Archive for May, 2013


the elephant in the room

So this will be a rare glimpse into the personal me, with a bit of the social/political/feminist thrown in.

A friend of mine posted a TED talk on Facebook (And I am adding here that if you are not already familiar with TED talks, you should be. They are pure awesomeness.), adding in the comments that the Dr. in the talk reminds her of me in voice, non-verbal cues, and (I really like this part and it makes me smile) her “passion for love”. As is often the case, I then made a somewhat sarcastic (although not mean spirited) comment about the chance to view myself through another person’s eyes.

I honestly was interested in the change of perspective, being able to view someone else who others felt were somehow representative of me. Pretty cool, right? The truth? I found it very difficult to do so. It took me half the video to stop pointing out (in my inner speech) her flaws in speech and mannerisms, thinking to myself “Am I really that overly theatrical with my movements?” or “Do I really use those inflections and throw in snark at strange moments?” The obvious answer to those questions (if you have ever had more than a passing hello with me) would be, yes. Yes I do. It took some time for me to get past the over analyzing of her movement and speech patterns and allow myself to actually absorb her words, to actually listen to what she was saying.

When the clip ended, I posted a comment that was rather light, but also (as per usual) somewhat sarcastic (again, not in a mean spirited way). I posted this for two reasons. First, it was actually true. I suffer from a rather fascinating sort of migraine. They are both ocular and hemiplegic. Like, at the same time. Point being, her stroke description was VERY familiar, but I never hit what she refers to as “Nirvana” (the peace that comes with being pure energy and fully in the now). Secondly (and the point of this whole mess), because I couldn’t quite put my other thoughts into words at that exact moment. Now I am going to try.
What I did was exactly, EXACTLY what I do to myself. I over analyze. I criticize. I fail to recognize the positive unless I am so engrossed that I forget to do so. I have to be so interested in that moment that I can ignore the negative part screaming how awful I am. It was not until I really was able to forget that I was comparing myself to her (or in my usual day to day, everyone else) that I was able to really focus, understand, and even laugh with her.

So, my foray into the perceptions of others didn’t go so well but was interesting all the same. I learned that, at least at this point in time, I CAN’T view myself as others do. That being said, at least now I know that, if I make the effort to ignore the damned elephant, I can see and appreciate the rest of the room for what it is.

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