“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” Meryl Streep
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” Cyril Connolly
Who am I? This is the place where I am supposed to put a bunch of things to impress you so that you will consider it worth your while to read what I write.
We offer our accomplishments to one another, like we put on our best suit to apply for a job, even though most days we sit around in our underwear drinking beer. We don’t really want to invite people to know us, we want them to see the illusion of us that we pretend is who we are. We assume you will be more impressed with the illusion than you ever will with the reality.
On paper, anyone can look great. It doesn’t even have to be the truth. The question I keep asking myself is whether I believe that a man who made the best marks 20 years ago in school has more character, is more interesting, is capable of more, than the kid who never even attended school. Like so many things in my life these days, I pick that up, and ask myself why I believe that to be true. Where is the evidence that it is true? Can we know it is true? Is it always true? Is it ever true?
And then I have a decision to make.
I, like all of us, collected pockets full of bits of junk that I picked up along the way of my life. I don’t even remember many of them, where I got them, or how I got them. I just accepted them and have been carrying them with me. In many instances, they are just extra weight that serve no real purpose.
After years of dealing with people in all kinds of capacities, I have been disappointed by the “best” and completely surprised by the “worst,” enough times to know that who people really are, where it matters most, often has little to do with the qualifications we use to measure “success.” Certainly some of the most successful people in this world, the people who have made the biggest difference, have been those that the world deemed “unsuccessful.” Albert Einstein comes to mind.
If you live in that kind of box, you probably should not read me because I don’t repeat the popular or even the politically correct diarrhea that we have come to accept as “conversation” or “discussion.” I am willing to be wrong, I am willing to learn something new and to change my opinion in light of new and compelling information. THAT alone puts me way out of the comfort zone of some people.
I don’t care about being grammatically correct. I don’t care about any of the rules, to be honest. When I sit and write something, I am having a conversation … with you. I write like I talk. I know that for some of the purists – that will mean they will not get past the first few lines and I am ok with that. I care about the substance of what I am writing. I love words and I love the “music” of putting them together. I guess my “songs” are just kind of my own, but please feel free to hum along if you like, or even make up your own words.
I am not the same person as I was 30 years ago, or 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Thank heavens. For me to line up all my accomplishments and lay them out for your consideration seems disingenuous of me if I am not also going to share where I really screwed up as well. I have. I have made lots of mistakes – and those mistakes probably taught me more, and mean more to my life, than the great accomplishments that you might admire.
I am not just my education or the ribbons I have been awarded. I am not just my work experience. I am an evolving human being and what I would like you to care about is who I am right here and right now – not because my accomplishments give me some kind of special hall pass but because you might read and decide for yourself whether I am worth reading. I find it absolutely ridiculous that we deem people worthy to be read simply because someone else gives them the nod. Form YOUR OWN opinion of whether YOU like something. I think they wrote a story about that once … it was called “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
I am indeed naked – in case you were wondering.
If you read me you will find out who I am and probably come to know what I have done. I can only speak from my own life and my understanding. I can only use my own voice. So no, I am not going to lay out the credentials, we can skip the trying to impress crap and move on to something more meaningful.
I can tell you this about my heart. I have a voracious appetite for learning. I am fascinated by life and people and am always digging to understand why people think the way they do – especially when they see things differently than I do. Creativity is everything to me and I love being involved in anything that requires opening the door on that part of life. I believe in empowering people, supporting them to live their lives as they define it, to be the best they can be, to share their journey, even if only briefly, and to allow them to come and go as their life dictates. I care deeply. I am an empath and the emotions of others impact me more than is always comfortable. I am an intuit, I live life by what feels right to me. I have an absolute aversion to the status quo, or to living inside prescribed roles that others dictate. I am opinionated and relentless. I am basically a really happy person and I have a completely whacked and irreverent sense of humour. I laugh at myself most of all and it is that laughter that has healed me through the worst times of my life.
So ya, there you have it. Would love to have you join in, laugh a bit, talk things over and share your journey as I share mine. We both might learn something!