But recently, during a riveting session at 826, I was chatting with one of my favorites about her latest crush (we'll call her Cindy*; she's 10).
Cindy (humiliated): So today, this guy found out I had a crush on him!
Me: Awwww! You're in loveee!
Cindy: No I'm not! But now everyone knows I have a crush on him.
Me: So who's the lucky guy? What did he have to say about this?
Cindy: Well... he doesn't like me back. He said it's because I'm weird.
This kind of broke my heart.
At a young age, we're taught to socialize and fit in with the other kids. But we're also often asked "if blah blah blah jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?" and we're constantly told to "be your own person." That's confusing. Especially when even in the 5th grade, being weird is wrong and bad and the boys won't like you (a fate worse than death).
I often wonder if I'll ever find the guy who matches my weird, so it was kind of hard to be confident when I told Cindy that being weird is a compliment and if the boy doesn't like you for your weird, he's just not worth it at all.
Isn't it funny how advice to a 5th grader can still be relevant in your mid-twenties?
*name has been changed for privacy purposes