What does it take to be an eccentric? Are you born that way? Is there a specific gene for eccentricity? I believe some folks are eccentric right from the beginning. With others there might be a gradual evolution into eccentricity. The M-W Dictionary defines eccentric as: deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways.
As I look back over my life, my behavior would be considered conventional. I certainly was not one to ever rock the boat or try to stand out in any way. However, my thoughts, dreams, imaginings might put me over the edge into the realm of eccentricity. The operative part of that definition being whimsical. Perhaps occasionally even a little odd. I tended to view many aspects of life in terms of adventures, enchantment, serendipity. I loved stories which included angels, fairies, elves, worlds beyond where we currently live. Consequently I was a fan of C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle for example. I was always drawn to that which was a little quirky, fanciful,quaintly playful.
As the years went by, the word eccentric came into my thoughts. I wondered if, at a certain age, one had the obligation to become eccentric. What would that even look like. Did it mean dressing flamboyantly, speaking more controversially? I supposed it could have been anything off the beaten track. Then I wondered how I would be if I took on eccentricity. It could be fun. What sort of eccentric would I like to be? What quirky things would I do or wear yet feel comfortable in myself? After all, there are no real rules one must adhere to. Psychologists often list characteristics of eccentric people. Sure, there are some common characteristics, but it is an individual thing however it fits according to dictionary definitions.
I certainly fit into the whimsical category. Looking over my life, there were times I could have been considered odd.
Unfortunately, in my earlier years, and this might be the case for many others, I was too concerned about appearances; what others would think; how I might be judged for this, that or the other thing. Fortunately, now I know better and can make more authentic choices. For the most part I still fit into the norm or accepted convention, but not entirely. That not entirely part is where the fun comes in. I may do some things that are a little odd, wear something with a funky flair or look at life through a kaleidoscopic lens.
We all ought to be who we truly are, as I said above, be our authentic selves. If that includes eccentricity, so be it. We tend to take ourselves too seriously. Enjoy a little pizzazz. However we choose to express our off the beaten track part of ourselves, we still always need to be respectful and considerate of others.
Now I am going to enjoy a yummy coffee in a paper take-out cup. Years ago I would only drink good coffee in the best china. There is actually a story behind this. Absent the story, the paper cup thing is just weird, yet wonderful.
Comments are welcomed.