I’m a Freak. And So Can You

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Way back in college, I owned a mobile disk-jockey company. Started it with my bud, Larry.

You can’t really have a better job than being a DJ in college. We made great money and we’d preside over giant parties and events, indoor and outdoor, and run the dance floor at local clubs.

Larry and I built the company largely out of a blended passion for music, equipment (we had massive stacks of floor to ceiling speakers, amps and turntables), the desire to create immersive experiences and a Jones for entrepreneurship.

Back then, and maybe still now, DJs were gods.

They wielded immense power to maneuver the pulse, the sweat, the gyrations, the conversations, the mental and physical states and even, at least in the short term, the social experiences of hundreds or thousands of people in a discrete place and a moment in time.

And, because of that, there can be this odd transference thing that goes one. People become drawn to you because of what you created in that moment and the perception of of who they believe you are.

Which is exactly what happened to me.

I was DJing a large annual outdoor fraternity event. We were on the back deck of the house and probably close to a thousand people were gyrating, drinking and partying up a storm. We were about an hour in when a beautiful young woman from what was known as the “coolest” sorority on campus came over and started to talk to me.

To ME!

Even though I was the DJ, stuff like that didn’t usually happen to me.

Because in real life, when I wasn’t behind the tables, I was a very different person.

I was much more of a fringe player…a likable freak.

I had a lot of passions, but never belonged to or associated with any one group. I was half DJ, half entrepreneur, half road cyclist, half artist, half geek, half athlete, half drug-free burn-out, half slacker, half rock-climbing adrenaline-junkie, half mama’s boy, half rebel and occasional student (oh, and I was never good at percentages).

I looked at life differently than most people. I lived life differently, from a very young age.

And, never quite fit in anywhere.

So, when my sorority friend took an interest, I didn’t really know how to handle it. We talked on an off all day and into the night, which evolved over the next few weeks into a bit of casual dating.

Until one night, when we started talking about life…

I remember sitting on the couch with her and saying something like, “I see the world differently than most people.”

Her reaction stunned me.

She was taken aback. Offended by my arrogance.

“What do you mean you see the world differently? You’re just like everyone else.” She recoiled at the thought of her being in a budding relationship with someone who wasn’t just like everyone else. Normalcy, assimilation, gowing with the flow, in her world, was a touchstone of life. A requirement for success, both socially and beyond.

As the conversation progressed, it began to dawn on both of us that the DJ she’d been drawn to was not the mainstream bastion of social lubrication she’d envisioned. To her, fitting in was too important. And, I was too weird. To her…

Looking at the world differently, being compelled by different things and pursuits was a liability.

I remember the conversation so clearly because it was one of the first times I became truly aware of both how differently I look at and explore the world, and how threatening that can be to so many others who live and die by the behavioral box drawn around them by the groups within which they strive to gain acceptance.

Back then, I had trouble reconciling all of this. Truth is, I still do. I’d love to fit in wherever I go.

But that’s just not me.

Over the years, my different take on life has led me to share experiences and relationships, and create companies, solutions, experiences, books, music and art that have enriched my life to no end.

It’s allowed me to write a story I’d much rather read than “the dude saw the world as everyone else and lived as all others did.” I’m not saying my life should be yours. I can’t speak for you or what’s right or wrong in the context of your life.

What I am saying is that YOUR life should be yours.

No matter who you are or how you see the world.

Because somewhere, buried deep down…we’re all freaks.

There is not only value in your embrace of your inner-freak, but brilliance.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I see the world differently and live in it differently.

In fact, I’ve not only made peace with it, I’ve come to understand it as a tremendous asset. Because when you see the world differently, that often translates to seeing what others don’t. To getting how two things come together to create a third thing that’s bigger than the parts in a way nobody else got. To noticing gaps, emotions, moments and opportunities others miss. Then to creating solutions, experiences and art that illuminate those moments in a way nobody else could.

I’ve come to realize that the band of friends I’ve known who have taken similar approaches have, on the whole, lived remarkable lives. Tech-freaks who have built digital empires, art-freaks who have left people breathless and straight-up dorks of all ilk who have found love, friendship and great success on their own terms.

Not by finding a mold to fit into, but by rejecting the very existence of molds, then building upon their unique windows into the world.

So, what about you?

Are you ready to let your freak flow?


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85 responses

85 responses to “I’m a Freak. And So Can You”

  1. Julie Daley says:

    Jonathan,

    In reading your post, I realize it’s possible to feel like a freak…so different than everyone else, and also find my ‘freak tribe’, those who I am alike, because of my freakiness. What a wonderful paradox.

    My life has been very different than most. I married young, very young, and was going back to school when I became a widow at 38. I ended up transferring to Stanford as a 42 year old undergrad, graduating 3 years later as a grandmother. Talk about a freak, and a wonderful, yet interesting experience!

    I’ll never forget a 21 year old student hearing my story, and telling me, “How wonderful. You’ve taught me there’s more than one way to do life.”

    Julie

  2. Greg Hartle says:

    Hi, my name is Greg and I’m a freak! Great post…as always!!

  3. Pamela Slim says:

    Why instead of commenting on my own freakiness do I want to say “sorority girl, you missed out!”?

    That said, freakdom does rule. And the way to not feel like an outsider all the time is to hang with other freaks.

    Which is why I like you. 🙂

  4. I was a geek before it was cool to be one; playing video games with friends, tinkering with software programs so it would show our names on a splash screen before boot-up, or debating the nuances of old Star Trek episodes – that was my life as a teenager.

    The 1980s weren’t kind to geeks and outcasts, those who thought differently. But those things have changed, based on what I’ve seen.

    The interesting thing is that more people than you ever realized were geeks (witness the popularity of “Big Bang Theory,” which invariably leads to discussions of which one of your friends was most like Sheldon).

    And now it’s cool. The wonks have begun to come out of the shadows, building empires and becoming the new cool kids on the block. Sure, the jocks and cheerleaders set the tone in many ways – but it’s not so bad being the smart kid in computer class anymore.

  5. Ah yes, I love being a freak.

    I think being a freak is not only a creative or business asset. But I think it helps us relate to other freaks. And there are certainly more of those in the world than it appears on the surface.

    Being a freak empowers others to find their inner freak. And it inspires them to do great things with their freakishness!

  6. In this freakonomy – being a freak is the only thing! 🙂

  7. Suddenly Susan says:

    you say “freak” like it’s a bad thing …

    I totally relate to your post!

  8. michelle says:

    don’t we just create another way for us to fit in by calling ourselves freaks? most people would say that they see the world differently than most….many times that statement also emerges as ‘no one understands me.’ and then other people can say, yeah, no one understands me either, I’m a freak too…and then we feel better because we have just fit in. isn’t all of this just another way of doing the same thing as the sorority girl did…find a group that ‘get us’ and then look at others outside of the ‘freak group’ and call them weird and mainstream? what do you think?

    • Zhero says:

      Mans legacy doesn’t lie in stagnation, fear, ignorance or conformity…but with the heroes; who have the courage to drag the rest of mankind forward, out of their own way.

    • Annika says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Maybe it’s was not so much about you being a ‘freak’ and her being ‘normal’, but about two different people who were not a match made in heaven and had trouble understanding each other. Most people are very different from most other people, and even those who might look superficial or ‘too normal’ for you might have extraordinary stories and reasons why they live their life like they do.

  9. ‘Freaks’ are usually the first to cross into new territories and form new paradigms. Their lives help others see what’s possible, and encourage others to take up the exploration for themselves. The familiar won’t have them because they’re not supposed to fit in. The status quo doesn’t tolerate them well and neither does convention. The beautiful thing today is that freaks have more ways of finding each other than ever before, and that amplifies their power. Being a freak is a gift.

  10. Hi Jonathan. I had a similar experience as a DJ, except in college radio, that led me down a winding path to various creative passions that continue to fuel my life. It’s fantastic that we now have this medium that allows such a wide swath of others with the same philosophy to come together and inspire each other.

    Great piece as always and please continue to share your freak with the rest of us!

  11. Chuck Frey says:

    Maybe fitting in was an asset 20 years ago. But today it’s a liability. Having a different outlook is very important today and in the years ahead. Don’t be afraid to be unique!

  12. Alexis Neely says:

    Ah yes, I’ve got my freak on for sure. And it’s definitely freaking some people out.

    I’ve always had this major internal conflict (maybe it’s why I so want to help people resolve their own conflicts, huh?) between wanting to fit in and knowing that who I really am simply doesn’t.

    I held in my freak for many years and did a good job passing, but I could never sustain it long. Three years at the big law firm before I cracked and had to leave to do it my own way. Five years in my own firm before I couldn’t even maintain that facade anymore.

    And now it seems another crack is coming through. It’s the biggest one yet and is causing some major upheaval in my personal and business lives that I know will ultimately result in an amazing integration, but damn it’s unsettling.

    There was some part of me that always knew my inner freak would emerge and I’d end up in Boulder with dreadlocks. Surprisingly, here I am.

    It’s a long way from Georgetown and the white shoe law firm.

    Thanks for paving the way to freakdom. 🙂

    Alexis

  13. My guess is that conformity is a little less obligatory these days among young people. There’s a widespread embrace of various forms of geek-ness and dorketry going on right now.

    I’ve certainly met some dull people, but most, I’ve found, do have something interesting to share if you can get them to open up.

    For awhile I had dredlocks – they got nearly to my waist – and people would send all kinds of energy at me. Most of it was good, I guess… not much hostility. This was a while back when dreds weren’t as common as they are today. The thing is, the energy people send at you when you look a certain way is a projection of their expectations. It became a little oppressive.

  14. eKathy says:

    I have always said it in a kindler, gentler way I think: I am weird and proud of it. I too had a boyfriend who recoiled when I made that proclamation. He thought I was insulting myself when I was simply offering a well-established position. I recently smiled to myself when I saw my nephew on his Facebook page proclaiming to be weird and proud of it. Yes, I told him it was our family motto. I hope it serves him as well as it has served be and as embracing your inner freak has served you.

  15. Liron Art says:

    Reminds me of a quote I’ll be paraphrasing: When I’m called to answer for my life, I won’t be asked why I wasn’t Moses. I’ll be asked why I wasn’t Liron (so I’d better be:-)

  16. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank goodness you let your freak flow. It’s why you’ve become who you’ve become. Ignoring the small voice which tells us to do things exactly UNlike others causes comfort…..along with misery, pain and being unfulfilled. As your DJ groupie showed, most people possess a definite chief aim of “just fitting in” and will use any means necessary to pursue that goal.

    Thanks for sharing your insight and have a wonderful day. Keep on being you 🙂

    Ryan

  17. Megan says:

    I’ve been a freak my whole life. It would have been nice to be accepted and liked for who I was, but ’twas not to be.

    I know some wonderful kids today who are going through all the pain I did just because they are “different.”

    I have to admit that after 40-odd years of enduring the pain and lonliness of not fitting in anywhere, having finally found people who accept me as I am both online and in the “real” world has brought me a lot of joy and a sense of relief that’s indescribable.

    The desire for this acceptance must be what those who conform are trying so hard to hold onto – only it’s not REAL acceptance, only manipulation. THAT is sad.

  18. Kristin Rublaitus says:

    Freaks of the world, shine on and celebrate! The world would be so boring without us 🙂

  19. Ryan Hanzel says:

    I like that approach and attitude on life. Right now I am in the military and have been stuck in the same place for quite a while. Something I am not quite used to from my child hood of constantly moving around and experiencing life. I love a constant change in my surrounding and people around me. This makes life seem a bit fuller and hopefully I can really grasp it again since I feel I have experienced what I want to in the military. Great post man to see others are living the way that I think is the truest meaning of freedom. I hope all of this makes sense since I am not truly great at typing tbrough my mobile. Great stuff man.

  20. Hank Merkle-a huge JF fan! says:

    Thank you Jonathan!
    Once again you were lurking outside my window and saw what you needed to and then wrote a story that first touched me and then helped me and now will propel me through the day (as your writing usually seems to do!)
    Oh, was that story about you? I swear you were coaching! ha ha
    Thank you for your wonderful, insightful writing and sharing.

  21. patrick says:

    Let’s say I was a superhero called Super Freak (my super power would obviously be to prevent bad music from being played at weddings), and my alter-ego was Mr. Every Guy.

    I would be the absolute worst at hiding my secret identity.

    Suppressing who I am is like trying NOT to laugh at the most inappropriate moment.

    Allowing me to be myself gives me a perspective and approach that is, often times, incredibly beneficial.

  22. Ira Serkes says:

    Early on in our relationship, Carol said to me:

    “That’s not normal”

    To which I replied”

    “I’ve never been normal in my entire life and don’t plan to start now”

    Ira

  23. Amy Oscar says:

    God, I loved this post. First, because I’ve always lived outside the box. Second, because until I was pretty far along in life (certainly way past college) that has kinda sucked.

    Until very recently (probably when my kids hit their teens) I missed the fact that EVERYONE feels like a freak – why else would we form these insular us-against-them tribes in the first place? There is safety in numbers – even if that ‘safety’ holds us back from really feeling, really living our lives.

    Most of all, JF, I loved this post for its storytelling. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it.

  24. Brendan says:

    Great Post.

    Totally freaked me out man!

    I’ve always been a fringe guy – never felt comfortable anywhere else to be honest. But it wasn’t too comfortable on the fringes a lot of the time either. It took me years to get to the point where I’m weird, and proud.

    So recently, I’ve been preparing my kid to co-exist with the “normals”. When he’s told he’s weird, I’ve suggested he thank them wholeheartedly, and that he intimates he’s glad they don’t think he’s just a “norm”. It’s a bit of a hawkish stance, I know, but I reckon you’ve got to draw a line in the sand straight away.

    He made the observation last week (at age 11) that seeing as we’re all unique, there can’t be any such thing as normal. What a weird thing to say! Ah, if only I’d had that wisdom – it took me many more years to formalise/verbalise that concept. Normalcy is just an average, and it tells you nothing about what goes to make up the average…

    An earlier poster mentioned that freakiness is a gift – I’d have to agree. At it’s best, weirdness is genius, and we can use as many of those as we can get right now.

    So now we’re looking at higher schools for our guy, and have decided to send him a larger school, where more freaks are likely to be, than a smaller school, which I would have been much more inclined to favour. ‘Cos Freaks need friends too!

  25. Erin S. says:

    I resemble this post. Thanks

  26. You are speaking my language Johnathan and I am sitting here waving my Freak Flag high and proud.
    You are addressing exactly what I help people with in my coaching biz.
    I love that you are talking about embracing your inner-freak. I have been saying that for a long time. Your inner-freak is really where your super powers can be found.
    Letting it out is key to living an authentic life that feels awesome and kick-ass.
    You are such a wonderful example of someone who is doing this.

  27. Saleem Rana says:

    I’d call it possibility thinkers vs. unimaginative people. The best thing in life is being yourself, even while everyone else is caught up in living out a role created by conditioning influences. Only from authenticity can originality originate and only from originality can something new and beautiful flower into being.

    Awesome post! Thank you.

  28. Amber J. says:

    Excellent post!

    I have never fit in with any one group, idea, ect. I’ve never been on a mission to be different, I just am. When I was younger people made fun of me, and they still do, actually, but I embrace the way I look at the world.

    To some I might be odd, but I’m happy being me 🙂

  29. jill says:

    Umm … maybe she wasn’t so much wedded to her world-view as — as you say — offended by your arrogance. I appreciate that most of us do not act on our freakiness (at least, not for the world to see), but that does not necessarily mean that most people are not freaky (and acting on that authentic sense of self in ways big and (primarily) small, but nevertheless satisfying) and — more to the point — it definitely does not mean that you see the world differently than others see it. I wouldn’t have any way of knowing whether you do or don’t (and, IMHO, neither would you). What you ARE exceptionally good at doing, and what you are exceptionally good at helping others do, is crossing the rubicon from being freaky/seeing the world as we all do (that is: uniquely) to ACTING ON/executing our freaky dreams and being our unique selves.

    To sit on a sofa in our callow youth and say that we see the world differently — well, trust me, that happens in frat basements and coffee shops across the country and around the world. It is smug, alienating, and quite possibly untrue. On the other hand, to go out and build a life that serves and celebrates our own individualized freak — and to encourage others to do so — now THAT is meaningful. It’s also the freaky genius of Jonathan Fields.

  30. Dan says:

    jonathan,

    Outstanding post. I can so relate to this. I am a very social person and have a very diverse group of friends. I am often criticized for having such a broad spectrum of influence. However, I think that it’s the only way to broaden our perspective when trying to understand the world. Embracing your authentic self has such power and builds so much confidence and i try to incorporate that into my “image consulting” practice. Thanks for the insight.

  31. Jonathan,
    I’ve often times wondered why people try to fit in when there are so many groups to try to fit into. If I fit in “here”, then does it mean I don’t fit in “there”? I recall high school and the cliches that truly existed – Jocks, Geeks, Preps, etc. If you became a Jock, you might tolerate the Preps but pick on the Geeks. There was no co-mingling… Fast forward to a broader, more global adult reality and I find that there are near infinite niche genera of being (in the Heideggerian essence of Being perhaps)that to fit into one place ruins your chances of experiencing all of the other, totally amazingly awesome places. Thank you for reminding me that I ought to meander my own path of being – its not freakish to me for me to be me.

  32. […] comfortable with what makes you unique, or a […]

  33. Julie says:

    Wow ~ Thanks for the inspiration! I’m now breaking my ‘mold’ from being in a corporate job where to be be successful – you had to follow ‘their rules’ – and now in my own biz – breaking my mold and letting the inner freak come out! She was always there but buried and now wants to come out and play and see the world!!

    Julie

  34. Marc Luber says:

    This is a great, great post! Honest and awesome. I couldn’t relate more. After law school, when my peers were grabbing their standard law jobs, I packed up the car in Chicago and drove to California to follow my geeky music passions and join the music industry….as a band manager and marketing/sales guy, not a lawyer. To go from being around lawyers all day to being around musicians and artsy types was a fun change. I always kind of felt like more of the stiff lawyer personality-type when hanging with all the laid-back musician types…and years later when I became an attorney recruiter felt like more of an artsy type than one of the stiff lawyers….but I guess I’m a little of each…and the diverse range of characters and experiences enriched my life big time.

    The funny thing is, to go along with your post, the first rock star I got to work with was David Crosby, who sang, “I feel like letting my freak flag fly.” He was on to something…

  35. I grew up never truly fitting into one group or another. I always sort of did my own thing – and my sons are the same way (go figure LOL). I hated working for other people because there really was no passion in what I was doing. I was always happiest when doing those things that brought out my passions, my smile and my heart. It’s tough to do that in “Corporate America” where you always feel as though you are expendable on a whim (at least I did). Now that I’ve taken that step to get my own business going, I’m far happier – LOL far poorer right now, too, but at least I don’t dread going to work everyday. I’m also setting an example for my sons to keep the passion in their lives. Live life…don’t let it live you.

  36. Today’s freaks are tomorrow’s (and today’s) leaders.

    I always said that if the rest of the world is sane, then I am perfectly fine with my insanity.

    • Ingar says:

      I do hope I may “steal” these sentences of your? I just loved them!! I thank all of you with your words on this page! Made me feel good!!Ingar

  37. I’ve learned that freaks, geeks and nerds have more fun and make more money that those who strive to fit in. All the cool kids innovate. Those who work to blend work for those who change the game.

  38. I am proud to say that I was raised to be a freak…. Not really but raised to be a unique individual. One that realizes that we all have differences and it is our differences that make us wonderful. I don’t want to live in a box and I don’t. That is why I don’t live in the “real” world but a world of my creation, but it does exist. lol It is a world where I create and have fun and make a difference to others.

  39. Chatty says:

    Wait until you have teenage children! They plead with you to abide by the “status quo” rules and regulations! Keepa you mouth shut Mom!! So for any of the “renegades” who have not experienced having teenage children….beware! You may have to sacrifice a little “conformity” to protect and honor the wishes of your children. It’s really tuff to do when you want to do otherwise! I always reinforced my “disapproval” when I would abide and follow their wishes. It’s a hard choice between sacrificing your beliefs, and respecing your children’s.
    Chatty

  40. Ahhh… this is such good stuff. I totally agree on the idea of being a little different, and don’t worry – I’m not so good with percentages either. 😉

    It’s funny how much some people want to fit in with the norm. The great thing is that all of us freaks have come together on the internet.

    I love getting a little more insight into your college life Jonathan. Thanks for sharing that, and rock on with your DJ self!

  41. I think the fact of coming to peace with who you really are is, in fact, the most important aspect of life (let alone business, marketing, success, etc.)

    So, thanks for bringing that up in such a smart way. Love the story of the sorority babe where something doesn’t quite click, and it turns out to be something BIG. Took me back to those times when we were all trying to find our way, and new relationships were the weirdest, sometimes awkward, and most glorious element of that whole journey…

  42. beth says:

    I love it!!
    From a young age I was frequently told that I was/am “weird”.
    I see things differently. I ask different questions. Crazy things fascinate me.
    Over the years, I’ve come to embrace that weirdness.
    Let the freak flow baby!!! 🙂

  43. Dana Shino says:

    We all got a freak flag . . .
    It’s just a matter of whether we fly it or not.

  44. Hi Jonathan.

    The comment from Jill might be right about your viewing life differently comment coming off as arrogant. I know I have said similar at times out of arrogance. One can only assume that “differently” means “better”, because who wants to be indirectly saying they view life more poorly than others.

    Aside from this issue, it was cool to read your story about the DJing that you did in college, and your experiences related to that. DJs do get an aura of temporary social leadership projected onto them, which is nifty.

  45. Travis says:

    What a blast of fresh air! I’m a self-admitted freak although great legions of people have taken the liberty to tell me so over the years, invariably with the phrase, “you’re weird”), so I know what you’re talking about.

    Seeing the world differently is a good thing. OF COURSE it is. But social pressure is powerful enough to emasculate the virtue and beauty of unique, weirdness, or whatever you want to call it.

    What boring results you get when you stop nurturing your inner freak.

    Inspiring post. Great read.

  46. Gina says:

    I agree with Dana!
    I believe we would all be a lot healthier mentally and physically if we embraced our own uniqueness and the uniqueness of others, including those built as lemmings.

  47. Ryan Spanger says:

    I wonder if, deep down, everyone feels that in some way they are a freak. Some react to it by a slavish devotion to the status quo to try to camouflage their ‘freakiness’. Others seem to get to a point where they become sufficiently comfortable with themselves, or simply can’t be bothered keeping up the charade, and embrace freakdom.

    In the end, being a freak is probably just another way of saying being yourself.

  48. Some of my favourite people in the world are the weirdest people I know. And I love them because they really exemplify, without reservation, the amazing diversity of the Human Experience.
    Thank you for celebrating our own unique contributions to life.

  49. Evan says:

    The standard marketing advice of finding what people want and giving it to them is a way of fitting in too.

    I’ve never had a problem not fitting in – it comes naturally. Getting put in the ‘weird’ basket can be a problem if you want to sell stuff though.

  50. Jeremy Day says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I have a similar story, and I am sad to say many stories like this one. Ive dated a few girls like the one you describe above and being the confident guy I am (what they were originally attracted to), I told them my thoughts on life. When they just didn’t get it, I moved on or they moved on. Luckily I am with someone that understands me better and is more on the same page that I am.

    Anyhow, great post. Keep them coming!

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  51. Andy Hayes says:

    *raises hand*

    My name is Andy Hayes, and I am a freak.

  52. Judy Martin says:

    Embracing ones inner freak is a road to evolution and creation. Went to the same school of thought. One that I hope I never graduate from.

  53. Jonathan Fields says:

    Loving all the great thoughts and flying of freak flags!

    Clearly, we’ve hit a nerve here, so I think this is something I’m gonna need to dive into a bit more on many different levels. More to come, for sure!

  54. Karen says:

    Always new I wasn’t part of the cool crowd – one part geek, one part freak. Never really bothered me much, they were nearly identical in every way. Even today, my freak flag is flying high. What most people miss out on is the different experiences you can have when you embrace the ‘freak’ in you. You get to be real and authentic and experience like in a real and authentic way. Keeping your inner freak locked up is a huge disservice! Let them out, they need to be free!

  55. Dude – I love this school of thought. Such a timely and important post (now, I don’t feel so isolated 😉

    Btw, I want a pair of flippers and a floatie ring, just like yours. Lol

  56. Great post! Take a spectrum of “fitting in,” from a perma-suit conformist “Organization Man” on one end, to some avant-garde artist who has tattoos across his face and walks around the city with a parrot on his shoulder, on the other end.

    I think most innovation and progress comes about halfway between these two points… way outside of “Organization Man” thinking, but still able to relate to communicate in a way that mainstream society can relate to on some level….

  57. There’s a difference between ‘being unique’ (we’re all unique) and being a freak. Uniques can fit in wherever there’s a group they share enough similar interests with. Freaks can only fit in where others are open-minded enough to show interest in what they don’t understand.

    On another subject (sort of) while it’s obvious that many young people think they’re ‘different’ (meaning ‘better’) when one of them grows up to actually *be* what they believed they were, it’s a little silly to say they were anything but spot on with their self-analysis, even if they were young when they said it.

  58. Satu says:

    Oh, I’m letting my freakness flow, but mostly in secret at the moment. 🙂 Only recently have I started to think that all my interests might be something more than just waste of time.

    Jonathan, you should really tell us the tale about how you ended up as a corporate lawyer.

  59. Jess Webb says:

    Hi Jonathan!

    I love how you’ve put this – and the story illustrated it so well. 😉 It’s sad that people get so consumed with fitting in that they never quite find themselves and their “freakness”.

    I’ve struggled with this for much of my life, as well. I’ve always been the shy, quiet, nerdy, tomboy girl who didn’t quite fit in anywhere. I still feel that way sometimes, like the other night when I walked into the bathroom at a local bar & grill and felt soooo out of place – I didn’t look anything like the other girls in there, I didn’t dress like them, wear makeup like them, or talk about the things they were talking about.

    But I now have places where I do feel accepted, and where I can be myself. I have people who like my quirkiness and understand it. 🙂 It feels good to be myself and not be trying to fit into a box that isn’t me. 🙂

  60. […] Today’s post is inspired by Jonathan Field’s article “I’m a Freak. And So Can You“. […]

  61. Kristina says:

    As I sit here with peanut butter on my english muffin (and now on my mouse), I’m reminded that it’s OK to be a freak. Sometimes I get caught up in the “what’s wrong with me that I can’t be happy with the regular 9-5” dance. So I go back and forth until something (or someone) reminds me that, although it’s ok for some, it’s not for me.

    And so here I go, dancing with myself again cuz “their empty eyes seem to pass me by and leave me dancing with myself…”

  62. CathyP says:

    Gotta tell you Jonathan, you’re braver than most folks I know!

    I think it takes a few decades for us to get really comfortable with our ‘inner freak’. Much better place to be though when we get there.

    Cathy

  63. Arturo says:

    Excellent post, I salute you my friend and thank you for the inspiration.

    I love being a freak,

    A

  64. Zhero says:

    “Mans legacy doesn’t lie in stagnation, fear, ignorance or conformity…but with the heroes; who have the courage to drag the rest of mankind forward, out of their own way.”

  65. Hi Jonathan,

    I always love synchronicity. Just today I published a blog post about my need for saying out loud “who” I am. And it felt great! I love what you said about how “YOUR life should be yours. No matter who you are or how you see the world.” Amen. I’ve always strayed from labeling myself to fit in with external perspectives. We shortchange the world when we’re not fully ourselves. I’ve always felt ‘different,’ and as you describe…that’s a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing your story here!

  66. I’ve found great comfort in being a freak. So much that I wonder if others have found the same. Some of my favorite days are those where I’m working from a coffee shop and you just SEE someone who know how to love their freak. I can’t describe it, but it’s freakin’ MAGIC. And I kinda wanna slide my chair next to them so we can roast in the same fire.

  67. kimmie says:

    My name is Kim. And I’m a bit of a freak. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  68. Bob Leonard says:

    You came to a fork in the road, and you took the path less traveled. And that made all the difference in the world.

  69. I JUST had this conversation with a good friend of mine at lunch today. We have come to the realization that we see the world differently than our friends do, and sometimes it’s really hard to be understood and truly heard by others who don’t think the same. This post came in perfect timing – thank you!

  70. […] Finding him was like… discovering a waterfall in the middle of the desert. I stumbled across this article he wrote and  instantly felt a hint of rejuvenation seep into my […]

  71. Misty says:

    There is a place past the “i am different” and “i see the world differently” experience you describe in your blog.

    A step away from this ego-centric view, is an amazing experience where it all flows together and the separateness disappears. I know the space you’re describing and hope you’ll keep evolving into the lyrical experience that awaits you.

    Misty

  72. So funny to run into this article today when I just published a similar one about looking in the mirror and owning who you are. We are driven not only in business but in our personal lives by what is often (in a business realm) called the “elephant in the room.”

    http://synergetic-solutions.com/the-elephant-whisperer-%c2%a9-owning-your-elephant/

    I’m on a mission to get people to talk more about elephants, having always been one of those square people working on fitting in the round hole. I’m all about getting those holes to adjust to variations in who we are and how we operate.

    Yes, I’m a freak and I’ve already accepted it. I hope everyone else does too – about both themselves and others out there.

    Sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect in person at the WBF Bloggers Hub (how I got to your site – checking out the fellow bloggers). Look forward to the opportunity next year.

    Cheers freaky virtual friend.

  73. seanrox says:

    Former mobile/radio DJs are still doing the same thing : sharing, entertaining and vibe control… :). Keep on writing.

    peace-
    seanrox

  74. […] that wake-up your mind, body, career and life from Career Renegade Jonathan Fields Great post: I’m a Freak. And So Can You Twitter: […]

  75. […] want to be remarkable? Or taken seriously? Or “show your freak self” as a blogger or writer or web […]

  76. […] recently sumbled upon this blog post about being a freak, by Jonathan Fields. It’s about being different, not “fitting in” – a […]