Misfit: “A person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way.” “Something that does not fit or that fits badly.” These definitions from the first search on my iPhone.
Many times I’ve called myself a misfit. Not like the unruly one that runs around with black eye circles, a metal-studded leather jacket yielding a billy club smashing everything in sight. No, more like one who simply doesn’t fit into the “norms” of life.
Things like having children, being happily married, being a die-hard sports fan, working for “the man,” having a healthy extended-family life, having lots of friends; these are the norms I speak of. I don’t have these, therefore I don’t fit in.
I can’t talk to you for hours about what my kids did, how they are treating me, how they drive me bonkers–yet that I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I can’t talk to you about how my spouse adores me, drives me, encourages me and loves Christ more than he loves me. I can’t tell you the difference between field goal, a home run, a hail Mary or a love match. I can’t share with you the wonderful pictures of our family get-togethers, our happy holidays, the many social occasions in which my life-long friends took a trip to the ocean, to the mountains or simply stayed in touch all through college and many years beyond.
I am a misfit.
I don’t know why those things never took place in my life. Well, partly, I do. I think that is in part due to the need as a small person to just keep my thoughts to myself. Any idea I had was surely stupid and not worthy of wasting breath on speaking it to life. The messages learned were ones that caused internalization. The messages heard were those that laid out a life of hard work and certainly no dreaming was allowed; it never got anyone anywhere.
So here is the shell of a 46 year old person, still carrying the deep layered pain of a child. An adult without the norms that make connections happen naturally in the course of a life. Harboring bouts of tears that randomly show up; a person who seemingly seems so “norm” but is sitting at the top of the tornado, swirling round and round in the top of the funnel, waiting for the fallout. Gasping because its presence is large, the expectant drop is coming. Still misfit, trying to fit somewhere.