I’m quirky. I’m black. Sometimes people don’t think the two go together. As if it’s like oil and water. But I am certainly evidence to the contrary.
Merriam-Webster defines quirky as “different from the ordinary in a way that causes curiosity or suspicion.” I can say I have been met with some strange comments and reactions over the years, but I wasn’t put here on this earth to please everybody. I’ve never been one to neatly fit into a preconceived box of opinions.
Quirkiness is an intangible quality. Maybe it’s my humor, style, taste in music/food, interests. Considered an oddity in certain social circles as a child and teen, my longing for variety and expression was met with questions and misunderstanding. I stayed up late listening to Sade, Swing Out Sister and Harry Connick Jr. and by the time college rolled around, I rocked natural hair before it was popular. I became my own blueprint because being anything else was too difficult and like an ill-fitting jacket — oppressively uncomfortable.
A few years into college, I was finally able to visit London and indulge in my love of England. I am fascinated with English culture (aka an Anglophile). British accents, teas, slang, music, movies, literature, London, Idris Elba. 😉 And in the same breath I can dedicate a Pinterest board featuring African-inspired fashion and express my longing for a trip to Santoroni, Greece, on another.
I love Caddys and Camaros, action movies and romantic comedies. My Netflix queue has Bollywood flicks, dramas, thrillers, foreign and faith-inspired films.
I’m in love with several types of music: Neo-Soul, Christian hip-hop, reggae, jazz and world music, etc. I listen to Björk, Paula Valstein, Sean Paul, Mary Mary, Yael Naïm, Nat King Cole, Maxwell, Adele, Lenny Kravitz and Zap Mama.
Unbeknownst to many of my loved ones, I have an extensive old and foreign coin/paper money collection.
My rock collection hasn’t been touched in a while, but I could certainly have a show-and-tell moment with local gemologists.
I daydream about a South African safari, a stroll in Florence, Italy, and a beach holiday in Rio de Janeiro. Variety is like oxygen to me. But I do love my routines from my cozy spot at my favorite Starbucks to the way I like my hash browns (ketchup and Red Hot please).
Monet and Degas make my heart sing, but I deeply appreciate and love art from my local Detroit artists. Shakespeare to Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston to Jane Austen. I’ve come to embrace my eclecticism and my ability to merge and connect with different cultures and backgrounds. Sometimes people don’t get it and I’ve learned not to care and be true to me.