I've always been weird.
Before I entered kindergarten, my dad gave me some good advice that I still follow today.
In an attempt to prepare me for potential bullies, he told me to say “thank you” if someone called me “weird.” He told me to take “weird” as a compliment.
He was prophetic in his advice. I was called “weird” all throughout elementary school, all throughout junior high and all throughout high school.
And I owned it.
I also understood many people did not mean it as a compliment, and I became a pro at figuring out what people thought of me when they referred to me as such.
It helped me filter out the mean girls and the too-cool-for-school bros and filter in the weirdos.
Life was much more fun, interesting and kind with that group of misfits by my side.
And when my dad gave me that advice, I think it was because a) my weirdness was very apparent to him and my whole family by age 3, and b) he was proud of me for being that way.
In fifth grade, I was obsessed with metal detectors. My parents proudly supported my weird interest because they were weird, too.
Not only did they gift me a metal detector for my birthday (from Sharper Image!), but they also hid hundreds of coins in our backyard. (To all those coins I never found, I'm sorry.)
Most of the boys I knew were more into playing video games than messing around in the dirt for hours on end, but I didn't care.
In high school, my dating game was weak. Boys didn't know what to do with a face-making, mom jean-wearing young woman.
But in college, it changed. The guys didn't listen to their friends' opinions as much, and I was more comfortable with myself.
My personality helped me sidestep past the thoughtless bros and go straight for the weird guys.
I saw their freak flags, and they saw mine.
Personally, I'll always be drawn to people who have a unique way of looking at life.
Their humor, intelligence and independence will never stop inspiring me to be true to myself and — above all else — stay weird.
For all the weirdos out there (and for those who haven't fully embraced their inner weirdos yet), watch the video above to see why being weird actually makes you more attractive.