I am a misfit.
In fact, I have come to believe that being a misfit is written in my DNA. This is not a complaint; I am not whining. I am merely speaking the truth about me.
How do I reconcile this knowledge with my longing for community, with my search for the collective chorus of, "me too." How does the lone wolf find her pack when time after time, she paces the edge of the circle, wearing her distrust like a shield of armor.
I'd like to say that I have not always been this way, that something made me this way. Truth is that I have always been a misfit. In school, I was the quiet rebel who played the game just well enough to be left alone. As an adult, my life path choices of having nine children, birthing four of them at home, and homeschooling via unschooling relegated me to maybe-crazy status. Within that circle, for a period of time, I sank deep within what would almost be cult-like mindset. My misfit ways rescued me. For me, being a misfit goes hand in hand with questioning. Nothing is a simple as doing something for the sake of doing it or because that's the way it is done. My questions pulled me out of the darkness that my rebel spirit had led me into.
Questions are dangerous to the status quo, to the established way of things, to the institution. Questions are not usually tolerated well. The once warm welcome will turn bitter cold the minute that you question the intentions and hypocrisy you see. I have yet to determine if I was exiled or if I exiled myself, choosing the wilderness for the preservation of my life. Regardless, I am wounded. Or at least I was wounded.
I feel whole now. I have emerged from the den and though my howl may be weak, it is MY howl. Here I am today sure of who I am. I am a misfit. I am a Lone Wolf.
But I am a Lone Wolf who still longs for a tribe, a pack of wild women.
I posted this today on Instagram saying, "I think I am heading toward this life. I will be the strange eccentric woman who lives on the hill. I know many people like this ... Maybe we are a pack of lone wolves. Comment if you feel it."
A few years ago, a magical and mad woman wrote me a love note that said, "your tribe is being gathered in some underground layer (could she have meant lair?!) you will one day discover and we will all yell 'surprise!' and break into howls that will unearth ancient roots we thought we'd lost"
Later I responded that I felt that I was pounding my feet upon the ground, waking up those who were asleep under there, calling forth my tribe.
I think that might just be my work in the world. With each word I write, with each paint brush stroke, with each catch of breath in my throat, with each wailing cry, with each pounding step upon the ground, I am calling forth my tribe.
You know who you are.
You are the one who is too much,
not enough, takes up all the air in the room,
and you are the one who has finally realized
that those are some of the best things about you.
You are the one whose voice is rusty
from swallowing back the howl of your spirit
yet you are the one who tips her nose to the moon
and calls forth her spirit sisters.
You are the one who is done shrinking,
playing small, becoming less,
and now you are the one stomping your spirit dance
upon the ground, arms wide open,
circling the fire,
casting your dreams to the stars.
You are me and I am you.
We are the Spirited Ones.
We are the Lone Wolves.