I can’t shut up and I can’t be understood.
I gotta’ get my stuff written out. Not writing is like celibacy, and the urge is too strong not to. My beliefs and opinions are pretty layered and fraught with conditional specificity. The simplest answer I could give to most questions is “It depends on several factors”. I find myself having to explain myself so often that the original point or idea gets lost in debates where I must clarify ad-nausaeum. I just don’t think like most people.
That’s not a vanity. I’m not special or better or anything like that. My mind simply perceives and processes things in a way that differs greatly from nearly everyone I’ve met, and it’s difficult to have to pre-empt the endless ways people can construe my words. I tend to unintentionally offend and confuse people, and I often wish I could just download exactly what I mean into people’s minds.
I’d give anything to be able to just say what I mean in a few words and have people understand every nuance and layer and intent without having to defend against a million assumptions and misunderstandings. I wish people could follow the different factors I take into account and how a change in some factors could change part or all of what I mean.
I tend to express myself with multiple meanings condensed into word play, multiple meanings, and internal humor, and explaining it all would take volumes, so I feel that I have to condense it and hope that all the meanings and flavors will be absorbed by the reader or listener.
I have the unfortunate tendency to take what people say very literally. I figure that people mean what they say and I don’t always detect sarcasm, despite the fact that I use it generously.
I’m also direct and open to a degree that many people are very uncomfortable with. I wear my thoughts and feelings on my sleeve and tend to be willing to share things that most keep to themselves. In 44 years, I still have not learned how to communicate in a way that makes sense to most people. Social appropriateness is a challenge. I have so little tolerance for the bullshit dance of social etiquette, but I will usually try to play along. I just wish people shared information freely and openly without worrying about what others might think.
I hope the following doesn’t come across as condescending, but if it’s taken that way, oh well:
I’ve spent my life digging and searching and prying into corners of knowledge that most people frankly don’t bother with. I find all kinds of little details to be very interesting and when I find even a small idea or fact or whatever that grabs my attention, I will go on a research binge and learn the history, etymology, and whatever other factors I can think of and will educate myself to the point of saturation…if it’s something I’m truly interested in. If I am to know a thing, I really want to get inside it.
Then I get excited and want to share what I’ve learned with others and tend to prattle on about things I find intensely interesting, but others just don’t care to think about, which perplexes me often. I have to remind myself that a lot of people have a few interests that they stick to, and don’t care to venture much beyond that. There are wonderful exceptions, but you know what I mean (I hope).
Unfortunately, this has often come across to others as me trying to show off or be a know-it-all. I can’t express enough how much that is not true. I just love sharing knowledge and I make the mistake of assuming that others are as zealous about it as I. If someone has their facts wrong regarding something I’m pretty certain about, I let them know what I’ve learned because I come from the standpoint of thinking that they want to truly know the facts. I often find they’d rather just be “right” and perceive my correction as an insult rather than an opportunity for education. I love it when I’m corrected! It means I’ve learned something!
On the flip-side, that which I am not interested in I know almost nothing about. This includes a great deal of things that are considered common knowledge to a vast portion of society. I am absolutely ignorant of sports, popular music, and a great many other things that I can’t think of right now. Plus, I suck at math.
Though I can pick up most things very quickly, I’m just as easily confused. It was thought that I had a learning disability when I was young. I was taken to do some tests and where they expected me to be slightly retarded, they instead found very high scores. I wasn’t dumb, I just didn’t know how to express myself well, and simply didn’t process like the other kids. I infuriated the shit out of adults when I corrected them or asked endless questions, and then didn’t understand the answers because they weren’t given to me in “Bill-ese” (or, would that be “Billian”?).
This kind of thing happens to this day. It’s why I got interested in writing. I needed to know how to convey things well, and sometimes I come up with simple, clear lattices of linguistic beauty, and other times it’s like a 2-year-old grabbed a crayon with his foot and started scrawling “Hurr durr” in half-backwards Cyrillic on someone’s dog.
Oh, that last sentence there, it’s how this weird brain does things. You think I’m outspoken? Oh, the things I don’t say.
© 2015 William Suphan
- How to Suck at Life