If You Do It, Someone Will Judge It

It doesn’t matter what “it” is.  If it can be done, someone will judge it.

On that note, welcome to Wellness Wednesday.  Every Wednesday, I post something related to personal wellness.

Sunglass Cat- Find her on Facebook! Austin, Texas Photo credit: RJS Photography

Sunglass Cat- Find her on Facebook!
Austin, Texas
Photo credit: RJS Photography

I recently read an article about a woman who likes to read books.  She talked about being new to reading romance books, and gave some of her recommendations for books along with stating that despite the bad reputation romance books get, some of them are more well-written than others.

Then the post got weird.

She then wrote about not being afraid to tell others that you read romance novels, that some people will judge you for it, but that talking about romance novels is the only way to find other people who read them and get recommendations.

Say what?  People will judge you for reading a book?!?

Yes, dear reader.  People will judge you for what books you read.  It doesn’t matter that they haven’t read anything other than a cereal box in 10 years; others will judge what you read.  People judge Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray without having read them.  I’m not saying they’re literature; I’m just calling shenanigans on judging them based on an article someone else wrote about them.

Look, I’m a fan of doing what makes you happy.  Those people who are judging you?  They aren’t going to be around in 10 years, 10 days, and sometimes not even in 10 minutes.  They don’t pay your bills.  They haven’t lived your life.

Not caring what people think is an art form that few master, but when I see someone who obviously doesn’t care what others think, I want to applaud.  The happiest people know that flying under the radar is overrated.  I say that as long as what you do doesn’t actively harm anyone, do what you want to do.

Some people will say that you “harm” them when they really mean “offend.”  I’ve heard people say that being gay, having tattoos, wearing things with swear words, having a certain hair color is “harmful” to morality or some nonsense.

I call shenanigans.

Harm is what you do to someone else, not what you do to yourself.  If you hit on someone who isn’t interested (after they’ve told you), that’s harm.  If you hold someone at gunpoint and force them to get tattoos, that’s harm.  If you swear in someone’s face, that’s harm.  If you throw hair dye on someone else, that’s harm.

Being you… not harmful.

So today, remember that all the things you like and dislike make you uniquely you.  They make you cool and interesting.  If someone else doesn’t like those things, then that’s cool.  It means that they’re different from you.  Maybe you can even learn things from one another.

Go forth and be uniquely you today, no matter what that means.  And don’t judge others for being who they are.  Embrace it.  Enjoy it.

Live it.

U is for Unusual

“That proves you are unusual,’ returned the Scarecrow; ‘and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.” ― L. Frank Baum, The Land Of Oz

Photo credit: Doree Weller

Photo credit: Doree Weller

I’ve always prided myself on being a little different.  In my senior class yearbook, I was voted “most unique.”  I just never really wanted to fit in.  I never saw what all the excitement about wearing the right clothes or having the right hairstyle was all about.  I liked what I liked, and that made me somehow unusual. I tend to gravitate toward people who are different, just uniquely themselves.  After all, I figured that once I knew one of the cool kids, I kinda knew them all.  And how is that interesting? Back in high school, I deliberately tried to be weird, not necessarily for attention, but just because “unusual” was part of my identity, so I wanted to be as unusual as I could be.

I don’t do that anymore.  Most of the time, in fact, I try to tone it down just a little, mostly so I can blend in at work.  There are always a few who say interesting things, and then the real me jumps out and says the things I’d normally keep to myself.

In stories, I enjoy unusual characters with interesting traits.  In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett is about as unique as it gets, which is, in my opinion, why she’s such a lasting character, and why I, and others, are still reading this book 201 years later!

When Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay came out, there was no other character quite like him.  The serial killer raised by a police officer to be ethical was something that hadn’t been done in quite that way before.  Dexter was such an unusual character that TV got 8 seasons out of his escapades.

And of course, I have to mention that there’s no one else quite like Tyler Durden/ The Narrator from Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk.  The first time I saw the movie, I was pretty blown away, and rushed out to read the book.  I was even more blown away by the book.


From a writing standpoint, unusual and interesting characters, once developed, can take on a life of their own in plot.  The writer has to be willing to sit back and watch what’s going to happen, rather than direct it.  I’ve had that experience.  I wrote half of a novel with an unusual character, and it felt like I was fighting the plot every step of the way.  When I finally stepped back and asked the character some better questions, I realized that the story started in the wrong place, and when I went back to start over, it went much easier.  Unusual characters are fun for readers and fun for writers.

Who’s your favorite unusual character, either in books or on TV?