ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

About Opinions and Learning New Things

on June 8, 2016

So, today I was so stressed by what was going on in my life that I posted something on Facebook. I hope that no one took it personally; I don’t do the passive-aggressive Facebook post. Although, if I did, I have collected some nice ones on Pinterest! I was having a lot of trouble expressing to myself why I was feeling so abraded. Why were so many things suddenly rubbing me the wrong way? And where did I go first? Well, to “people don’t get it.”

“There’s only one thing that I really wish more people understood about me. There are very few things in the whole world that I’m certain about. Otherwise, I am learning; I’m always open to real discussions and other people’s experiences but almost never to blanket statements. I don’t even make blanket statements.”

(A friend pointed out that it’s a blanket statement, to say that I don’t make them. And he’s right. I was trying to get to the way that whenever I express an opinion or ask a question, people seem to think I’m saying This Is The Truth. I didn’t want wimpy language and say “I try not to make blanket statements.” It’s more a statement of purpose.)

“An idea that sounded scary to me yesterday sounds like it could be a useful experience today. This is who I am, and who I’ve been my whole life.”

(And sometimes it’s still scary. A lot of the time, in fact. I still don’t like to confront people; I don’t like the idea of firing employees or telling people they’ve screwed up. My whole life I’ve been concentrating on fixing things, when maybe it would be better to throw them away. On the other hand, I went whitewater rafting for the first time two years ago. You’re never too old, etc.)

“This is why, whenever I am portrayed in a skit, character-me always starts with “I wonder….” or “What if?”, and everyone in the room knows who it’s supposed to be. (More times than I would like to admit, they are wondering something completely bizarre, like whether coyotes like celery. I don’t do that, probably.”

(Everyone knows coyotes don’t like celery! But in all seriousness, all my life I’ve had a reputation for non sequitur. I’ve sometimes wondered if I had ADHD or something. I don’t trust ideas I have that I haven’t tested myself.)

“Those of you who knew me when I was young might be surprised to hear that I’ve put away the anxiety I used to have about this truth; now I’m puzzled that others seem to put so much weight into my words when I’m still in the discussion phase, not the decision one.”

(I must sound very sure of myself when I speak, is all I can say.)

I think opinions are worthless without facts, and without your own truth to inform them. And sometimes you have to ask a lot of people to get to the facts, and it’s humbling but liberating to ask others for answers when you don’t know. And I think sticking to your guns even when you know you’re wrong is the biggest dishonesty you can commit against yourself.

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