One thing about us misfits, is that we often feel like no one gets us.
That, after all is the essence of misfittery (yes, that word will work in Scrabble, or you’re playing it wrong).
It can feel lonely.
But sometimes, if we’re brutally honest with ourselves (and seriously, why would we ever want to do THAT?) we can wear our weirdness like a badge of self-imposed dubious honor. You know, like the way we complain about our over-scheduled lives? We’re all, “Oh, I’m so stressed out… this week has been crazy… so much to do… so little time… how do I fit it all in… bla bla bla… busy, busy busy… (have you ever noticed the one thing we’re never too busy to do… is to tell people how busy we are?)
We SAY we don’t want it to be this way, but (again, here comes that horrible brutal honesty thing), I think we secretly kind of like it. Nuh uh, you say? Yeah huh, I say, and I’ll tell you why; because it makes us feel important. If we’re busy that means someone needs what we have. That makes us feel valuable. Of course, burning ourselves out until we go down in searing flames is proooobably not the healthiest way to express our self worth… but when has that ever stopped us before?
I think it’s the same way with the “no one gets me” thing. Sure, it’s lonely, but a part of us kinda likes it. Maybe not the oddball, fifth wheel aspect of circling the cafeteria of life in a vain quest to secure that elusive spot at the table with the cool kids – but make no mistake. There’s a certain “romance” to it A kind of mystique. It means we are unique. Like the great Arteests. No one got them either.
It’s comforting. In it’s own, sad clown way.
And it also saves us all the hassle of trying to reach out to other people. They don’t get me, I don’t want to get them, and frankly, I don’t want to. It’s better this way. Everyone gets to maintain their mystique this way. Everybody’s happy in their bubble. Win-win.
Except, not so much.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling comforted, even valuable in our uniqueness. But something happens when we become a little too proud of our “stranger in a strange world” status. We stop listening. We stop trying to understand other people, who are probably feeling the same way as we do, but perhaps for different reasons… reasons that we can’t relate to, of course, any more than they can relate to us, because, after all “nobody understands my pain”. So we end up elevating our own pain as somehow more valuable than that other weirdo’s pain over there. We stay in our bubble, and if we do allow anyone in, it’s only those who are different “just like we are”. But that’s not a win-win. It’s a lost opportunity- for everyone.
See, the whole point of that there island where the misfit toys hung out, is that, yeah, they were freaks, but they were all freaks TOGETHER. Commiserating TOGETHER. Sure, they were a little whiny. But they were whining (say it with me) TOGETHER. And they all did ultimately have a purpose, that they would not have found if they had not been different together.
I think we’ve established that it’s ok to be weird here. But I hope we’re also establishing that you’re not the only one. See that guy over there? Yeah, he’s a bit peculiar. That girl? Outright kook. But then, so are you. Let’s own it. Let’s just not get haughty about it. Let’s learn from each other’s weirdness.
Let’s do this together.