Graham Moore’s Oscar acceptance speech on Sunday was, by far, one of the best moments from this year’s award show. His speech inspired hope and comfort, as well as community, especially for those who have always felt incongruous. For me, Moore’s speech definitely struck a nerve.
I don’t like writing sob stories and making myself seem like I’m a survivor of adversity, because in reality, everyone has faced it at some point in their lives. I will say, though, that I was definitely the weird kid throughout my adolescence. Being an only child meant that I was free to find my own interests and explore them to their full extent. I also moved around a lot as a kid, so making friends was a fleeting encounter. To everyone else, I was an obsessed weirdo, in love with things like movies and Sherlock Holmes and vampires (for a short time). These things made me bizarre. I liked to read and I knew pop culture references that were unknown to the other 10-year-olds in my class. I felt very uncomfortable with being “different,” and on top of all that, I was very uncomfortable with my body. It was like a double whammy, in my eyes.
For years I tried to find a happy medium of where I could fit in. I did theatre for 8 years and I was on Speech Team in high school. The arts have always been a safe haven for me, along with Tim Burton movies and Sherlock Holmes stories. But it wasn’t until I got to college that I finally felt normal–or at least my ideal of normal. Sure, I still get odd looks if I explain to someone that I dress up and go to conventions, but it doesn’t bother me anymore.
There is an awkwardness with being different, but these differences are what make us unique from everyone else. As Aggie Cromwell says in Halloweentown: “Being normal is vastly overrated.”
Recently, I’ve had some emotional issues with someone that I was very close to; that, combined with Moore’s message, have had me thinking a lot these past few days. So, in response to all these factors, I will say this: listen to Mr. Moore’s message.
If someone tries to drag you down, they are not your friends. Get rid of people like that, because they will always try to second guess everything you do. Surround yourself with people who understand your interests, or share your interests. Toxic people damage you, but true friends build you up.
Some people find that the things that are different are threatening, so they may be hostile. Other people may not know anything about your interests, and still others may be curious, but don’t know how to approach you to discuss these interests. People handle differences in various ways, but that does not mean that you need to change.
Thank you lovelies for being weird, and thank you for allowing me to be weird.