On Being Strange Vi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Most people I know tell me I'm strange. "Why?" you ask. Here's the answer: Although I dress in my own way, I don't stick out in a crowd. I respect authority, but when someone criticizes my beliefs, I'll stand up to anyone.

My friends (male and female) accept me for who I am. They know I'm strange, but they don't really care. In fact, one of my friends is as strange as I. We both love Pee Wee Herman and enjoy a good joke.

I'm constantly in a state of change. I've put limits on my family's shower time because of my passion for the environment. I've switched to biodegradable shampoo, ozone-safe hairspray and air-freshener.

My taste in music varies. I like it all. From classical to rap, soft rock to heavy metal, R&B to Country Western. But music with a message is my favorite. John Lennon and James Taylor are the ones for me.

I don't really care what others think of me, I'm happy with who I am. I'm not self-centered and I don't get embarrassed easily. I'm secure with who I am.

Maybe that's what makes people think I'm strange, that I'm secure with myself. They're just upset they aren't more like me.

So, to all of you who've laughed at me, don't worry. I know you're just insecure with who you are.

I'd like to leave you with one thought: Did you ever consider that you are the ones who are weird and that I'm the normal one?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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