The Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is an analogy for my life. I’m a misfit and instead of living on the Island of Misfit Toys, or at the North Pole, live in North Carolina.
Have you raised your brows yet in a look of confusion or a nod of understanding? Bear with me, I do have a point.
I had a long talk today with my dear friend Lee, who is also a shrink. She calls me on my crap. I can come across as scatterbrained as dice in yahtzee cup and she can sort out what I’m saying and calls me on it. Everyone should have a friend like Lee.
Put simply, I’m a misfit.
I’ve never quite fit in, anywhere. I walk to the beat of my own drummer. Most of the time the drummer is beating in hard, pounding rhythm, pushing me hard and fast. Unfortunately, most people don’t get the rhythm. They think it’s free jazz, where all chords, scales and rhythmic meters have been abandoned.
I’ve spent the last 40 years trying to desperately fit in — which is a huge core existential issue. So much, that when I find my tribe, I cling to it. This also explains the friends I had in school, my choice of spouse and even what I do for a living.
I’m a misfit.
While I’m not trying to be redundant, I have to sit here and say it over and over again, because to be quite honest with you, I never knew I was a misfit…until today. Well, I knew I was one, but being able to look in the mirror and say “Lisa, you’re a misfit” has never happened.
As a creative who loves data and research, I did some research on this and pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted to say on this was written by Umair Haque at the Harvard Business Review.
There are many things that make me a misfit. Many of them having to do with my societal views. Young ladies who grow up in small-town Western North Carolina traipsing off to Europe without a parent at 15 are not typical. I wanted to attend boarding school. I believe there are too many college educated people and not enough trades being taught. (Others would call me a heretic for that thought.)
I don’t see skin color. Instead I see the person. When I was pregnant with my son, my father did something that was extraordinarily prejudiced towards another family member’s child. I was enraged to the point I told my late Grandmother that due to his prejudice towards the color of their skin, he’d never hold my child. (My husband is half-Korean.) I’m going to assume she told him, because my next reports were that he’d changed his tune.
I’m not content to sit back and let life happen around or to me. I want to make things happen. I don’t want to watch things unfold, instead I want to be the one in there unfolding, guiding, directing, building, creating. It’s what makes me feel alive.
My name is Lisa. I’m a misfit.