“Don’t ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

A Love Letter

“I think I might be an alien.”
She writes as she stares at the rest of the high schoolers mingling.
“Maybe I’m special, something must set me apart from these gangly limbed polo-shirt posers.”
Something interrupts her pen scribbling ferociously in her journal. An assistant principal walks up to her where she’s crouched in the hallway.
“No headphones while at school!”
Damn, she thought she hid them well with her hair and cord tucked into her hoodie.

A picture of a black felt heart on a white background

Hi misfits! The concept of not fitting in may resonate with most as developing in teenage years- but not always. On my own growth journey I’ve found some surprises along the way that connect different life experiences with perceiving oneself as a misfit.

There is no one way to describe this experience. Duh! It’s the -What’s your favorite color? Rainbow.- folks that sometimes embrace their freakishness, and are sometimes painfully isolated by their uniqueness. Often times a mix of both depending on the day. Being a misfit might coincide with the circumstances you’re born into (people of color; neurodivergence; LGBTQ+, etc.). Alternatively, it may stem from a lifestyle or interest you have (kink; roller derby; punk; etc.).

Common Themes for a Misfit

A person of color sits on the ground with a skateboard between their legs with a white brick background

Authenticity is often important for misfits. Over the lifespan, different milestones create opportunities or obstacles for this authenticity. Particularly when you integrate as a career professional, you have to decide if you show or hide your freak flags. It’s like the coming out process, but spread out into every crevice of your life like the final wash on a mini painting.

Weirdly, community is also an integral part of being a misfit. Sure, you don’t want to be a normie or live a traditional life, but you need human connection too. The trick is finding who your people are. Often you’re drawn more into subcultures because of this balance. Your community’s health and drama are often key to how your mental health overall is.

How Can I Help?

In therapy, we can do a few things related to this beautiful aspect of you. One, explore what it means to you, and any pain points along the way. Two, where you might be lacking authenticity or connection and a genuine way to get that need met. Three, identity integration in the sense of owning, accepting, and dare I say loving the parts of you that make you weird, no matter the situation.

If you’re interested in connecting, you can e-mail me here.