  AND ALL IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS! How is it that I can experience all of that and still not know how to behave in public?

Truth is, I’ve never really fit in. Always wanted to, but never could quite figure out how to be normal long enough. My little brother and younger sister are both way cooler than I am. So it’s not that I come from a dorky family, I’M just dorky.

Over time, I’ve tried to be more “normal.” Act in a way that is more like everyone else. I fail. Every time. Sometimes I can pull off “normal” for a few hours. When Doug and I were married, we had the honor of attending a fundraiser at the governor’s mansion. I pinkie promised Doug that I wouldn’t do anything embarrassing. I wore a nice formal dress, with pearls (they made me feel sophisticated). I made sure to cross my legs at the ankle and kept my voice low. I even refrained from rearranging the chess board into a funny scene. Then, our turn to take a photo. I shook the governor’s hand. “Nice to meet you Gov Walker.” He motions for me to come on the other side for a photo. Out of my mouth flies, “It’s a governor Oreo!” So close Mel, so close.

I think in all of my life struggles and experiences, I’ve learned that social norms and cultural do’s and don’ts just aren’t that important. Even if you abide by them, life still happens to you. It doesn’t protect you from anything. What’s the point of being a rule follower? My gravestone isn’t going to read if I knew which fork to eat my salad with, if I always said the right thing or if I played by the rules. Life is meant to be experienced and people were meant to love each other. Rule breakers are the ones who make the history books.

So, I’m weird, but I sure know how to have a good time. I just LOVE to laugh and there is something to laugh at in every part of life. Even when life is at it’s lowest, there is something to laugh at. You just have to be weird enough to allow yourself to see it and experience it. When Owen was on life support in the hospital, my favorite memories are those of laughter around his bedside.

Let go of your worry of what others are thinking of you. Hell, I’m totally ok with myself until I start noticing what others are thinking of me. Since when did their opinion of me matter more than my own? For me, other opinions have always been more important, but that’s no way to live. This is my life. These are pages of my book that I’m writing. No one else’s.

Be weird. Be proud of your weirdness. FLAUNT your weirdness. Just be yourself because you are beautiful. God knit you just the way you are for a special reason. Who are we to try to correct the creator of heaven and earth?

Love, Mel


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