You could hear a pin drop.
It doesn’t happen as often as one might think anymore. I have had the pleasure of attending (in person) the annual TED conference for close to ten years. What you see online – the billions and billions of views that these magnificent TED Talks receive – are the “best of the best.” Getting a standing ovation after delivering a TED Talk is getting harder and harder. The bar is set so high. As each year’s event approaches, and the list of speakers get announced, everyone anticipates that one, special, speech that truly does change everything. This year, there were a few. Still, Lidia Yuknavitch‘s talk, The beauty of being a misfit, was the one for me. I’m that misfit that she describes. A punk. A metalhead. Someone much happier writing about an underground band and seeing a show alone than anything else. Someone who prefers reading to networking. Writing over snapchatting. Yes, we’re all different in our own ways. Still, the word “misfit” is one that has always hung over me. For a while, it was a dark cloud. It took years of working on myself to get comfortable with who I was… who I am. Now, I embrace the misfit. I often laugh at it. I can see the beauty in it. If, you don’t feel like a misfit yourself, this is an even-more important video for you to watch. Don’t mistaken silence for apathy. Don’t mistaken inaction for a mistake. Don’t judge others based on how you are, but rather on how they might be processing the information.