I’m a researcher. I’m a thinker. I don’t like to leave questions unanswered, and I’m terrible at ignoring tangents, side roads, follow-up questions. I often find myself down rabbit holes much adrift of my original query.
What this means is that I know a lot about the things I’m passionate about. And not one channel of it, but usually a little bit about the various sides. The big picture. I don’t often understand the small details. I’m not a detail-oriented person. Ugh, I hate them. But the big picture–I ingest, understand and contain.
This also means I know a little bit about a lot of random topics. Topics that are unrelated to my regular life but that I’ve taken a keen interest in. Organic farms, critical race theory, nursing practices, indoor climate control.
I have a hard time learning from others. I’m open to it. I value others experiences and perspectives. But truth be told oftentimes I already know what they have to say. Even if I don’t know in the most tangible sense. My empathy bone is so strong, I can easily imagine. I can easily utilize words to frame their experience for myself. I struggle with quieting that voice in my head that talks over people who are trying to share information I already know. I struggle with not belittling others insights. I struggle with not shaming them for only just learning something I’ve known all along. I struggle with not correcting something they’re not saying quite right. To each their own. Let them have it. Everyone’s experience is different, unique. Everyone’s learning style and process is different. I forget that not everyone spends as much time challenging themselves as I do. I also forget that most people are much more anxious with new knowledge or anxious with the unknown. My comfort with discomfort began at an early age. My exposure to unfamiliar people and places started the moment I was born and I forget sometimes. Just because I look like you and sound like you doesn’t mean we exist on the same plane. I wish that were different; when I want to connect with so many that’s definitely a barrier I butt my head against. Our lack of shared knowledge will keep me at bay. Keep me from getting very close. Or being very open. Maybe that’s me afraid of being vulnerable. Maybe that’s me afraid of insulting you. Maybe that’s me being lazy. I could enlighten you. Maybe that’s me just assuming you don’t care. Maybe that’s me assuming you’ll feel threatened and insulted. Maybe we, neither of us, get it.