So it seems I have some clarifications to make. Based on direct and indirect feedback (in the form of attitude and snippy comments) I would like to explain some key points from my previous post that a a very select few have apparently completely and utterly misinterpreted.
I made a conscious decision to sit down and clarify my previous post. I didn’t have to, since this blog is for me, it’s my outlet. I chose to correct the assumptions of a few because it was important to me. It was important to show I am not seeking out a teacher to show, mold and meld me into their vision and expectations. My learning is mine, not yours. (That’s why MY blog is filled with references to ME and I. It’s What’s on LJ’s Mind. I’m LJ.) I will begin with a story, as is my way.
Between 10 and 14 years ago I knew a guy. I would say we were at that stage of being between acquaintance and friend. He would say we dated (actually, I happen to know he had said that at the time) but he would be “embellishing the reality of the situation”. I was very much committed to another who, for the time being, was not physically present. This guy friend had a particularly annoying habit that would forever keep him from being an actual full-fledged friend. He was condescending. At least at the time that’s how I interpreted it. Looking back, he liked to teach. Almost any question I asked him would turn into a lesson. Every comment turned into a seminar. At the time it came across as he always had to show that he knew more than I did to make it clear that he was older, more experienced, and more worldly than me. He most definitely was older, at least 10 years older, and had more experiences than I did. But his experiences were based on his life and his interests, not mine.
One day he invited me along for an errand he had to run. We stopped at a guitar store. Now while I do have a background in music from a long supressed time in my life, it did not involve guitars. I like guitar music, but I don’t need to understand the mechanics of different guitars and what makes one better than another. To me, being told the specifics of wood, strings and picks diminishes the awe of the sounds that I prefer to attribute entirely to ability and talent. If I were to retain the information he was giving me it would, for me, take away the pure enjoyment of listening to the music. Instead I would be focusing on the details of the tonality, making it less an experience or escape, and more yet another lesson. Perhaps that’s just me, but I have found in my own world, explaining things and finding answers too often takes away the magic and mystery, and renders it tangible. Some things in life I don’t want to be tangible.
There was another time when I made a comment about his truck. He was a painter/handyman, and he had a very small truck that he did business out of. He drove up one day and he had a very little ladder attached to the rack on the outside. In acknowledgement of pure amusement I commented how perfectly his little ladder fit his little truck. Ok, with more than a decade of maturity to my credit now, I can see where that may not have been the kindest thing to say, but I don’t recall his reaction to my comment as being defensive or even insulting. Instead, his response was to explain the versatility of compact ladders and how they can attach to ……. you get the idea. It turned into a lesson. Maybe it was his way of reacting to me, maybe he just didn’t have a sense of humor. As I said, we were somewhere between acquaintances and friends, so we didn’t know each other well enough to know if we grated the other.
At the end of the day what the previous blog post was not about wanting to go back to school. It was not about seeking a teacher I could rely on. It was not about patience or being told that all will be revealed in time. It was not about trust.
The post was about missing a time of innocence when as kids we could view education and learning as a participant in a team sport, before learning became the full responsibility of ourselves. It was nice to recall a time when we could be told we were done, or what to learn. Structure and district administrators dictated what was learned, for how long, and how success was determined.
What the post was about was my missing a simpler time, when I didn’t have to always rely on myself to say when I was done, when I hadn’t learned enough, or the courage to tell myself “ya know what, we’ve been down this path before, we don’t need to revisit it.” Being an adult can be exhausting. But that is the point of the message: that learning and deciphering is our own responsibility, and looking outside ourselves to others to decide for us is wrong. The post was about always having the confidence to keep learning, and always having the courage to admit when we have learned a life lesson.
Several years ago I made a comment to someone close to me, that we both agree on one thing: Neither one of us likes the person the other person thinks I am. Today I know that wording was wrong. The better way to phrase it now, having the luxury of hindsight and time to think it through and not just responding in the moment, would be that we are both disappointed in the person the other thinks I am. The words, in either version, are harsh, but made it abundantly clear to me I had learned a lesson thoroughly. It was the moment I truly, viscerally knew that I was finally seeing myself through my own eyes, and not through the eyes of others. And more importantly, being not only ok with that, but being confident in it. It was a very hard lesson to learn, and a very harsh way to make it clear, but it was necessary.
To me it’s clear. I am not looking for teachers to guide me, I am looking to learn, always, from everyone, from all experiences. 6 things, to be exact.