I don't remember the first time someone called me weird (or technically "weirdo" in kid-speak). I do remember the many times I let a childhood frenemy call me "freak" and I didn't defend myself. An acquaintance born out of parents buying homes in the same slice of suburbia—location, location, location—wasn't going to stand the test of time, let alone the test of being kind. Insulting language, taunts and a tendency to ostracize does not survive and evolve into true friendship.
This is true no matter which oligarch is having his moment in the sun, and will remain true no matter how many capable-of-sustaining-life planets we discover.
There was a time when I thought being the oddball had cost me too much—especially because I never saw myself that way:
Goofball, sure! Oddball, moi?
Says who? Decided by which Army of Same Bots?
I remind myself it was an incredible stroke of luck and courage that saw me raised in a different place than my parents. A city with libraries. A place where I could look up the definition of the word "quirky" and think "that doesn't sound so bad."
The power of words to create or destroy is extraordinary.
Maybe the adjectives "unique" or "eccentric" were used to describe you, or something you did. Here's an idea: write them all down, every weirdo, freak, geek name you've ever been called. Crumple up the piece of paper, find a roomy space in your dwelling and throw the wrinkled sheet in the air. Dance around the flimsy labels. (SUGGESTION: Choose your own song like a "Choose your own Adventure" soundtrack because I'm programmed to get misty-eyed at 80s hits). Jump, twirl, land on that paper so that it rips and tears. Finish the job with your hands. Remember the words of Hafiz and run from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.
Grab a book and read. Have some Lavender Lemonade. Stay gold, or Be silver. The only person you can be is you and most likely, you didn't hear this enough—you are more than enough—you are precious.