Ah, eccentricity! My lifelong passion. It began when I was a shellshocked twenty-two year old, afraid of everyone and living in a state of constant distress over Dad's shock cancer diagnosis, accompanying him to every chemo appointment, bearing his 'roid rage afterwards.
Eccentricity became my armor. It kept everyone at arm's length, just where I wanted them. I joked it really weeds out the riffraff. People give eccentrics a wide berth. Eccentricity started as my protection and soon segued into normalcy.
Here's the thing about eccentricity: If you do it mainly to attract attention, you're not truly eccentric.
If your eccentricity makes you self-conscious, you're not truly eccentric.
If it's perfectly normal to you, you're authentically eccentric.
If you delight that your eccentricity brings joy to others, but you don't do it for that reason, you're the genuine article.
But when you're a true eccentric, it's so normal to you, it doesn't feel like eccentricity anymore in which case...well, like adulthood itself, eccentricity is basically untenable but a fun untenable.
Above my $25 Craigslist dishwasher, hangs this little plaque from our local thrift store. It states simply, "Inside...we are all the same age."
The older I get, the more it's proven true. I may be forty-two, but my brain works exactly as it did when I was a nine-year-old. Straight-forward. Logical. Black-and-white. Idealistic. Fair. Honest.
Please tell me I'm not the only one! My mother always said, regardless of how old she gets, on the inside she feels exactly how she felt at age six!
Now don't get me wrong! I'm not one of these anti-adulthood people. Far from it! I couldn't wait to become a responsible, independent adult unlike so many young people today who inexplicably cling to their shrieky, silly adolescence for an embarrassingly long time.
I'd rather write than eat.