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June 12, 2014

Tim Kolodziej: Thanks to social media, 'weird' is becoming the new normal

NEW CASTLE — I’m weird.

There, I said it.

You probably knew that already, but sometimes it helps to verbalize what you’re feeling.

It’s pretty freeing, actually.

It’s freeing because I’ve said it before you did. I didn’t give you the pleasure of covering your mouth and whispering to your friend, “he’s not normal.”

The older I get, the more I discover “normal” is overrated.

It really is.

Here are two reasons why ...

•It’s a moving target — Twenty years ago, it was “normal” to say Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player on the planet. Or “Seinfeld” is the best show on TV. Or Ace of Base is the top musical act.

Today? “Normal” is LeBron, “Game of Thrones” and Pharrell.

•Who decides? — Is it “normal” to attend college? It depends on your life’s vision and interests. Is it “normal” to listen to classical music? It depends on your age and surroundings. Is it “normal” to talk to yourself? It depends if anyone’s watching.

Yep, I’m weird.

And I’m OK with you knowing it.


It means something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

You may not be familiar with that word, but you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

The 300-pound kid who doesn’t play football. The black dude on the swim team. The girl who loves to work on cars.

“Weird” might be the word to describe those kids by someone who is “normal.”

But I like Anomaly.

I like it even better with the hashtag Lecrae placed in front of it.


And I really like all the “weirdos” who are using that hashtag to create a social media movement.

Yep, I’m weird.

And I’m in, too.

“My name is Lecrae and I don’t fit in.”

That brief, hand-written message is how the popular rapper broke the ice to announce a new album called “Anomaly.” Little did he know it would inspire thousands of others to warm up to the notion that it’s OK to not be OK. At least in the world's eyes.

And you know what happens when a warm glow overwhelms a big chill — you get a flood.

Soon, more and more famous and not-so-famous folks converged on Instagram and Twitter to share what makes them different.

•Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors: “I was told I can’t, but I know I can do all things.”

•Justin Tuck of the Oakland Raiders: “My name is Justin and I’m more than a football player.”

•Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton: “My name is Josh and I found life in dying to myself.”

•Minor league pitcher Michael Schlact: “My name is Michael. What makes me weird by the world’s standards makes me accepted, loved and embraced by heavenly standards.”

•“My name is Al Cherry and I’m a hip-hop artist who teaches trigometry and calculus with no tats or piercings.”

•“My name is Terry Evans. I tuck my undershirts into my underwear.”

•“My name is Bailey. Statistics say I should be in jail, doing drugs or pregnant by the age of 18. But, I’m currently 17 and I am starting college in September.”

Think that’s weird?

Maybe weird will become the new normal.

So, what’s your Anomaly?

What makes you stand out when so many work so hard to fit in?

I’m guessing you know what it is. And I’m guessing someone has tried to talk you out of it.

But please keep this in mind: If we don’t keep reminding ourselves of who God says we are, then there are plenty of people who will gladly tell us who they think we SHOULD be.

Don’t ever give away that privilege.

Fight, scratch and claw to cling to your uniqueness.

I still struggle mightily to do the same, but here are three things that help me:

1) Stay the course — Choose to LIVE life rather than just watch OTHERS live it. Think about it. Why do some other people think you’re weird? Because they are WATCHING you. Don’t slow down to humor the haters. Just keep on moving. Keep on doing that thing you just can’t NOT do.

2) Stop comparing — Your journey is YOUR journey. You have unique gifts and passions. So do your friends. You are all meant to drive in your own special lane. But when you envy and try to enter someone else’s, that’s when accidents happen.

3) Share your gifts — Let’s not feel ashamed of our passions and talents. Let’s not feel guilty, either. Do you hide your Christmas presents so no one can see them? Of course not. So why would you keep your uniqueness from the world? Remember, your gift is not about you. It’s only incredible when others can benefit from it. Someone, somewhere needs what you have to give. And when the time is right, you’ll both know it.

During a recent commencement speech, actor Jim Carrey shared how his father had wanted to be a comedian, but didn’t believe he could be. So he made the “normal” choice to become an accountant.

When Carrey was 12, his dad was let go from that “safe” job.

“I learned many great lessons from my father,” Carrey reflected, “not the least of which was: you can fail at what you DON’T want. So you might as well take a chance on what you DO love.”

So, will you join the IN crowd?




In your own special way, of course.


The more I think about it, seems pretty normal to me.

(To follow Tim Kolodziej on Twitter, CLICK HERE.)

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