We recently connected with Shanonn Kilata and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Shanonn thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
One of the biggest risks I took was formulating the idea of The Suburban Misfit and putting into the universe. I am a people-pleaser by nature, so the thought of potentially embarrassing my partner at the time made me extremely anxious. But I knew I wasn’t living true to my personal core values, or to my true self.
I started off small, telling just a few close friends about it, then my brother, then my daughter. They were all so supportive and rallied around me, sharing my posts. It just grew from there as my confidence grew.
I’ve since had to restart both of my social media accounts, as there was a glitch of some sort, which was frustrating to say the least.
The second biggest risk was writing a book. There’s details of my life that were previously only for my counselor, but I’ve learned that the best way to heal from our wounds is to expose them to fresh air. My story also lets other people know that they aren’t alone.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I was raised in the Christian Community, but never really felt “at home” or that I fit in. Same with living in suburbia: I was always most comfortable with people who were on the outskirts: natural remedies, holistic medicine, energetic work with the body and soul. There are small pockets of those like me, but many are afraid to admit they don’t agree with what’s called societal norms: go to work at an unfulfilling job, come home, sit in front of the boob tube, on and on until retirement. We tend to live our lives waiting for the next chapter: when the kids are older, when the kids graduate, when the bills are paid, when we retire. We’re so busy trying to impress people we don’t really even like, and can’t remember why we signed up for a race we don’t want to run. When COVID-19 suddenly stopped the world, I decided to launch The Suburban Misfit, a place where others like me can find a community to feel at home and start living a life they love & feel whole in. As a massage therapist of over 20 years, it’s been my job to educate my clients and help them feel better in their bodies. This was a perfect adjunct to help people feel better in their souls.
The biggest work I do is seeing people. I love to listen to others’ stories, and what makes them tick. By listening to who they are and what they’re like, I can better assess what type of coaching, books, or content I think would best help them on their journey. There’s a plethora of information out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to sift through it.
I once asked a group of friends, “What color is my parachute?” after reading the book by the same title. Every single one of them replied with some variation of an answer like “polka dotted”, “rainbow stripes”, or”glitter”. I’m curious about so many different subjects and ideas, and love connecting all the concepts together into what I call the Collective Consciousness.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
The hardest lesson for me is twofold: you can’t make everyone happy, and not everyone is going to like you. I grew up where it was important to make your family happy, regardless of how it made you feel. Deviating from the path or ideology that they had in mind for you was shameful for them, they felt like they were failing.
From that, I set aside my desires for my life for a long time…and I was unhappy. When you live a life true to yourself, there’s always going to be someone who’s upset about it. But like I tell my daughter: YOU are the only person that you have to live with every second of your own life, so it’s important to be true to yourself.
Even when I was people-pleasing and making myself into a chameleon in order to fit in, there were still people who didn’t like me. When I understood that, then I decided it was time to stop contorting myself.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
I think a lot of non-creatives see creative people as flighty or flaky. But for me, it’s so rewarding learning a new skill or subject. I get childishly excited at sunsets or seeing the stars clear in the sky. There’s so much to take in, in this world, and I would hate to miss out on any of it.
- Website: https://linktr.ee/thesuburbanmisfit
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_suburban_misfit/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanonn-thompson/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesuburbanmis1
- Other: My Book Link: Shop the Independent Bookstore | Lulu