I have felt like a misfit most of my life, especially with a childhood where I was frail, petite and younger than my peers. As a child, it was forgivable. We were innocent, unaware of mundane things like body size and body growth. But as a teenager in high school, I could never get used to its attending side-effects: a pair of non-existent boobies, and a ridiculously flat backside. It probably would not have been so much an issue if everything around me did not make it feel like the bane of my existence. At school, the boys flocked around the “proper girls”, and all the girls dared to talk about were the number of boys talking to them, or bra sizes and who saw her menstruation for the first time. I could never relate to any of the trending topics.
I must have missed the memo
One time, my school principal said that I was too young for my class. He categorically pointed out that I had no business being in my class even when I was one of the best students then. It was at that point it occurred to me that there must have been something I was missing: maybe there was a certain blueprint that we humans were meant to follow. I imagined that this blueprint that prescribed how humans should look in order to be accepted was formed by our forefathers and the fathers of our forefathers. And only the misfits like me dared to challenge the status-quo. It often left me flustered to be young and feel so little and so un-feminine at the same time.
Feeling like a misfit?
In retrospect, I have learned a few lessons through the journey of my childhood. Sometimes, we do not feel good enough and other times, people give us the impression that we do not belong. Either way, it always pays to remember that there is no greater opinion than what you think of yourself.
So, very quickly, I will share some other lessons I gathered from a childhood of being a misfit. You may find that they are still relevant, especially in today’s world where a lot of people are scrambling to fit in.
Here they are
- Know who you are and deal with it: Whatever flaw it is that makes you so conspicuous, know it. Own it.
- People will talk, jeer, mock and bully you into seeing your flaw as a weakness. Whatever tactic they employ, do not believe them.
- Your opinions may be unpopular; your tactics may not be tested and proven, but they are yours. Work it!
- The beauty of being a misfit is people never expect so much from you. So, they over-assume your incompetence. Fortunately, this gives you room to blow their minds away with your results.
- No one is a one-size-fits-all solution to the world’s problems. There are too many of them. So maybe you do not fit into the class, team, or clique of head-turners. You still fit into a chain of small solutions the world needs to get better. If that does not warm you up, I don’t know what will.