Struggles of being the ‘Weird One’

If there was a ratio analysis between a normal mundane and the ‘Weird one’, what would it be? Some would say it is half of the other or some would find being weird as abnormal, so naturally the count for the abnormal or the ‘weird one’ would be more. Because everyone in this world is weird in their way. Being weird is not being abnormal. It is being the most random version of yourself. To you, it would be something you do in your everyday life, whether it is biting the end of a pencil or singing and using your hairbrush as a mic. It is the perspective of the other that makes you weird. The other person would look at your pencil and would probably not use it thinking ‘what a weird person would do something like this, or someone would walk in your room while you are singing with your hairbrush and judge you by calling you a ‘weirdo’. That’s when you realize I am the weird one.

The struggles of being the weird one is nothing but a simple complexity of your own doing. Being weird is the new normal. It is good to be a different person; a unique idea that makes you stand out in the crowd. But that’s when the word ‘weird’ gets you thinking. Not being weird is a task that you hold every day. It is difficult for the weird one to not get judged. People judge and criticize those but do not think that they too have the struggles of being the weird one.

Everyone has their own battle that they have to face, their own obstacles they have to overcome. In such times being weird is the only sane way out. Whether it is using your signature dance moves which only you can do or if it is reading the spoiler of the book before reading it entirely. That is the hit you get by considering weirdness. Sometimes or for some people most of the time being the weird one is a compliment. It is what makes them different from other human beings or even aliens for that matter. The most interesting fact about being weird is that it is original. It comes from within a human, it is not made up to live up to anybody’s expectations. It is yours and yours to keep. Every individual has their weird abilities and they have full copyright to let them be theirs.

So to all the weird ones out there, be whatever you want to be. Be the weird neighbor who listens to old classical music. Be the one who moonwalks but not in reverse. Be the one who wears unmatched outfits to their office. Be the weird one because the struggles of being a weirdo are not much as they seem. They are just mere distractions to not being yourself. The struggles of being the weird one are not just struggles, they are trophies of being the best version of yourself.

WHERE IS YOUR WILL TO BE WEIRD?

-JIM MORRISON

‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’ by Emily Dickinson.

What do you call that which assures you that everything will be fine? What is that makes us believe in a better tomorrow? What is that which lifts us out of our difficulties? The answer is hope. In this poem ‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’, the poet Emily Dickinson praises hope and brings out its importance.

Hope is an abstract feeling and the poet gives this abstract feeling a shape of a bird. It sits on our soul and belts out tunes. These wordless tunes never cease. Hope doesn’t utter words of consolation and promises. It stands there supporting us, lending us strength by its tunes and ceaselessly does this routine.  

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

Of all the Gales present in the world, hope sings the sweetest tunes. Their sweet tunes make us forget our bitter experiences. They remind us of happy moments awaiting us.  Though the storm (our hardships and hurdles) snubs this little bird, it never leaves. During the hours of storms, hope gives us the warmth to survive the bitter coldness. It is really a wonder how this little bird (hope) keeps us together. 

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

Hope never leaves us even in our hardships. The ‘chillest land’ and ‘strangest Sea’ refer to our struggles in life. Even at this stage, hope gives everything it can to us and asks nothing in return. Hope pours itself into its songs and lends us a will to challenge our problems. It is to be noted that ‘ “Hope” is the thing with feathers-’. The hope which can fly away anytime leaving us to our problems never does so. Rather it stands by our side and guides us through our darkest hours.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

The poetess uses a poetic technique called enjambment in this poem. Enjambment is used to carry an idea from one stanza to another without any pause. Here, the poetess carries the idea of Hope singing to the next stanza by saying it sings sweet. 

It is an interesting study to know how this poem contrasts the poem ‘Hope’ by Charlotte Bronte. She considers hope as a ‘timid friend’ and as being indifferent to the poet’s struggle. Thus, the two poetesses view hope in a different light.  

‘The Darkling Thrush’ by Thomas Hardy.

Times are bad. Everything around us seems doleful and gloomy. Of the disasters we had only read in fiction, are now crawling out of the pages. At this time, all we want to find is hope. Hope , which consoles us that things will get better, expectations of the long nightmare ending and a belief that we too can resurrect ourselves like phoenix are those to which we dearly cling to.  

Similarly, the poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’ is also set in a sombre mood. When the poem starts, we find the poet looking at everything as disconsolate. He is at his gate looking at the frost covered surroundings. The frost has made everything look pale like a ghost. The sun is setting and the day is coming to an end. Even the bine-stems are lifeless this winter. The lanes which would usually be bustling with humans are now forlorn. Winter has shut men into their houses and men huddle around the hearth to feel the warmth.

“And all mankind that haunted nigh

Had sought their household fires.” 

These lines made me think that no matter how cold the outer world is, we feel warmth once inside our home. This warmth comes from our loved ones and it makes us not give up yet. 

When we learn the fact that this poem was written on the 29th of December in 1900, we understand the context of the second stanza better. It wasn’t just the end of the year but also of the century. It may even be considered as a dirge to the ending century. The land is referred to as the corpse of the century with the clouds forming its crypt and wind lamenting the death of the century. There is no trace of life. Even the germs and microorganisms from which we were born are also lying frozen beneath the frozen ground. Everything the poet sees looks as passionless as him.

“And every spirit upon earth

Seemed fervourless as I.”

In the third stanza, the poet finds the most extraordinary thing happening. A sweet singing voice vibrates through the air. It is full of happiness and uncontrollable joy. It is a thrush. It’s appearance isn’t so grand. It is old, weak, small and scruffy. But it pours its soul into the song as the day is darkening.

“An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,

In blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

Upon the growing gloom.”

It is interesting to note the description of the thrush. It is almost battered out of life yet it sings full of life and energy. Though we are worn out, though we are exhausted, we should never give up for we don’t know what lies ahead and for we haven’t opened all the doors.

 There is nothing notable in the surrounding which would inspire the thrush to sing. There is nothing so full of life like that ‘ecstatic sound’ near and far. The thrush singing is out of place and odd. But it carried with it something that was unknown to the poet. The bird knew of the ‘Hope’ that the poet failed to see. 

“That I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

And I was unaware.”

Though the surrounding is dreary and dull, the thrush knew that it wouldn’t be the same forever. The winter will eventually end; new things will spring from the ground; the lanes will once again be bustling with life. This the poet did not understand. The last lines of this poem also reminded me of the last line of Shelley’s ‘Ode to the West Wind’.

“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

We all should be like the little thrush. Finding hope and giving hope. All I want to say is – this too will pass away, and when tomorrow comes, it will be brighter than today.