…because it’s how you are wired. You are wired to be weird.
Not much has changed in the corporate world since our days on the playground. The playground is like a chicken yard, where any weird bird or weird kid gets picked on and pecked on. We yearn to fit in. We yearn to belong. We fear being called out and called names, so we go along to get along. We chicken out. We conform. We compromise.
And become normal.
At great cost — the loss of your identity. What you compromise — it’s the price of choosing normal — is your self.
One of the many life lessons Toto’s dad taught him was this. “Chester,” he said, “half the people you meet in life will like you, and half the people won’t. Half will know why, and half won’t. Don’t waste your time trying to make everybody like you.”
Three months after losing our 3-year old and still feeling like the freak no one could look at or be around on the playground at work, I made a decidre — I couldn’t live compromised anymore. Which for me meant I knew I would have to leave and leave millions behind on the table. Toto was one of the few work peers whom I could still be around and be real with. I had to talk, and it had to happen somewhere away from the office.
So on a windy March day with the nip of winter and a hint of spring in the air, we met at Shamrock public golf course. We had a third player join us, an older man who wasn’t dressed for golf. He wore the weirdest hat ever worn on a golf course — it was more like a duck-billed hunting hat. It was the kind of hat Smalls was wearing in Sandlot before Bennie-the-Jet-Rodriguez mercifully gave him one of his old normal ones.
Of course, the man with the weird hat introduced himself as Chet Scott, Toto’s dad.
I don’t remember much about the golf, except they won. They won me. They freed me. And it wasn’t what they said, it was about who they were when they were with me. Toto and his dad goofed around like silly, weird kids on the playground who didn’t care about acting normal. Shank one to the right? “DAGGUMMIT!” followed by a howling laugh and Toto getting a turn wearing the duck hat. Swing and miss in the bunker? Rinse and repeat. Make a putt? “Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!” After 3 months of pain it felt so good just to be with and to laugh.
Normally when you resign like I did six weeks later, you don’t hear from someone like Toto ever again when you leave the system, but Toto’s not normal. BTL is weird, not normal.
Weird wins. Not normal.
Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…