Freak On A Leash


Spending a few years on the internets and watching my generation grow into adults has led me the conclusion that the real freaks are the ones who hide their weirdness and idiosyncrasies.

Growing up, the stuff that is cool or acceptable today – comic books, superheroes, piercings, tattoos, alternative lifestyles, dressing ten years younger than your actual age, pr0n, cursing, computers video games, showing your diary to the world etc – was considered nerdy, weird, or freakish. Now, everyone with an internet connection and social media account calls themselves a nerd, geek, weirdo, and freak.

I realize I went to high school in the twenties and had to get my booze from the illegal speakeasy across from the shoeshine stand, but had I walked into school and told my friends I needed to tweet, the Facebook, or blog something after I took my anxiety pills and worked on my novel, I would have been the textbook definition of a pariah.

I’ve written several times about how I love and admire my teenage daughter. She’s truly her own person and as comfortable in her own skin as a sixteen-year-old pretty cheerleader can be. She doesn’t deal with the prejudice, social mores, bullying and small town attitudes I had to work inside of as a teen. It’s cool to hang with different colors, creeds, statuses, and styles in her high school.

What I’ve grown to like a lot about social media – the twitter, the Facebook, and blogging (I don’t do pinterest, google +, instagram, or whatever else is out there) is people are generally more open-minded to different attitudes and general weirdness. I honestly believe if I was my daughter’s age I’d have a much happier experience growing up and adjusting into adulthood than I epxerienced. I could have addressed my anxiety disorder, not drank so much to combat it, and stayed away from some of the people I thought I needed to be around.

There are times when I look at my wife, three daughters, sister-in-law, other family members, and the few close friends I have and say or type, out loud so they can all hear or read “WHY DO THESE PEOPLE LIKE AND OR TOLERATE ME?!” I’m not an easy person to know and trust me, almost impossible to live with. My wife and kids deserve gold medals in London next week for having to handle me on a daily basis. I think the best answer to that question is, they know I’m okay at my core and in my heart. I fly my freak flag on the twitter, the book of faces and the writing I churn out in this blog. That lets enough normal, the kind of normal that makes me able to husband, parent, and work for a decent paycheck, in to leash the freak.

Today’s song is obvious. It probably should be My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog’s theme but Jonathon Davis’ facial hair and dreads are so bad that I can feature it on this page daily. 100 word song tonight from my buddy @angelaamman, Helene Troy news next week. Here’s Korn’s Freak On A Leash…GO!


45 thoughts on “Freak On A Leash

  1. I also fly my freak flag high–when I muster up the energy to actually wave my arms around, that is. You are who you are and you are unique. That’s what makes you so cool. Average is boring, no?

  2. I have to say that in today’s world your crazy is not as crazy as you think. We love you because deep down we are just as crazy as you are.

    Oh yeah… I love this song!

  3. I like that you know who you are. I feel like my 30’s have really been eye opening in finding myself and trying to be comfortable in my own skin. Lately I am learning to stand up for myself, but that comes with confidence. 🙂

    Great post!

  4. I’m happy I grew up open minded even though my parents tried to rein me in. I love the ‘new’ technology and can’t think of a better time to be a writer.

    Always great to hang out with the freaks on your blog, Lance – feels like home.


  5. I only do different these days. I grew up in such a homogenized world and “fit” in but didn’t really. People in my life now are quirky, in their own ways, which drew me to them in the beginning and they accept and expect it back from me. Different is exciting and so “normal” these days. Love it!

  6. agree with Eden! when i was a teenager i wore a button on my denim jacket that said “why be normal?” i should find an image of that thing and slap it up on my blog. hey, good idea!

    also, don’t you think the internet actually allows people to CREATE their own freaky identities where none exists, but in the playgrounds of our minds, in real life? that’s cool. although sometimes, not so cool. but mostly cool, more often than not.

    okay, cool. signed, Le Freak C’est Chic

    • Marian, our friendship is shining example on the hill of abnomal. Sure, some people create personality but that usually gets rooted out, doesn’t it? Its the complication of each person that you can only find in their writing, their habits, and their actions.

      Love that song. Nile Rodgers and I follow each other. Never thought that would happen.

      • fair enough. i guess i’m just, all, what you see is what you get. i’m me, here, there and everywhere. you are too, i know.

  7. My favorite song…my favorite video, and one of my favorite writers who blog who I’ve been neglecting lately due to a really effed up real world…I proudly let my freak flag fly, I always have…but I never dreamed it would be accepted as it has…you, brother pen wielder, have played a bigger role in that than you probably realize…and I’m taking the time today to say thank you…and give your girls some hugs from this struggling freak for letting YOUR freak come out and play!

    • hahaha….my wife wants to read 50 Shades…im scared as to why. Yeah, shades isn’t flying your freak flag, its reading a crap book. thanks bridget

  8. Great post. To me people who “fly their freak flag”, bring their issues out in the open and deal with them that way are the normal ones! And I also think it’s great to have a platform like Twitter and FB to do just that.
    Talking about teenage daughters – my daughter is 15 today and just like you for yours I have nothing but admiration for her. Relaxed and self-confident and not under pressure. It would be great if more teenagers could grow up like that.

  9. I tend to agree with you — I feel much more “at home” now, than I did when I was growing up. But, when I was your teenage daughter’s age, I’d likely have freaked out by how broad a brushstroke could paint . . . if I did something embarrassing, there was a limited number of people who would ever find out about it. Now, everyone I know can find out just about everything.

    Of course, now, I don’t really care if I fart in the middle of class . . . but, when I was your daughter’s age, well, I did care about stuff like that. So, while I’d have LOVED being able to find people “more like me,” more easily . . . I don’t know if I’d have been as-willing to let my freak-flag fly at her age . . . even if I was growing up now.

    • right…you know, I would have never run into you, Cam, marian, etc in “real life” so to speak. It’s nice to feel the same angst, goofiness, and weird fun through others.

  10. dberonilla

    Awesome post, yet again!
    I think that a lot of people feel like this in one way or another, but you definitely have said it better than I ever could.
    Oh, and every time you post a song it reminds me that in my books, you are super cool. 😉

  11. It’s nice to see you spreading your wings again Lance. The comments are pretty supportive of the kind of “freak” flag flying you do… we keep reading… responding… and somewhere along the way find a bit of camaraderie to tote with us.

    I found my peace with myself when I realized I was never meant to fit in. After I gave up attempting to fit in, I became comfortable as a human being, instead of a human doing.

    Freak on m’Friend.

    • exactly k….i expected the comments to be so. I mean the ones who’d disagree are over at a right wing political blog or judgemental mommy blog.

      thank you for coming here and reading and commenting and inspiring me

  12. I think I was really lucky. Small, insular, liberal high school, full of nerds and freaks. We were those kids without knowing it. Now we’re all pretty run of the mill weird.

    Write on, friend. It’s all good.

  13. And the Freak Flags abound. An entire field of them, in fact. Almost like we’re not as alone as we sometimes feel ourselves to be, right?

    Sorry I ditched last weeks 100 Words, I’ll be back in the saddle this week m’friend…

  14. I’ve wondered a lot about how I would have turned out if I had been like my kids when I was in high school. On one hand, I was a pretty screwed up kid. On the other hand, I cultivated that it myself and used it as an excuse. Growing up and “getting real” was the part I had trouble with. Separating the real me from the image I tried to define myself with as a teenager. Living in the Auburn University “college culture” didn’t do much for soothing my recklessness, either. But I started flying my freak flag the minute I was born and I still refuse to put it away. And in the bigger picture, I really have always been exactly who I’ve always been, and I hope I always will be. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am incredibly lucky to be married to someone who puts up with it.

  15. Jennifer Worrell

    I had a shirt like Marian’s button, with the “normal” upside down. It’s great when we find spouses and friends like us, or at least who put up with us.

  16. Love this post, Lance! I hope your daughter prints it out and pastes it in her scrapbook, if such things exist these days (I also bought my liquor at the speakeasy across from the shoeshine stand). Cheers!

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