Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Crazy is as Crazy Does

This is such an obvious title, that it sounds like one I would have written before! It shouldn’t be any surprise – yes, I’m crazy! Quite sporadically, sometimes regularly, just off-the-rails crazy!! Well, it depends who you talk to, I guess. I don’t like the term “normal”, as that’s a line I’ve spent years veering far away from. But it’s not quite being “unnormal” that makes me crazy. What makes me appear “crazy” is my attitude towards life – life is for living!

Now, see, I don’t like taking uncertain risks. I’m not into doing really stupid things, like climbing a really tall building, jumping off without any support, and yelling ‘YOLO!’ No, that’s not quite the sort of “crazy” I mean. I do take risks, I do go out to a new pub when I don’t feel like going out, when I’d rather lock myself away and cry. I’ve gone out, met new people, likeminded people, people who don’t mind my sort of crazy. I take risks by venturing into new territories, attempting new things, trying new foods, spending a little bit too much at Christmas because I want to get the people I care about nice things, pushing myself slightly out of my comfort zone now and then. But these are things that a lot of people do, right? These are things that wouldn’t be classified as crazily adventurous.

But, aha! Here we come to it! I'm an introvert. I'm a depressive. These may be things that many people do, but they are really tough for me. So how do I approach these things? How do I go about in these ventures, these occasional nights out, buying (I hope) interesting gifts, pushing myself forward? Well, that’s the really tough part, especially for depressive introverts like me. That’s where I let people see the real me.

It’s not an easy thing to do, to go out without any “protection”, aka without a “mask” on, without pretending to be someone else. I did that for many years. I used to try to fit into crowds where I didn’t belong, tried to “pretend” that I belonged, because I didn’t want to be alone, as I was tired and sad from locking myself away from people. I learnt the hard way that that doesn’t work. People know that you’re not one of them, that you're different. Whatever you do, whatever you try, you stick out. So, I changed. I started wearing the clothes I wanted to, without caring what people thought. I started doing things my way, going to the places where I wanted to be. But whenever you have to start again, do that for the first time, then you are truly exposed. People who see you on your own, dancing without a care, letting yourself go free to the music, they don’t know what to make of you. You are the “strange” one, as you let yourself just be, you show parts of yourself that many people keep hidden. Ah, to be truly free, to be a true free being, one of the first things you have to do is to care less what other people think. That is, perhaps, one of the hardest blocks to ever let lose. But, as soon as people see your real self, the hidden one, then you find out who your true friends are.

But there’s another step. Finding someone like you to share your life with. If you find that person, what do you do? Well, you strip away all layers, including the dark ones that you still keep hidden. You let yourself be as free, wild and crazy as you want to be. From flashing underwear, because you realise that we all just have a body underneath, to wearing crazy clothes, to pulling stupid faces, to food fights, to… There are so many innocent levels of crazy! Kids can do it, so why can’t we as adults? Yet, ‘you must be drunk, mad, to do that!’ But the innocence of kids is still praised, the freedom of expression which many of us lose in adult life.

I don’t need any alcohol to let out my “inner child”. I want to live free, to be able to express myself in any manner I want to. Yes, within reason, always within reason! I care about people, so I don’t do anything that would deliberately hurt another. It is my caring, my heart, that allows me to be adventurous in choosing gifts others may not think of. But in a world which fights harder to suppress anything people do, simple innocent crazy becomes more important.

Let your innocence, that inner child, run free. As long as no one is getting hurt, as long as you’re not doing something fantastically stupid, what’s the harm? You are free.