I accept the fact that I am a “misfit!” I’ve spent most of my life trying to “fit in” with family, friends, work, and society at large. The simple reality is however, that I often don’t.
The youngest of 5 children and an “accident,” I was born later in my parents’ lives, so most of my siblings had left before I could blink an eye. Add to that a startling admission made to me by Mom when I was 40 (one that I won’t share with you here), and a lot of things about who I am and what I bring to the world started making sense.
At 3 years old, rather than “fit in” at a family barbecue, I snuck away to row our boat out into the middle of the lake, much to my family’s chagrin when they discovered I was missing. When I was 8, I quit school for the first time (2 more times after that!) because I was being bullied for being fat and having a weird name (go figure!). In high school, I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. I wasn’t popular with the girls, wasn’t great at sports, I wasn’t good at anything really, including school. I was just kind of there. And the list goes on and on, even to this day…
So what does it all mean? One of the things it means is that I have developed a variety of skills to set me apart from others so that I could be noticed, skills such as; leadership, public speaking, facilitating, listening, creativity, observation, analysis, performing and writing music, and humour. Ironically enough, these skills also allow me to “fit in” because I’m great in social situations, very accepting of others, and at ease with people from all walks of life.
Another outcome of being a misfit is that I have developed a “sixth” sense when it comes to working with people and organizations. I recognize when things aren’t quite right, when there isn’t a good “fit.” I’m highly sensitive to what goes on around the periphery of situations because that is where I have lived much of my life. This allows me to see things that others don’t and I can hone in quickly on areas that need to be addressed.
Are you a misfit? If so, what have you done to in your life to cope with this? How has it helped you in your life? How has it hindered you? How do you look at other misfits when you come across them?
Steve Jobs was a misfit…and so are many geniuses in this world…