Weird is Cool

My son recently mentioned that one of his favorite songs is “Cool Kids” by Echosmith. He was singing the song while I was driving him home from Karate class one evening. The lyrics struck my core. Little Ray identified with the words of the song and I suddenly feel his pain.

I feel Ray’s struggle to “fit in” among his peers, in society, and in life. He didn’t seem particularly sad about the reasons he likes the song. Then again, I didn’t ask why. I already know he’s the odd one out.

Ray may have a few friends that talk to him or play with him. Sometimes his classmates invite him to birthday parties. But kids don’t ask him for playdates or sleepovers often. My son is what people call “weird.”

We all want to fit in and be likeable. Yet society has already labeled the norm. There are rules on how to behave, or what the public considers as proper and decent in appearance and upbringing.

For Ray, these rules aren’t always easy. His Autism is mostly strange to kids and even some adults. I think ASD makes Ray unique. It gives him a quirky personality, and nothing is ever boring when it comes to my son.

Oddly, I relate to Ray’s experiences. It’s a constant battle to please everyone, although we just can’t please everybody.

Hopefully, the criticisms, put-downs, and letdowns do not deter Ray from overcoming life’s challenges. I hope he takes each discouraging experience and changes them into a strengthening lesson of life.

Or, maybe I do because I need to.

Think positively. A sad or negative situation may feel like it happens almost all the time. But sometimes a happy event is waiting to surprise us. Just as Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

It sounds so simple to leave a dismal incident behind and pursue brighter opportunities. Though it’s harder to take the initiative and open the door.

In my case, I definitely need to think positively when it comes to writing. The determination to write something good, something memorable, something moving, and something worth buying is my present struggle in life. Some people will like my stories and some will hate it. I’ll just learn from the critics, and turn the negatives around to make my other stories better.

Possibility Quote

Nothing in life is easy and I understand this hard reality. I remember telling one of my beta readers the reason I started the Dia-Matic Keys project. Simply, I’m challenging myself to see if I can finish it. I want to show my kids that having aspirations are worthwhile.

This is my unique way of leaving advice on how to get through life’s trials and tribulations to my children. So don’t be afraid to dream. Life is scary, yet it’s also an adventure. I hope my kids will enjoy the fictional stories and learn something from them. As a writer, I wish that others would too.

In Ray’s case, some kids don’t like him. They don’t know my son. But some kids like Ray once they get to know him better. Those few friends help him feel good about himself. Ray needs these little triumphs to boost his self-esteem and live his life the best way he can.

So in the end, “weird” could turn to “cool.”

Have you dealt with life’s struggles? Was “fitting in” difficult? Or, have you empathized with the “weird kid” and helped him or her feel like they belong?


About Lisa Malabanan

I am a graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing and work as a Professional Registered Nurse in the field of Perinatology. I currently live in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with my husband and two children. At the age of six, I discovered piano and classical music. A variety of music genres influenced my life through the years, and I’m passing on a love of the arts to my daughter and son. Reading fiction is my escape from the chaos and stress of a demanding yet rewarding profession. For me, writing transcends the diversion of a good book. The experience is like commuting on a New York City subway; diverse people enter and exit the scene, sometimes delays and derailment occur during creativity, and a train of thought is missed or passed over on occasion. In the end, an arrival at my destination is what I hope to accomplish, and I invite readers to take that ride with me. View all posts by Lisa Malabanan

2 responses to “Weird is Cool

  • Lisa Agosti

    Such a sweet and emotional post, I’m sure Ray’s life will be amazing and there’s so much for him to learn and experience and enjoy in the upcoming years. He’s lucky to have such a wonderful mamma. Kids can be mean but most of them are caring and loving individuals who just need to be given a chance and learn to deal with what is different and unknown. Schools should teach ‘friendship’ alongside maths and science. Good luck with everything.


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