In my elementary school years, I had quite a few books of very specific interests ranging from paleontology with emphasis on dinosaurs, to astronomy, to aviation, to whales (my favorite marine species). I was always inquisitive about things.
I had an experimental mind. “Mr. Wizard” was still on T.V. in the mornings on Nickelodeon and of course I would try things.
I had an interest in magic. I would often go to the West Bloomfield Public Library and pick up a book on how to do magic tricks. From reading, I picked up quickly that magic was all exploiting concepts of physics and physique. Though I may have learned how to do these tricks, it didn’t take away the “awe” feeling of watching magic.
I had a book about animals that had a section on insects and snakes. I used to skip over those sections because the pictures would freak me out… until one day I decided to read them regardless of the pictures. I’m glad to say that I’m not as freaked out by spiders as others.
In my conquest for answers, I started to realize that there would be things I wouldn’t fear that most people do because I knew something about whatever that they didn’t.
I still carry that idea with me today.
I do still tend to try to find out the reasons for why or what things are. I still get curious.
I have this want to make sense out of things. I mean, it makes life a lot easier if things make sense, right?
If everything in life made sense, you would think maybe life would be boring. I disagree.
Knowing is half of it. The other half is how that knowledge is used.
To quote James Taylor, “Einstein said he could never understand it all.” and I, as a non-Einstein human being, probably won’t either. Good. Life will never lose (it wasn’t going to anyways).
If there is one thing about life that is never a constant, it’s the people in it.
In this case, it’s about understanding people.
We never really know how other people will act and react to things. Everybody has their fears, compensations, ambitions and goals. They have their own considerations. They have their own internal guidelines for morals, ethics, and boundaries.
Being who I am and what I’ve been through, I have enough experience to understand people have reasons why they are who they are. I like being the type of person to try to understand another person. Sometimes though, you may not be let in and you may not get to know. I have been that person often that puts up a wall of vagueness, or straight up omission, when it comes to someone trying to go deeper when I wasn’t quite ready.
And that is why I am typing this.
I revealed to someone earlier today that I either put too much of myself out there and feel like people will know me better that way… or I hold my cards close to my chest as if I’m worried that if my deeper truths come out, they will be judged and used against me. They aren’t awful truths. They aren’t strange or something to be associated to psychopathic tendencies. They are just some details of vulnerability.
It’s funny, random people try to get to know you and they poke and prod, asking questions, and it may never amount to anything. I actually assume I will be perceived as not interesting enough for others to want to know me… then again, that’s me having a barrier up. Let’s see how curious they really are and how proactive they get in digging. It doesn’t take much. As I stated earlier, I can open up and divulge my details “too much”.
Am I a hypocrite? I can see how I could be. I have done my fair share of trying to get to know people online and offline. I do make a conscious effort to not try to be digging too deep too fast. In fact, I find that absolutely unnecessary. The answerer holds permission for the person asking questions. The person asking isn’t owed anything. I have never tried to push what I wanted to know out of anybody that didn’t need to give up anything.
There is a hypothetical that floats around and comes to the forefront of my mind occasionally…
I often wonder if there was someone who was waiting for me to inquire about them. I don’t think I’ve ever had that situation before, where someone who wasn’t already a close friend explicitly wanted me to get to know them personally. I know it’s a situation that is just soaked in vulnerability and that requires someone willingly letting their guard down… and THAT is definitely not something that happens everyday in a person’s life. At least not apparently and that’s really my concern about the hypothetical: Whether or not I’ve been oblivious to someone opening the door, waving me in.
It’s not about being knowledgeable or nosey or having points to use against anybody.
The thing I love about wanting to know about somebody is the relatability. I mean, isn’t it great finding common ground? I feel like that’s something everybody ultimately wants to do but at the same time, I feel like that’s where uncertainty leaves everybody pausing before they dive in.
It’s not a magic trick to be known how to perform, it’s not a scientific fact to play with so you know how it works. It’s a person’s being. It may be a struggle they have. It may be a painful memory. It may be their ambitions. It may be a thought pattern. Whatever it may be, it’s something that would probably not be something they would want judged about… and they don’t know how people will react.
As guarded as I initially am, I can’t be that self-guarding person more than not if my goal is to create/find more connection.
I’ll definitely be cautious, and I suggest any readers do the same.
I guess I just wonder… what if the connection I’m missing has been one with someone I never knew wanted to connect because I was so preoccupied with guarding myself, and it became a sort of situation where the defense mechanism was being reflected?
I really don’t like the act of prying but I do get interested. Maybe that’s why the idea of traditionally dating random people is a dilemma to me. To seem interested enough to get to know someone but not seem too investigative to seem nosey and inconsiderate. My intentions are innocent but who would trust that immediately?
So here I sit wondering, should I be okay that I am giving people access to me for that trust?
By the way, it’s not a problem if others don’t let me in. I believe in earning trust. Some people don’t deserve it. Again, I understand that that judgment about me is beyond my control.
You really can’t force that kind of comfortability.
And acceptance just tells me: You won’t know until you know… when they let you know.