The Island of Misfit Toys

It’s Christmas time. If you don’t believe me just turn on the television.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994 film)

There were years, many years, when as a single parent who wasn’t interested in dating I felt the sting of all the Christmas ‘perfect family’ tv shows. One year, while watching the newer version of Miracle on 34th Street I suddenly realized that at the end of the movie they shared a Christmas miracle that I could not. They found love, she got pregnant, and they got given a two million dollar house complete with Christmas cheer. Christmas in rich, white America.

For some of us being alone at Christmas is just a temporary bump in the road. We are between relationships, so to speak. For others, however, there is the terrible realization that we may never fit in, that we are… misfits.

You know who you are. You are the misfit toys.

For years I worked in a profession that was noticeable because of it’s homogeneity. It tended to attract the same temperaments – outgoing but controlled, opinionated but politically correct, dead smack in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale. And passive-aggression, so many passive-aggressive leaders. It was a sub-culture, though a comfortable one for many.

I never really fit in. Don’t get me wrong, I really tried. I am, for lack of a clearer definition, a weirdo. I don’t necessarily play well with others. I enjoy being controversial, much to my own demise. I have written earlier about the well-known local personality who wrote to tell me that my biggest problem in life was my personality. That is still hard to digest some days.

I have changed a lot in the past couple years, or so I have been told. I have apparently grown-up some and learned about myself. Working as a counselor full-time has radically changed who I am. I get paid to perform self-analysis and it has been a very important ride.

I still have difficulty fitting in. I care about this less than I once did, but sometimes I cannot help wondering what life would have been like if I would have been less extroverted, or opinionated, or susceptible to such creative fits of passion. Don’t get me wrong, I have made peace with “me”. Unfortunately it has come at a price.

One of the things that helped me was to come to grips with the fact that I am not unique. Many of us, many, many of us, struggle with feelings of inadequacy or “less”. Even those of us with more acceptable temperaments worry that we will be misunderstood or rejected. Most of us can supply ample evidence to support that feeling. We have felt the sting of judgment, often over and over again.

You think you are all alone until one day you hear the bay of another dragon.

So here’s to you – you weirdos, you misfits, freaks, and artists. Merry Christmas Rudolf. You are fine just the way you are. If I have learned anything it is that I can never measure up to the expectations of my detractors; so I have stopped trying to impress. I am learning that the more I work on becoming a better me, weird or not, the healthier my life is and the lives of those I influence. I don’t really need to work on my marriage and relationships as much as I need to work on this guy. The healthier I get the more I can handle. The more complete I am the better I can be at reacting to stress and conflict, hardship and life.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

You are amazing just the way you are.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have things to work on, but then again we all do. The more you are ok with you, the happier you will be. The happier we all will be.

It’s Christmas time. Drink some eggnog even though it has a million calories. It’s not like you will become addicted, it’s only available for a month or so. Put it in your cereal and your coffee. Splash it on some rum. Smile, laugh, and if you do nothing else, watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. We can all choose to be happy, if only for a few moments.

9 thoughts on “The Island of Misfit Toys

  1. Happy Christmas Scott. I agree we will never measure up to our detractors. The shame of this is when these detractors are people who should be our greatest fans. Partners, parents, siblings and children. I became a lot happier when I removed myself from the vicinity of my detractors. I’m not in between relationships, rather, I’m SBC (single by choice). I find this an empowering place to be at, and I hope this becomes more trendy and not like a bad disease. It’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time. 🙂

  2. Some times I don’t think people know the same person I know because they don’t seem to “get” me but I am ok with that because my son has no problem loving and accepting me and my dog liked me, lots!! and you know? like you, the older I get the more I am ok with who I am. Merry Christmas Scott, I happen to really like you and where you are coming from. I can relate to almost everything you write so I guess that makes me a misfit also. *shrugs* fine by me.

  3. Funny how sometimes we need permission to be ourselves when it is our very uniqueness that is the precise place where we fit in. No one else is qualified to be me. Thank goodness. I have trouble enough filling the role without someone else horning in. Thanks for the laugh, Scott, and Merry Christmas. I’m very grateful you are exactly who you are because you just gave me exactly what I needed right now. God bless.

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