"My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Aunt Frances, Practical Magic
Writing an album inspired by the 1998 film, Practical Magic, has forced me to revisit my past.
I haven't kept a single friend from high school. It's not that I wasn't friendly (I will chat your ear off!), but I was always "the weird girl". I was often taunted and made fun of. The other kids knew I didn't quite fit in, and so did I. I was the weird girl, the odd girl, the eccentric girl. I was obsessed with music, especially music that no one else liked, but other than that, I really didn't know why. It wasn't until I started college that I found where I fit in, albeit in a small group.
When I went on to college, and moved to the heart of mormon country, in Salt Lake City, Utah, I became fast friends with a group of kids I stumbled across in the dorm lounge room. They were mysterious and intriguing, and doing some kind of strange spread with stones on the ground that I had never seen before. I became very interested in the group, and started spending all of my free time with them. We dabbled in all sorts of divination, and held candlelit ceremonies up in the foothills of the mountains. We dressed in dark colors and frequented the local witchy shops. We read all the books we could get our hands on.
I had finally found a place where I fit in, but even though we had each other, there were many that didn't understand us. My roommate started to wonder what I was up to, and our suite mate moved out when she heard rumors about me. (Our rooms were only connected through a bathroom). Soon word started to spread and there were whispers down the hall. I had unpleasant "gifts" left outside my dorm room on more than one occasion. Somehow, rumors even got back to my hometown in Indiana that I had dyed my hair black and became a witch. (Who knows how rumors spread that far back in 2002?).
Despite what others thought of me, I didn't care. I finally found my purpose and my inspiration, and I wasn't about to let them stop me. I can't count the times that people tried to "convert" me. Our group had strength in numbers and we weren't about to let anyone keep us from practicing our freedom. We lovingly referred to our group as "The Witch's Band".
As an adult, I have far less confrontational experiences since I mainly get to choose who I am around. I have immensely enjoyed large pagan gatherings and celebrations, but it seems that we always have to stop back into town for whatever reason, covered in ribbons and flowers or some extravagant get up. When we do, we are always met with staring eyes, whispers, or strange things shouted at us. I moved to an intentional community in my mid-twenties with people of like-minded spirituality. We live in a small Indiana town, so you can bet the locals have many rumors about us. "I bet they all share the same toilet and dance naked around the bonfire", is just the tip of the iceberg. In May, we always have a visit from the local seniors in high school who think that it's fun to drive their cars into the driveway at 50 miles an hour, whooping as they go, before they speed back out.
Being a Pisces, I do have a certain degree of care about what other people think about me, but I don't let it stop me from living my life the way I feel is aligned with my inner spirit. Being the "weird girl" defines me and I wear it proudly. I'd much rather be different than the same as everyone else.
Today, I still love all the obscure things: obscure music, obscure instruments, obscure clothing, and the list goes on, but now I wholeheartedly embrace my weirdness. I wear my "weird girl" badge proudly. Do you? After all, what is weirdness, but creativity?