Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.
Who Are The Misfits?
On any given evening in the dimmed dwelling of dive bars you could spot them. They prefer to lay low, but that's not always the case.
Among the bar stools and high top tables there are the mighty band of misfits who gather together to share their tales. They are an extraordinary bunch of folks who flock together because they understand each other.
At one time these misfits had a place in the world. Or maybe they never did find their place. Or maybe they never had or wanted a place. But in a dive bar, they are accepted and their place is cemented among their peers.
Misfits consist of a multitude of unique people who all bring their individual knowledge, opinions and wit to the table. They might not always agree, they may bicker, they may be demanding but one thing is for certain - they can teach us all a lesson or two. They appreciate the fact that while they may feel alone in this world, they are never really alone.
Misfits come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. There is no certain category in which they fit into. All are welcome to become a misfit, but not all are strong enough to adhere to the lifestyle. Acceptance is crucial. One must accept the fact that a misfit lifestyle is to be admired, not ashamed of. One must support other misfits. They have good and bad days. They might want alone time so let them be. They might want to socialize then so be it. The important factor here is that no matter the mood, they are a band of individuals who support each other. Team work makes the dream work.
Where Is The Land Of The Misfits?
Misfits could converge at any venue of their preference. Whether it be a home, the local library or a bar - the place is where one finds comfort because they need to feel comfortable with their surroundings.
The land where the misfits meet up must be a safe haven. Judging one another is not permitted. Critiquing one's lifestyle is taboo. Trying to control fellow misfits is frowned upon, those type of misfits eventually get shut out. Each individual misfit has their boundaries which is their comfort zone. No one should ever try to cross that line.
The land of the misfits surrounds us no matter where we are. At any given time you could encounter a misfit and it's your choice on how you interact with them. Hopefully you will make the best choice for yourself and for them. As I said, we could all learn a lesson from a misfit so try not to judge and shun them.
Lifestyle Changes Occur When We Least Expect It
Misfits don't feel like they belong. Along their journey of life they could have been misconstrued at one time or another which led them down the misfit path. They could have a flaw that society frowns upon which in turn makes them feel awkward.
Then again a misfit could simply be a person who prefers to fly solo while demonstrating the techniques of their lifestyle. While doing so they seem to attract fellow misfits along the way. Before you know it a crew is formed.
The misfit lifestyle doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. This could be temporary while getting their life back together. Or possibly their life is together. Either way a misfit is to be admired. Commended for not secluding themselves from society and instead holding their heads high while they soar on to life's next adventure.
Oh if those bar stools could talk; the stories that they could tell. But alas, stools don't speak so we speak for them. I've encountered many misfits over time. Many misfits who I'm proud to call a friend. Then some whom I've encountered and left them in the dust. Misfits have baggage and at times this baggage could be emotionally draining. They could also bring drama to the table. Well, no one wants to deal with drama. At least, I don't.
Types Of Misfits
- The guys who have never been married. They don't have children. They are living the bachelor lifestyle and just can't seem to find the right lady to share their life with.
- The women who also have never been married. No kids. They enjoy socializing.
- Widows. Widowers. They crave interaction among peers and find solace within the confinement of the dive bar.
- Affluent men and women who are generous with their money and show appreciation to their fellow misfits by buying rounds of shots.
- Men and women going through a divorce. Or are already divorced. When they don't have their children they spend their time at the watering hole while escaping reality for a wee bit.
- Then there are those in unstable relationships who want to temporarily drink thoughts of their significant others away.
- Some misfits use alcohol as a form of therapy. While this isn't the best choice for therapeutic assistance, it's their choice and judging isn't permitted.
- Loners. These type of people prefer to be alone the majority of the time but also require human interaction to energize their psyche.
- Retired folks. They no longer have a day job so drinking becomes their new purpose.
- There are also those who are sociably awkward. They lack the expertise to mingle among their peers but once the opportunity arises they begin to blossom. Practice makes perfect!
- Flawed characters. Whether it's due to mega tattoos or a loud obnoxious persona the flawed folks seem to be outcast as misfits. But, once given a chance to express themselves surprisingly they are the most interesting of the bunch.
Lead And I Will Follow
Misfits have their own niche within their niche. Such as some misfits who tend to lead while others prefer to follow. This is no way defines the character of the misfit, it's just the way the pendulum swings.
As I previously stated controlling a fellow misfit is taboo, so leaders must be diligent and allow misfits to make their own choices and decisions. A leader is basically a point of contact and they initiate interaction when the need arises. While those who prefer to follow just do their own thing and when they are available they join in.
A leader also makes a point of spreading the wings of other misfits. As humans we have a tendency to get comfortable in our zones. Many misfits have a tendency to be shy and quiet. A leader nudges fellow misfits to meet and greet other people. Before you know it a small community is formed. The misfits rise and they will fall but along the way they have a support system who has nothing but their best interest at heart.
How Did I Become A Misfit?
At some time in our lives we might have hit a roadblock or veered off the path. It's during these times when the misfit lifestyle possibly began. Or perhaps you were always a misfit because you chose to be. Or perhaps you didn't choose the way of life, you were dealt the cards. Nevertheless you are a unique individual with your tales to tell and I hope one day you share those stories with those who want to hear them.
Misfits finding fellow misfits is a great gift to all. You have a confidant that you could spend time with and no expectations are involved; just camaraderie.
How or why you are a misfit is insignificant once you accept your lifestyle and do your best to feel comfortable with yourself and your surroundings. Do not get stuck in a rut. Do not allow others to judge you. Do not allow others to bully you or control you. Stand up for what you believe in.
You are the most important person in your life. If you aren't happy then it's not possible to be happy among others. Be the best person you can be and wear your misfit badge with pride. If one day you no longer need the badge then so be it, but oh those stories you will have to share.
Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out
— Dr Suess
© 2018 Linda Bilyeu
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 12, 2018:
I used to think I was a misfit at parties when I was a teen-ager. Being raised with high standards, plus no drinking, smoking and all the rest, I was super uncomfortable.
I love this article and the message it conveys. It's original, inspiring, and thought-provoking.
Thank you, my friend.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on April 10, 2018:
This is a really interesting piece. As many of my fellow writers have already confessed, I too am a non-drinking, non-bar-patronizing "misfit." I now see that my extreme introversion is not the disability that I grew up thinking it was, and not a character flaw, but actually an opportunity to enjoy quiet reflections and creating when I need to be away from "the madding crowd" and to exercise my choice to socialize with those people who build and don't drain. I am personally happy there are so many different communities to choose from these days, and not just the bar scene.
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on April 09, 2018:
Love you Effer!
Suzie from Carson City on April 07, 2018:
Linda Sue, I see I have to mention that I, (like Mike & Shyron) am a sober/non-drinking misfit at this point in life. I clearly remember the days of my youth when I could bar-hop all night long with the best of the partiers! Now, I'm afraid that when the bars are just beginning to get interesting, I'm calling it a day and curling up with my cat and a good book! LOL
Spunky youngsters like you, GF, still have several years of night-life to play out. The important thing for a true misfit is to stand out from the crowd!!.....Party ON, sexy Mama!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 06, 2018:
I had to read this again, just to see where I sit
I do not fit into your definition of a type of misfit
And yet I do not fit into a mold
I am married for the second time
Forever to have and hold
I do not frequent dive bars
That would be a waste of my money and my mind
I do not wet my whistle at the watering holes
That would muddy-up any relationship I might find
As for unstable relationships those are cleaned out of time
I do not like the taste of alcohol so booze therapy would not fit
But then again, I guess I am a misfit who really doesn’t miss a fit.
Blessings my friend
Suzie from Carson City on April 06, 2018:
LOL, Maria! True...:)
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on April 06, 2018:
You say misfit like itsa bad thing... LOL. I am guilty as charged, Sunshine!
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 05, 2018:
I am definitely a misfit and I enjoy being different it certainly helps me with my poetry and writing.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 04, 2018:
Linda, I think I have been a misfit at times. Circumstance makes misfits or changes misfits to non-misfits. You have written one heck of an interesting hub.
Blessings my friend.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 04, 2018:
Hello Linda - omg, I am a sober misfit. hopeless. Interesting take on those in the in between.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 04, 2018:
As I was reading this I thought of the television show called Cheers "where everybody knows your name." I seldom watched it but apparently it had a big following. Your title caught my eye and your article makes one think. I think that everyone at a certain point in life wonders if they are a misfit. Like Ann Carr mentioned it starts in childhood for most people.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on April 03, 2018:
I enjoyed this, Linda. I'm not sure that I am a misfit as I rarely drink or frequent bars these days, but I don't always feel like I fit in with society's norms. I would say I have had my time as a misfit, however. A well written and easy to read article.
Suzie from Carson City on April 03, 2018:
Hey, Main Squeeze! You make me smile! "Team work makes the Dream work." Misfits are precisely as you describe, Linda Sue. I know, of course, because I AM one~~always have been, always will be.
I couldn't agree more with you and Dr. Suess! "Why fit in when you were born to stand out" Love you for being you...the Real Deal! Peace, Effer
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 03, 2018:
Many people have experienced not fitting in from time to time. I was interested in how you categorized them.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 03, 2018:
There are times when I just want to be on my own but when it gets too long, my friends seek me out and make me talk. I am lucky this way that I have friends who really know me well and know when to give me space and when to rescue me.
Ann Carr from SW England on April 03, 2018:
Great article, Linda! I guess most of us experience being a misfit when we're children. It's often difficult to know where we belong or how to fit into a group. But an adult misfit has more of a problem. However, as you say, we're all unique and whoever we are we have a right to be who we are. I would say that it depends who is judging and that's what we shouldn't do. There is much humour in being a misfit too.
This makes us all think. Your light-hearted approach brings home this theme so well. I enjoyed reading your work again and I must catch up on a few more.
Have a great week, Linda!