Platitudes. Quick fixes. Small talk. Rigid beliefs. All make you cringe. Right? Complexity, ambiguity, paradox, depth, creativity, and mystery are your favorite foods. Without them, you starve. You get cranky and sad. You feel lost. You may even start to question your reality because you see most people around you eating those platitudes with gusto. But to you, they taste like, well, cardboard.
But what about the complex contradictions and paradoxes you experience in your life on a daily basis? How do you manage those?
I’ve gathered a few examples below. Which ones are familiar to you? What others might you add to the list?
The List of Contradictions and Conundrums
~ Your ability to see how all things are connected contributes to your uncanny ability to overcomplicate simple things. And yet, are any things really simple?
~ You are the smarter, more accomplished person but your colleagues get the credit because they follow the rules and color inside the lines.
~ You received high scores on SATs and achievement tests but struggled with true-false and multiple choice tests often. You could see how there was more than one answer or how all or none of the choices might be correct depending on the circumstances. On occasion, you figured out what the test designer wanted and surprised yourself with a high score.
~ You were known as the smart kid but you did not complete assignments or homework so your grades were not high. Teachers and parents told you how easy the work was, how you ought to be able to complete it quickly, but the rote learning and memorization was meaningless, so you refused to do it. On the other hand, you may have been known as the smart kid and felt the pressure to maintain that reputation. So, you always made sure you got the highest grades. But underneath it all, you felt like an impostor and kept raising the bar.
~ You are fast at thinking of new ideas and ways they are connected to other ideas and yet you are slow at implementing those ideas or turning them into reality.
~ Some people see you as quite logical and even cold-hearted but you actually are deeply sensitive, empathetic, and emotional.
~ You were told how smart you are for years and yet it took you seven years to finish college because you changed majors five times.
~ The very high expectations and the pressures you impose on yourself often paralyze you so you never feel satisfied with what you accomplish.
~ Some people will be in awe of your abilities one moment and the next moment they will be threatened by your skills and jealous of you.
~ You contribute the most creative ideas in your workplace and are not looking for attention or accolades and, yet, when people steal your ideas and get the credit, you want to strangle them.
~ You are a fast learner but a slow reader and a deep, careful, meticulous writer.
~ You are 2e or twice exceptional so you are gifted with additional complications such as autism, ADHD, or dyslexia.
~ Your ability to see nuance, multiple degrees of complexity, and all the colors is often misinterpreted and judged by others who only see black and white.
~ You have deep compassion for human beings and yet you often feel impatient and angry when those humans don’t have the capacity to see what you see or know what you know.
~ In your awareness of other people’s needs, you think carefully before you speak, and yet, they still feel hurt or confused when you share your thoughts or feelings.
~ You want to do so much good in the world but you can’t find appropriate collaborators or community so you fall into despair and lose your motivation.
~ You can easily know a lot about many things but you are also aware of how much you don’t know.
~ You love learning, reading, and dating astrophysicists and yet you often forget to tie your shoes and can’t find your keys.
Knowing you are not alone in experiencing these conundrums may make them easier to accept and understand and just might give you more permission to reject the simple cardboard platitudes, to embrace your rainforest-y reality, and to, well, relish your tasty conundrums. With gusto.
To my bloggEEs: What other curious contradictory conundrums do you experience? Which ones are particularly annoying or fascinating? Thank you for being here. Your comments add so much and who knows when I will feature your comment in the next post or presentation?!? (You know who you are.) Do you have my new journal yet? I am waiting not-so-patiently for your reviews on Amazon. Thank you!