I’m a misfit. I’ve always been a misfit. When I was a kid, and watched “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” when they ended up on the Island for Misfit Toys, I always had empathy for those guys. I wasn’t sure what empathy was, but I had an innate understanding of their pain and a strange connection to them. This was a time when accepting people who were different from you was not promoted in the media nor endorsed by sports personalities.
I think I was born a few generations too late. I had Victorian morals, “Leave it to Beaver” career aspirations, and even today, my favorite music genre is Big Band. Sometimes I feel like one of those jigsaw puzzles that is made up of all one color so if the pieces DON’T fit, all you have to do is trim them with a scissor and shove them in. When you’re young, you care a lot about fitting in.
I was a late bloomer in every way… physically, mentally and emotionally. It took me until my forties to discover or at least have any confidence at all in my own artistic talents and my fifties to find out that I could express myself fairly well through the written word. Even at my age, I still haven’t gotten past the temper tantrums of the terrible twos.
Growing up, the few friends that I had were either older than me, or younger than me. I never seemed to do well with my peers. That followed me well into adulthood, until I had my own kids, and had a great deal more in common with people my own age.
Today, I seem to get along with everyone. I think the main reason is that I have accepted who I am, and I don’t really care if I fit in. Instead of Rudolph, I am more like Popeye. Do I really need to say it? “I yam what I yam.”