Happy New Year, my Misfit Friend! Because I know you’re so busy dusting off your gym equipment and looking around the house for a pen to make resolutions (or maybe that’s just me and Columbo), I’ll get right to it. Here is your fail-safe list to ensure 2022 is awkwardly amazing for you.
- Own it. Just like Idina did here. I mean, truly, BRAVO.
- (cont’d) There’s no getting around it, my Misfit Friend, life is pretty risky. It can be tempting to always play it safe, but what fun is that? There comes a time when you’ve just got to cast off the training wheels, put yourself out there, and take a few chances; sometimes they’ll pay off, and sometimes they’ll be Screaming-Goat-Awkward. But the good news is, even in the worst-case scenario, chances are it won’t result in a viral video, making sure you never hear the end of it… but then again, even if it does, it could end up bringing much needed joy and release from pər-fĕk′shə-nĭz″əm to the world (as it has for me)… AND… let’s be honest, it hasn’t hurt Idina much. She’s still doing ok. And so will you. I say go for it!
- Learn to laugh at yourself. Not with yourself, because then we start dealing with personality disorders and things can get confusing. But seriously, there’s enough weighty stuff going around that maybe we shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously. I mean, let’s face it, you can be pretty weird. But that’s part of what makes you so darn wonderful. I say enjoy your weird self!
- Give those other Misfit Weirdos space to go for it and laugh at themselves as well. (This is where you laugh WITH, not at them, btw). People around you are dealing with their own deals, overcoming all kinds of hangups, fears, neuroses, psychoses this-ism, that-ism, ism-ism-ism-ism… They would love it if you gave them some grace, or even a little break here and there. Depending on the level of their -osis or -ism, they may even thank you (but even if they don’t, let me thank you on their behalf). I say love them Fellow Misfits!
4. Keep your eyes open for the BEAUTIFUL and the TRUE.
It’s out there. Closer than you think. Amidst the awkward, amidst the weird, amidst the truly bizarre, even amidst the downright U-G-L-Y. Find it. Celebrate it. Show it off shamelessly. I know, I know, this world is a pretty screwed up place, and it’s getting screwier all the time. But in a very real sense, the screwier and darker it gets, the greater the contrast to reality and light, which is actually good news. Think about it, the worse it gets out there, the more truth and beauty stand out as “misfits”! In fact, there is a compelling case to be made that if something is objectively true, it is objectively beautiful, and vice versa. I’m not just talking about rose colored glasses, my friend, or “eye of the beholder” stuff.
We are living in an age where, for the first time in human history, the very tenets of reality are being challenged. Instead of freeing us all up to live in our own individual utopian “realities” (yay! I get to identify as someone who defies gravity! What could possibly go wrong???) it’s actually kind of messing us up… pretty badly… and putting us more and more at odds with each other… isolating us from each other, more and more… destroying meaningful connection with each other… and ultimately with ourselves. You don’t need me to tell you this is an ugly situation we are finding ourselves immersed in.
But wait… that’s where BEAUTY comes in, and because we are so hungry for it, it’s all the more breathtaking (and somehow life-giving). And what makes something truly beautiful, you ask? (You have so many good questions, btw, never stop asking them.) Eternal life. Yep, that’s the answer, I think, nope, I’m sure of it. If it reflects the unchanging, transcendental qualities of joy and hope and unchanging peace that only comes with eternal life… it is beautiful… and true… all at once. That’s how it works.
Of course, we are only scratching the surface here. There’s more to know, deeper dives to take, all that there. For now, I’m just a misfit, standing in front of another misfit, telling you that you yourself are a beautiful reflection of God’s truth and beauty. And I dare say, whether you’re a humanities girl, like me, or a hard-core STEM-ster, or maybe a hybrid STEAM-ster, it resonates. Because it all comes down to this: Eternity is set in your heart. Don’t just take my word for it, though:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
See? I told you. Now go out there and make it an amazingly awkward, truly beautiful, and beautifully truth-filled year!