I read something recently that noted the word “weird” was etymologically rooted in fate. This morning I pulled out the OED and the magnifying glass to look it up.
The noun origin has:
- The principle, power, or agency by which events are predetermined; fate; destiny
- (plural) The Fates, the three goddesses supposed to determine the course of human life
- That which is fated or destined to happen to a particular person
The adjective has:
- Having the power to control fate or destiny of men [sic]
- Partaking of or suggestive of the supernatural; of a mysterious or unearthly character; unaccountably or uncomfortably strange; uncanny
The second adjective definition is closest to our current colloquial.
I believe the origin of these words still influences us. Perhaps it’s linguistic DNA. Whenever I experience or encounter anything I label as “weird,” I do not feel in control of it, as if that experience was supposed to happen (fate). I observe it as if outside of myself, watching the incident unfold.
Are you being called weird for pursuing your Hero’s Journey? Do you think of yourself as weird? Fine. Own it. Imagine those three goddesses spinning out your life’s thread and giving you a Hero’s Journey to experience.
Sure, a fated Journey can be due to your birth: You’re part of the “Skywalker” family and your dad is the malevolent tool of the Evil Empire. That’s gotta happen. But fate also gave a Hero’s Journey to Malala Yousafzai, Mavis Leno, Florence Nightingale, and many others. These women are still called weird by many. What great company they would be. Let’s join them!