A Misfit is a person who missed fitting in. They also generally fit in badly or adapt poorly to new situations. I’ve often felt like a misfit!
Lidia Yuknavitch presentes this inspiring TED all about the idea of being a misfit.
Lidia wrote a book about her life as a competitive swimmer, a little about her crappy home life and how grief and loss can make you insane. She won a prize for this writing which was a trip to NYC and the opportunity to choose and meet three of her favorite authors.
It’s a common dream and I think most of us think that winning it would be easy but Lidia brought along her past on this trip to NYC. The abusive household in which she grew up, 2 failed marriages, a college drop out (twice), rehab for drug use and jail time (twice). Lidia also lost a daughter on the day she was born. She became homeless and it became clear that she missed fitting into any category out there.
On this trip to NYC, meeting editors and authors she had long admired, Lidia found herself speechless and full of shame. Shame for wanting something good, for deserving something good. Feeling like a total misfit.
But, after many people telling her not to listen to anyone who wants you to shut up or change your story, she finally started to believe it herself.
Sometimes the only way through is by telling our stories, by reinventing ourselves, even through the ruins of our bad choices.
Giving voice to her story and watching this made me reflect on my own experiences of silence.
It’s been almost 2 years since I checked out and retreated into my shell. Watching a person like Lidia helps me to continue to find the courage to share my story regardless of how much I am told to forget it or change it. I think we all know deep within us if our stories are suffocating us or not.
May this give you the courage to keep following your misfit qualities.