This is a question my mother has asked me so many times over the years.
For most of the times she asked I remained silent and shrugged. I didn’t have an answer that I could give her. One she would believe and have confidence in at least.
For every time that she has asked it of me. I in return have asked it ten or twenty more times of myself.
I suspected it had to do with being weird. Both her and my grandmother told me that enough times.
My grandmother was a wise woman. Perhaps even a witch according to some of our relatives. If she were a witch she certainly wasn’t a wicked one. She was the first to call me weird. Saying that there were different types of weirdness. There was the weirdness of people such as psychopaths and serial killers. Then she explained that what we call ‘eccentricity’ was another type. Yet another was the odd way in which shy and socially inept souls behaved. Her favourite was what she referred to as the type of weirdness that borders on magic. That was the type of weird I was she told me.
Soon after my mother told me I was a special kind of weird. So coming from the mouths of the two people I loved most in the world. I believed them. The upshot being I got weirder and weirder.
I thought things that others didn’t. I thought about those things deeply and for a long time. I’m talking years and years. Forming opinions and building a foundation of principles and values that I also heard from them.
My weirdness made me question everything over and over. The pathway my weirdness took me on was filled with all kinds of trials, tribulations, obstacles and challenges. Each of which had choices to be made. All of which had consequences.
It was my weirdness that had me examine every consequence I could think of and weigh them up against each choice until I had an either or choice I could make.
However as I came to realise more as time went on was there were consequences I didn’t think about. Some of which incurred a heavy cost.
I am truly accustomed with the weight and burden of loss, grief, doubt, guilt, anxiety, depression. Brought on by betrayal, malice and a desire to hurt me. Hurt me deeply and wound so badly it would take years for scars to heal.
Finding an answer to that question was like a warrior who had been badly injured in battle is fumbling along the walls of cave that is in almost total darkness. Feeling my way inch by inch in pain and agony with every movement not knowing whether I’d make it out alive.
I did make it though and my wounds with proper care began to heal and still I heard that question. I still couldn’t answer. However years of healing. Years in which I felt an outpouring of love from so many I began to love myself. Years more and due to my weirdness leading me to this place of love I uncovered my answer.
It is this mum. You taught me nothing worthwhile is ever easy. It was because I wanted my life to be worthwhile that I made choices that created difficult lessons.
It was my weirdnesss that instilled in me to be honest and true in every thought, action and deed. It was in doing all I could to honour that I had to endure hard lessons.
The learning of those lessons have made me who I am. Helped me understand that rich complexity of all of my weirdness. Giving me a life rich in all the things that matter most. Close family ties, long and lasting friendship and a deep and abiding love of myself.
That’s why I don’t learn things the easy way mum. You taught me that and I’ve done my best to live up to it and will never stop doing so because I love you so much. My life is an abundance of blessings I could never have imagined because you saw that my weirdness was the type that borders on magic.