I’ve been asked to be a guest writer for this blog (or co-author. However you want to say it) but I’ve been putting off making a wordpress account for it.
Well, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure how to write about offbeat things. And then I looked up the definition of offbeat, just to get a better picture of what the word means.
According to Princton.edu offbeat refers to someone who is “strikingly unconventional.” My favorite definition, however, came from an unusual source (fitting, no?). A music education glossary at thebirthdaycd.com claims that offbeat refers to “an imaginary beat placed halfway between two beats.”
I don’t know about you kids, but I like the idea of being imaginary. It gives us all some leeway in being offbeat. I also like the idea of being placed between two beats (If we’re going with my odd choice of words, then we can call these beats the normals). It’s like we all got stuck in the cracks and are waiting for something else to happen in our lives. I think that pretty much categorizes the majority of offbeat youngsters today. Don’t you? We’re all waiting for something and trying like hell to be different. But then I got to thinking…what does “being different” really entail?
Being different, unconventional, interesting or what have you just comes naturally to some people. I don’t want to brag, but I have never had to work at being different. As a child, I saw this as a bad thing because, honestly, being different doesn’t score you a lot of friends. I was a HUGE nerd before it was cool to be a nerd–you know, back in the 90’s when Carol Seaver was always the butt of jokes (she was my favorite, by the way). In the past decade or so it seems that our society has seen a rise of the nerd. Suddenly, it’s a great thing to be. Be a nerd. Be a geek (they are different, but I’ll go into that later). It’s cool now.
Another thing I’ve noticed is how hard so many people try to be different or offbeat. I think it’s because people have decided that’s the cool place to be. And I admit, some of these people are my friends. But a lot of them come off as fakes. If you have to try to be offbeat, you probably aren’t. And that’s OK. Even the offbeat kids aren’t really all that different. Like I said, being offbeat is popular now. If we’re all doing something, does that make it different?
Well, that’s a hard question to answer. Every human being, by definition, is different. None of us are exactly the same person (thanks to the nurture aspect of nature vs. nurture!). But human beings are social creatures (although I could argue about that some days) and so we flock to each other. We like having company. We love what’s familiar. Even the crazy stuff that isn’t conventional becomes familiar to us. We seek out like minded individuals. And that’s ok.
Me? I’m a literary geek and a bit of a science nerd (although not by trade. It just interests me). I’m also becoming quite fond of the neo-victorian movement (trust me, we’re studying this in my 19th century British Literature class so you’ll hear a lot about neo-victorian/steampunk). These are the things I like! I like a lot of other stuff too and that’s ok. I fit into a few stereotypes, maybe. But I’m not trying to be something I’m not. If you’re reading this blog, I hope you’re offbeat already and not trying to force yourself to become something. I hope you learn a few things and laugh (even when I’m making fun of you). I hope you understand that I’m not trying to claim you aren’t different–you are! We all are! I’m just pointing out that, sometimes, we like to be different in the same way other people are different. Hah.
So…join us. Drink the kool-aid. Come on in! Let’s be offbeat together.