I’ve shared before that language is Magic and if Harry Potter taught us one thing, it’s that magic is tricky. We learn to string together words to convey meaning, as they’re used in different places they can take on different meaning. How we inflect the spoken word creates a tone that is hard to translate in email or text. As if that isn’t hard enough, words take on different meanings throughout time, they have their actual definition and their colloquial definition. They are tied to their definition but more often their definition is how we perceive them. During August’s CreativeMornings artist Whitney Manney explored weird, what it means to her and how it plays with creativity.
If asked to define ‘weird’ my immediate response would be something odd or different; however, when looking at the actual definition of weird it is something bizarre or fantastic, something supernatural or uncanny. Manney took time to point out the origin of the word weird which refers to one’s fate or destiny. Overtime we took a word that meant destiny and used it to describe oddities, differences, quirks.
We have a tendency to hold back from trying new things, for fear or being different or weird. This fear is because of the connotation we put on the word, not its actual meaning. When we hold back, when we wait for someone else to take the first step, we lose our ability to blaze the trail. We lose the opportunity to define a new way of being and create a space where we have to play catchup rather than being the leader.
Manney explored how being different, being ‘weird’, was in all actuality her following her path, finding her destiny. Rather than waiting for others to define how she should be she tooks steps to define her own success. She invited us to not only embrace our weird but to embrace the weird in others. Afterall, it isn’t our oddities, it’s what makes us fantastic.
You can watch her full talk HERE.