Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tired of Being: Smart, Sorry, Tired

Sometimes things just get old. Repetition makes them that way, especially when there's no end to that repetition in sight.


People tell me I'm smart. I'll recuse myself from making a call on that, since I have the bias of remembering just about every stupid thing I've ever done in stark detail. I feel that nothing I do in the way of thinking is super-human, but it's treated as such by those around me often enough that I've got something of a reputation.

There are things that interest me a lot more than they do others, and I think that's part of the window-dressing that goes into being considered "smart". Lots of things interest me. That's why I enjoy reading encyclopedias (I have two sets within arm's reach of my easy chair) and lots of other things. I like digging into things, and I like making things. This adds some depth and experiences to what I get from reading about things.

Now the Downside

That's the bit I enjoy, if that's what it is to be smart.

The part I don't enjoy is trying to communicate my enthusiasm to others. Those around me sense my interest and enthusiasm. They want to know about what's causing it. Sometimes I can make sense to them.

"See that ship out there in the straits? The one with the clipper bow? That's one of the Iowa class battleships!"

"See how the colors of the strata in the rocks here are inverted from the ones over there? This whole section of ground has been folded over!"

Yeah, those are my clear ones. Now try explaining something to someone that's less obvious, or worse yet, something that's entirely inside your head. Even if you have the words to describe it, they may not have the words to understand it. That leads into the vocabulary minefield, where it becomes necessary to feel your way along through your description, stripping it of any potential interest it may have by slowing down to proceed word by word while anticipating simple synonyms for every term. Which leads to the next problem.

Sorry. I'm Sorry. I'm Sorry You Don't Understand.
I'm Tired of Being Sorry, May I Quit, Please?

Somehow it becomes my fault. Not only that they don't understand the language you speak (though they claim to speak it) but that they don't find something amazing very interesting.

It's my fault they don't know what I'm talking about. It's my fault it doesn't sound interesting when I have to use verbal circumlocution, hand waving, and amateur dramatics to make my point (if I'm lucky.) It's my fault I expressed an emotional reaction that made them think there was something interesting for them to find out about.

Not to bear too strongly on the "I, me, mine", here. My own experiences are just a case in point that you, the reader may well have encountered. Likewise, I'm sure I've had the opportunity to play the role of obtuse audience in the past. I think that some of us just tend to be typecast into one role more than the other.

So, in the interest of inclusiveness, I'll shift to using "you" so that you get to assume the position of the beleaguered bright person dealing with two-legged tree stump.

You're also making trouble when you go to the store and ask for something by name. A name they don't know. No matter how specialized the store, or how well stocked they are, or how well versed the staff, you ask for something that you'd think they're the experts in and you'll get a blank look. If you took the time to make sure you had the terminology right by referring to a supply catalog or visual dictionary before going shopping, more the fool you. If you're lucky, the staff won't act like you made it all up. But the not very helpful reactions will still likely run from annoyed bafflement to irritated willful ignorance.

Tired of Being Tired. About All This.

I'm tired of being sorry. I'm tired of being treated as if I am in a state of being not attainable by the mere mortals around me (I had no idea being slightly well informed on some things while ignorant on plenty of others was so akin to exaltation!) I'm tired of having to explain a word I learned just so that I could communicate with someone in their own language (I thought.) I'm tired of anticipating every human interaction as a lesson given, complete with lecture, demonstrations, and the sullen rebellion of the students against testing. Even worse is when anticipation becomes reality.

Fatigue of Mind, Fatigue of Body

Maybe it's just the mid-afternoon slump that makes me feel this way right now. Or maybe it's that I've had a bit of an imbalance lately in how much I've been able to feed my own mind as opposed to pouring libations of patient explanation onto the unfillable sponges of other people's psyches.

I don't know. I do know I'm really tired, in mind as well as body. Time for a bit of rest...

Or to find a Cure

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