‘Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.’
– Charles Bukowski
I would say crazy is the adjective most used to describe me. Okay, maybe sweet first, maybe passionate second. But crazy is definitely thrown in the mix quickly thereafter.
It has been used in the form of an insult, an accusation, a compliment, a dare- sometimes in exasperation, sometimes in awe.
It takes different forms, this descriptor- insane, erratic, unreasonable, uncontrollable, dramatic, out of control, on and on.
My ornery sidekick in high school would call me a freak all the time, and it made me ‘crazy’. He was pulling my pigtails, I know, but it stung…and it stuck. I completely believed that there was something terribly wrong with me.
I guess I did act like a freak. But I ask you, how exactly is a terribly sensitive and introspective little girl with two alcoholic parents and a sister who kind of wished she didn’t exist, how is she supposed to act? I mean, things were a bit, well, crazy. I was actually responding the way any ‘normal’ little girl would…I mean, if she was crazy.
The dictionary definition of crazy is a person who perceives reality in an unexpected way. And we live in a world that is obsessed with conforming our lives in a way that is as predictable as possible. Propping up the status quo and keeping up with the neighbors ensures that we will have all of our ducks in a row and we will know exactly what direction to expect those ducks to go.
I guess I have always believed that if we all strive to be the same, then how could anyone grow and evolve. How could anyone become extraordinary in a world of ‘same’.
Look, I know that the majority of people are perfectly content being the status quo. They go to school, get jobs, get married, buy the house in the burbs, have kids. And they are content. Aren’t they?
Well, I am just not one of those people. I never have been. And I have been judged and criticized and ostracized for it. I have also been envied and admired for it. Either way, I can’t do anything to change it, nor do I want to.
I found this article, 10 Reasons Why Crazy People are More Likely to Be Successful, by Deji Akingbade that, in my opinion, sums it up. Maybe this will provide some comfort for my fellow crazy ones out there. Here is the long and the short of it:
1.They create new boxes for normal people to think inside of.
Crazy people create new norms for others to either challenge or think inside of. Most times, it is as “crazy” and mind blowing as making something that already exists better.
2. They are too foolish to be scared.
When crazy people set goals for themselves, they aren’t concerned with the “what if” possibility of failure. For them, there is no plan “B” because plan “A” will absolutely work. While normal people are paralyzed by the fear of failure, the crazy ones saddle up and ride anyways.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
– Will Smith
3. They strive for authenticity
The need to be authentic is the need to be different from everybody else. Crazy people develop their own sense of style and paint the portrait of life exactly the way they see it.
4. They have high energy
Normal people can’t wait to do nothing. They can’t wait to get off work, go home, sit in front of the TV and do nothing. They always complain about how much energy they don’t have and how much more time they wish they had. Crazies, however, have all the time, passion and energy in the world.
5. They dare to break the rules.
Deviating from the norm isn’t always easy, especially if you have spent your whole life following rules. However, crazies understand that while rules are important, they can be limiting.
6. They invent out of necessity
To other people, crazies may seem like highly resourceful people, which is true. But a deeper truth is that they are just people who take action to solve a problem they can no longer ignore.
7. They recognize other crazies.
No matter what type of person you are, it is easy to recognize others of like mind. Crazies all over the world have begun a revolution to find other crazies.
8. They are always curious.
Crazies have the minds of kids, constantly asking why. Their minds are insatiable and they are not afraid to go down the rabbit hole no matter how deep it goes.
9. They are like a dog with a bone
Once crazies sink their teeth into something, they never let go. Crazy people become obsessed with certain problems and how to solve them. They become so engrossed that no matter how impossible a task supposedly is, they will always find a way.
10. They don’t label.
Crazies don’t label people or problems; they are only intrigued by what’s inside a person. While normal people see defined lines and segregate people into labels of race, religion, gender, career specialization or sexual orientation, crazies only see heart and passion. To the crazies, there is no black or white, just shades of grey.
Crazy is complicated. Crazy is inconvenient. Crazy is unpredictable and extreme and lonely and frightening.
And crazy is beautiful. Crazy is colorful. Crazy is spontaneous and fun and exciting and extraordinary.
Crazy is triple fudge brownie ice cream…maybe topped with nuts.
I personally like triple fudge brownie ice cream.
I mean, why have vanilla- predictable, normal, status quo vanilla, when you could have triple fudge brownie?
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs
You can find the full article here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-reasons-why-crazy-people-are-more-likely-successful.html