An Open Love Letter to Misfits

thank you thank you thank you you all rock

This is an incredibly personal thank you from me to all of the Misfits at Misfit Con 2014. I’m unlikely to win an Oscar so you can view this as my Kate Winslet moment.
If you’re going to read on, I encourage you to read all the way to the end. If this isn’t your thing, then feel free to look away now, although I would encourage you to stay and breathe through.

Asking for help was a strong theme this year from the speakers. And this year, I had to ask for a lot of help – because of my own health condition, and because of Tracy’s anxiety. Not only did you all respond, you also helped in a myriad of other ways without even having to be asked. That means everything.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s not possible for me to mention you all here, and there’s no way that I could possibly notice every way that you helped; that makes it even more special. For everything you did, big and small, own this gratitude. You are all awesome.

To Misfits. For caring more than any other human beings I have ever come across.

_ _ _

Tracy S – for surprising me. Every single day. And then some.

Louise B – for noticing, and knowing that the correct response was gin (maybe it’s always gin?). For running through O’Hare and alerting the gate we were on our way so we *just* made that flight home. While they said they didn’t hold the flight for us, I’m sure that they did, and your sprint made all the difference.

Gigi – also for noticing. And also for That Hug. Right when I needed it. In fact, there were at least two of those. And for making me go see 365, too, even though I was all over the place. It worked.

Jessie – for noticing. And then bringing a bagel, stat. And understanding.

Gigi and Jean – for being the best roomies. Ever.

Michael – for driving and wheelchair-sourcing and transporting. And for just getting it. And getting on with it. Such a beautiful kind heart.

Michael, Israel, Jesse – for top notch wheelchair driving, and stepping in at the drop of a hat.

Greg and family and friends – for making Dinner in the Woods supremely easy. The most beautiful of welcomes. And achieving what we have never been able to achieve. More on that separately.

Erik – for that speech, right before Lemonade Detroit, right from the heart.
And for not judging the slightly crazy lady who had to keep running off to do obscure “jobs.” And for being the greatest mo… You know the rest.

Jackie, Ria, Maisie – for sheer persistence, never giving up, and following your instincts. You played it exactly right.

Amy – for the joy, and that laugh. Own it.

Jenni and Terry – just because.

Nichole, Randi, Mark, Melissa – for handling all the random postcard requests – we got there in the end. Nichole – they made it! Thank you so much!

Deb C – for crying at the perfect moment, and giving me permission to cry, too. Which meant that I could tell Tracy just what I thought of everything she had achieved at that point. Awesome.

Jackie – for saying yes. And for painting. And painting, and painting.

Deb B – I can’t remember why. But it was definitely in Atomic Coffee, it was awesome, and it was at exactly the right time.

Katrina – for getting right on The Internets, stat.

Genie – for the space to talk about my dad. For being real.

The lady from Misfit on the plane from Fargo who told me you “gave us” your flight as you’d already missed yours – you probably still don’t know that we made it. Or that I don’t know your name.

Sukhneet and Sergio – for not being afraid to say ‘Hi’ right at the end. Some of my closest misfits are the ones I met right at the end last year. It’s never too late.

Brett and Amber – for pulling me out of my reverie. And Brett, for the honesty. Always.

Jeremy and Weston – for the randomness.

Sally – for getting it. Let’s talk more.

Nathalie – for being you.

Aaron – for the wine. And dinner. And the cute photos of your kids. It is truly an awesome thing to be your honorary sister.

Israel – for doing what you do better than anyone. And for the honesty.

Laura – for the space. And the hot chocolate.

Nelson – for the fun. So much fun. And the tea. And breakfast. And That Photo.

Lou really loves this vending machine

Photo @dewittn. Lou really loves this vending machine.

And for talking me down from the ledge. Which meant that this post happened. And for being the most generous person I have ever met. Ever.

Tracy B – for my lunch, which was perfect.

Jonathan – for That Guided Meditation. I have never felt so present before. It has never stayed with me for as long.

Jason and C.C. – for the honesty. And C.C., for that scream.

Clay – for giving us precious time at the last moment, and getting us to up our game.

Claudia – for That Opening Performance. Bring it.

The people I didn’t meet – for giving me space. It would have been too much to meet everyone and you knew that. And don’t let that stop you reaching out now, ok? You’ll know when.

AJ and Melissa – for believing. I trusted the process, trusted Misfit, trusted you. Thank you for trusting me, too.

All of you who shared the crowd-funding link, or donated, or both – thank you thank you thank you. Some of your dads donated. That’s so Misfit.

To Misfits. Who do more, feel more, care more. I love you all the more.

_ _ _


If you’re reading this and you weren’t at Misfit, this may make very little sense to you. Maybe it makes little sense to you, even if you were there, and you read someone else’s thank you. In a way, that’s the point; these are personal thank you’s, tied to very personal acts of kindness. My hope is that you ask for personal kindness in your own life, notice it, and acknowledge it. The reward is greater than the risk.


Lou Shackleton

Change-maker in Chief

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3 responses to “An Open Love Letter to Misfits”

  1. Raul Colon says:

    Truly inspiring as always… Danger Lou….

    We love ya!

  2. tracy stvens says:

    thank lou it was a sewsome week we had

  3. Deb Brown says:

    Lou –
    My danger Lou – because we hug, encourage and love one another. That’s enough reason why for me.

    And you rock.