Everyone who responded shared a quality of reflection about their lives. Whether things are going great or things are tough, the people who responded are really thinking about their lives and how to live them best–and that’s one thing I appreciate about people who identify with quirky. They challenge assumptions and want to make the most of their lives.
In this global report on quirky people, we have people reporting in from India, El Salvador, Guatemala, England, Australia, Brazil, the U.S. We have single and married, “young” and “old.” We have a woman considering becoming a single mother, an 18-year-old lifelong quirkyalone, and a woman in her sixties who just found romantic love again. We have a burgeoning quirkyslut and budding quirkytogethers. A stay-at-home mother who never thought she would take that path. We have people recovering from illiness and people struggling to find their quirk again. We have writers, crafters, entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, and changemakers.
Read on for these snapshots of real life. They make my heart burst with their humanity and I hope they do the same for you.
Kavita in Mumbai, India, writes, “I am currently looking at figuring what I want to do with my life. What kind of commitments do I want? The question of security: Does it mean I get married or have kids? Where does my career go? How do we chart this road? I am standing on Weird Mountain of life, at the moment. I just started dating a boy and it feels pretty mature. We are good to each other, respectful of each others’ space, have fun. Today seems a bit tough to me after an intense conversation last night. It spun me into me having to deal with my personal issues of self-esteem and confidence and a growing dread that I will sabotage the whole relationship. I need to be working on how to deal with the ‘scared-to-shit’ bits of me. I am pretty brave…usually. Maybe not today.”
Gavin in Sydney, Australia writes, “I’m a Sydney-based feature writer but I’ve been wanting to do spoken-word performance poetry. So, I’ve been putting together some poems. Can’t wait to get up in front of a crowd! For the past few years I’ve been trying to work out what sort of relationship I want. Recently I’ve been looking for the type of relationship that is committed and exclusive but you never actually live together: LAT (Living Apart Together). I think LAT has a great mix of quirkyalone and quirkytogether. So, I’m keen to explore this more. It would be great if your blog covered LAT more.”
Sasha responds: “Yup, I will definitely be writing about LAT more. Creating the kind of relationship you want is something that we explore in the Quirkytogether 101 online class and I will cover it in the Quirkytogether book I’m planning to write in the next couple years.
Kristen writes, “I am working on trying to eat more vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like vegetables, but…they’re just not pizza.”
Sasha responds: Me too!
John in New Hampshire, U.S., writes, “After 18 years of being employed with the same company, I find myself without a job. That may not sound like a good thing, but actually it IS. I’ve been seriously floundering there for several years now and was stuck in a rut. Getting myself fired was probably the best thing I’ve done in a long time! What does this all have to do with being quirkyalone? I would love to work at home, be my own boss. I would love to do what I love for ‘work.’ So, I’m on the hunt and have been doing a LOT of research.”
Natalie in Massachusetts says, “The very week that I took quirkytogether online course with you last July, I began to date a man 17 years older, wise, with depth, playful and quirky. We are quirkytogether. I am working on learning and living love in all my parts of my life–close relationships, work, family, and strangers. Thanks for the course that prepared me!”
Lisa J Smith, a writer in California and the creator of the bestselling Vampire Diaries series (now a show on the CW), is working on a “secret project.”: “I’m sorry to have to put it like that, but it is. It’s something for my readers—the fans of The Vampire Diaries series who were not happy when I was replaced by a ghostwriter (as per: weird contract detail) after writing seven books on it.”
Paula in Chicago writes, “I am a healthcare worker. The holidays are another workday for me. My writing conferences and fiber arts events are holidays for me. I found some additional fiber arts groups and events. I am still writing my romance suspense novel. I took an online class with a romance suspense novelist. She felt that I did have an original story idea. I was extremely excited to hear this. I hope to present a synopsis in April 2014 to some editors I really want to talk to at a local writer’s conference. I am also writing a nonfiction based narrative that is self help/fiber arts based. I have had this idea for a long time. I hope to place it on my own blog site. I have no idea of why I didn’t think of this sooner. . . I have employed the suggestions from the Get Quirky class. It has helped me greatly. I am so happy about all of it. You have no idea. . . .”
Judy writes, “On September 15th, I began a 10-month yoga teacher training program–not for wussies! To say it’s turning my life upside down, in the best way, is an understatement.”
Gretchen says, “I’d like to rediscover my fun self. I have been through a rough year, which ended up with me on anti-depressants and seem to have lost some of my quirkiness. Now that I am off the medication and feeling much better, I’d like to be able to find my quirks again. Maybe I have grown out of them? Or my rough patch has given me a different perspective? I don’t know, but I don’t feel like I am as funny and cool as I used to be. That is my goal over the NEXT year, to find my quirks again. 🙂 I hope to be able to join a quirky class in the future.”
Shane writes, “For the first time I’m in a ‘quirkytogether’ relationship. It’s actually my first serious relationship. It’s great being with someone who shares my quirkyalone views; I’d say we’re best friends who happened to fall in love.”
Monica in San Francisco, U.S., writes, “I make a very small line of purely local knitwear mostly hats and scarves and I do a little of everything and a lot of custom work. I make my own yarns with wool I buy right off the sheep at ranches across the north counties. The garment industry really gets me going in a political way. The whole market structure really and my production is my defiance. I work happily and like making things I feel are fine and durable and worthy of the sheep who grow my fibers. I am so quirky that at times I pick up a fleece or a hank of yarn and I swear it tells me what it wants to be. My wild Wind (husband) is also a mountaineer and so, almost as often as every six weeks, we get outta here and climb a mountain! I love being in the backcountry and have been trekking across the Sierras most of my life. There is nothing like several days in the backcountry with nothing but the wild earth for company—and then the views at summiting!”
James writes, “For many years I was back on a dialysis machine. On October 24, I received a transplant. I am being careful and getting a bit better everyday. For the past 20 years I have been an actor and done some voiceover work in cartoons and video games. I now will have a bit more freedom away from the hospital, I will be moving and trying to find a more stable income. Change of scenery is good. I’m almost 45, always been single with no children.”
Jill, a phD student in Ohio writes, “I’m spending time with Maureen (my dissertation), learning to teach people without damaging them (hopefully), and figuring out how to be an authentic storyteller. What I’d like to be working on: I have plays, poems, and roles in my head. My brother and I are planning to collaborate on a book over Christmas, and someday I’ll submit The Gimp Glimpse to publishers again. I should also learn how to explain ethical love-based non-monogamy to people when necessary (while remembering to be proud of myself for not running away).”
Todd in Guatemala writes, “I am working on being a better IT Director at an international school in Guatemala and growing a potentially awesome tech program for what could become one of the best schools in Guatemala. I wish I had a little more time for my own creative projects but know it is up to me to carve out the time. www.northofliberty.com.”
Alicia says, “I’m working on my plans for 2014! :)”
Jen writes, “I would very much like to move into a new apartment before Christmas and to get my stuff out of storage that has been inaccessible for 5 years. I applied for a new job that is Civil Service. I recently saw the guy I’d dated for about six months (until it REALLY sunk in that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, but he likes me) with another girl. I fluctuate between feeling relieved and feeling like I failed. Friends visited this weekend and they are wonderful! Laughing, looking at art, dancing, dinner out, and walks in beautiful fall environments.”
Rebecca says, “Hi! I’m undergoing years of treatment for Lyme disease. I’m focusing on selling my business (my life’s work and long held dream, that I can no longer work at due to illness). Once that’s sold I’m going to focus in making my house and garden a nice place to recover and be sick in. Do my photo albums and read all the books and watch all the TV shows I’ve never had time for.”
A woman in England says, “I’m completing my pair of novels which I guess would be of interest to quirkyalones—you can put that on your blog! I think all my main characters (in anything I’ve written) have a quirkyalone streak. I hope I can publish next year.”
Namrata in India writes, “I am an 18-year-old. I have been quirkyalone all my life. People keep asking me as to why I have never been in a relationship and it baffles them when I say I’m not interested in just every other guy.”
Jacqui in Baltimore, Maryland writes, “I just adopted a nine year old depressed rescue poodle. He has a few mental health and physical health challenges but he is very darling. I am a little overwhelmed by the decision but I am 95% sure it was the right one. We had a quiet weekend getting to know one anothe. It is getting cold and I need to get some tiny sweaters or something. He shivers a lot.”
Sarah writes, “I’m working on quite a few things at the moment. I’m a multipotentialite in addition to a quirkyalone. 🙂 I’m currently on tour as the Stage Manager with a Flamenco dance company, for one. I’m also starting a podcast called This Unconventional Life which I’m super-excited about. Personal development projects are too many to list, but mostly they center around learning how to take up space and find my voice in the world.”
Alison in Chicago writes,”This past year has been one of continual changes. In a 12-month period, I became engaged, moved in with my fiancé (the first time in over 5 years that I wasn’t living alone), found out I was pregnant, got married and left my career to become a (temporary) stay-at-home mom. Being a wife, mother and stay-at-home mom are roles I thought would never be a part of my adult life. I am more content and relaxed than I have ever been. There is a sense of stability that comes with this type of life that I value far more than I could have ever imagined. Still, I am conscious of my role as an individual. Small gestures, like keeping my maiden name, writing alone in coffee shops, taking long walks, have allowed me to remain ‘quirky’ regardless of the very traditional roles I am fulfilling. It’s easy to say at the age of 25, ‘I’m never doing that.’ But here I am, a few years later, and I can say that as fun as it was to be an independent wild child, there is a lot of joy to found in establishing a family. And I’m confident and I can still be quirky through it all.”
Sasha responds: “Thanks Alison! I love reading about how the quality of quirky transcends everything, and quirky can be cultivated in ‘traditional’ roles too.”
Frederick writes, “These days, working, going to school, and trying to come up with a plan that allows me to stop doing the former and do the latter full-time.”
Manuela in Brazil writes, “Working on learning to eat properly, not guided by emotions, so that I can slim down before my second Half Marathon, in February.”
Megan in New York City writes, “Last week I gave notice at work. After almost 9 years of being in a job that is my ‘life,’ it is time to move on. It felt amazing to be open with my co-workers and make my announcement. I love that I don’t know what I am doing next. I love that there is potential for creative exploration and a leap of faith. I have been also fully embracing my QuirkySlut (after almost 3 years of celibacy, this past year has been a revelatory reminder that I am a glorious sexual being who is attractive and deserving of good sex!!!!). Perhaps I’m ready to go back to a more QuirkyTogether bent. Most recently I went on a date with a man that I WISH I had been able to communicate my relationship space needs to — but he suffocated the relationship within a week, and I never was able to voice my needs. I just shut it down completely, knowing that it did not feel right to me. I WAS, however, able to write out my feelings and articulate them to myself. Baby steps? But overall it was a good lesson on how important communication is about what you want BEFORE you jump in whole-hog. I want to keep this experience present in my heart so that the next time (and the amazing thing is that I know there will be plenty of ‘next times’) when I can share my vision openly.”
Sasha responds: “Yes, I love this. That is the great think about developing quirkytogether skills of sharing more authentically who you are and what you want in a relationship. You start to get more confident and resilient and realize it’s a practice! There are next times!”
Bill in Melbourne, Australia, says, “I’m mostly working on my health and fitness by doing crossfit three times a week. I’d like to start/join a band again some time, and finish reading that pile of books over there.”
Sasha responds: I took this class too–that’s how Cassandra found us here–and I highly recommend this Tara Gentile’s Creative Live class if you are creative and want to get out of the starving artist mentality and take on the thriving artist mentality.
Chelsea writes, “I’m working on a new chapter in my life after a bit of a mental breakdown due to my job. While there’s still some panic about what will happen with my prior job (they are trying to find a place for me, I’m hoping they can’t and my attorney can get a severance for me), I’m feeling free being away from there. I’ve lost weight, my terrible migraines have lessened to one a month. I can work at home and work on my crafts, which I was always too tired to do. My goal is to make crafts to sell for the holidays. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to see where you need to be. It’s hard to see when you’re just trying to hang on. I feel free. Finally.”
Jill in Los Angeles writes, “I’ve been at the same job for the past 12 years and have been itching for a change–not only in job, but also been thinking about a life change up too (maybe moving out of LA). This summer, I arranged to reduce my work schedule to four days a week in order to take the time to think about things. I’ve used extra day to think deeply about life and work, etc. I’m becoming more intrigued with the startup world in general (lots of stuff going on in LA). I’m doing a startup weekend later this month. We’ll see how much I like it after that! I wonder if I am ready to become a single mother any time soon. Every time I start to think about it though, I realize I need to figure out the work thing first. And that part is scary and overwhelming enough. Shorter term, I’m thinking about biting the bullet and getting back on Match or doing something to try to get a dating life going.”
Eric writes, “Here’s a story about one of the most important things I’m working on these days. American medical leaders have lost their way to the point where they’ve forgotten that you can’t let people die just to show something you already know. I’m trying to get them back on track.”
E. in El Salvador writes, “Lately I’ve been dreaming up a beach vacation—alone! I was looking at pictures in a blog of this beach in St.Lucia and thought wouldn’t that be perfect? But what would I do there? Then all these images came to my mind, of me reading, walking in the beach, drinking from a coconut, sleeping until late, swimming…and not once did I imagine someone else being there. I had never thought of taking a beach vacation alone prior to taking your classes, but now I’m thinking if I wanna go there, then why not? I don’t need anyone else to see the world. I’m great company for myself. I’ve been taking some marketing classes in order to see if that’s something I want to dive into as a next step in my learning career, and II have fallen in love with Portuguese and out of love with Italian; I must learn it somehow. Google Translate has become my best friend.”