Reclaiming Eccentricity


in Creativity,Happiness

“She is eccentric.”

When you read that sentence, what thoughts spring to your mind?  Perhaps you see visions of the local bag lady wandering down the street pushing her grocery cart filled with clothes and catfood. Or, maybe you have recollections of the decidedly odd Mrs. Havisham, a wealthy “spinster” who lived in a ruined mansion sporting a wedding dress, in Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations.

Not so complimentary, right?

But that is where my thoughts strayed the first time someone referred to me as eccentric. It didn’t feel like a positive thing. It felt like someone had singled me out as a weirdo.

I carried that idea around for years until, one day, I actually looked at the definition of eccentricity. Eccentricity is defined as a quality of being unconventional, especially in a whimsical way. Unconventional? Whimsical? Now those are words I love. Unconventional – being different from what is regarded as normal or standard. Whimsical – being slightly odd or playfully humorous.  

These words tell me that I am in alignment with my values. That I am on track to living a life I love. A life that is different, interesting, fun, fanciful, creative, and uniquely mine.

Am I eccentric? Hell yes. And proud of it.

What does it mean to be eccentric? In my mind, it covers a host of magnificent things such as:

  • Living in an unusual place. Think Airstream trailer, a tree house, or an old church.
  • Wearing the occasional vintage piece to spice up your outfit. Think the Jackie O suit, the fur collar, the biker vest, or the rhinestone necklace.
  • Repurposing things. Think turning an old door into a desk or a wheelbarrow into a flower bed.
  • Making your living in a unique way. Think teaching skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer, lecturing on cruise ships, or being a food critic.
  • Giving gifts that people love. Think butterfly-photo-safaries, camel rides at the zoo, or pop-up picture books.

And then some.

A little bit unconventional. A little bit whimsical. A lot wonderful. And, definitely eccentric.

 Are you little bit eccentric? I hope so. It’s a good thing.

 Reclaim your eccentricty. Comment. Subscribe.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy Morris October 28, 2010 at

Hi Andrea, I’m jealous! I aspire to living an eccentric life!
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Andrea October 28, 2010 at

Hi Sandy – Great to hear from you. I bet you already have a few of the elements in play already and just need to honor them and add to them!


angel October 28, 2010 at

Sweet! I love this whole idea.. I’ve often been called ‘eccentric’, through my life, and i never understood why. i used to be incredibly offended by it, and feel hurt by it (it always felt like another way that people used to separate me off from them).

Now, though, as I’ve grown into myself a bit more… I think it rocks.

I no longer see the value in being a cardboard cutout of the next guy (gal). I am who and what I am, dammit… and frankly, I’m liking that more & more each day.

Eccentricities and all ;-)

another wonderful post Andrea :-)


Andrea October 28, 2010 at

It is lovely to keep discovering kindred spirits everywhere. Maybe we should form our own club…. Actually, I think everyone has a seed of beautiful eccentricity but whether it flourishes or not is up to them. We’ve just chosen to nurture ours a bit. Thanks, Angel!


Ronna October 28, 2010 at

‘Love this. As I do everything you write, think, say.

I’ve done something similar with the word “extravagant.” LOVE the word and it has the tendency to conjure up images of over-the-top, too-much, and dangerous. The dictionary definition does, in fact, have a less-than-flattering take on the word. But I think it deserves to be redeemed, honored, and followed after with great passion.

You be eccentric. I’ll be extravagant. Together we’ll be encredible! :)


Andrea October 28, 2010 at

Encredible … too perfect!!! I must say that I think extravagant suites you, my friend. You are “too-much” in all good ways.


Sandi Amorim October 29, 2010 at

I love this too and I definitely think of myself as eccentric! I also use the word quirky ;-)
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Andrea October 29, 2010 at

Quirky is good! That’s why I like you!


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