as it turns out, fewer people correctly absorb what they hear than we once thought. we don’t always listen to what is really being stated, or take in what actually holds the meaning. and perhaps most importantly in some cases, few assimilate the “why” of any of it with the choices that get made. messages are put out in the wild, usually with a direct intent, but they are instead individually picked up and interpreted by each of the intakers. all the effort spent to modulate what gets received is ultimately wasted as we can’t control anyone or their perceptions, and whatever actions they end up taking are solely their own. even if they don’t appear to be. or affect others. but we all get to choose our reactions, and even when the options presented aren’t great, what we decide to do is only our call.
that the number of adults said to be afflicted by adhd has increased so fervently in the past bunch of years says more about the number of medical doctors who think they understand the workings of the brain and take insurance than it does about human nature. what was once deemed a childhood defect is now spoken about casually, said often in jest rather than as the result of a diagnostic evaluation. as a person who grew up needing to ascertain the actually implied meanings behind sarcasm, it is oddly reassuring to see that i’m not alone in having skewed understandings of things sometimes. but, if my experience is a template for anything, we are all in for a world of hurt when we find out what is really being meant.
in the lifestyle that came with a decades-long career in public relations, it is second nature to see how elocution and word choices proffer weighted meanings. different assertions are put forth using the same verbiage. men, women. national, international. all take things drastically differently. but as the avenues for public expression expanded, subtleties got lost in the fight to grab the attention of the lowest common denominator. en mass, we followed suit, and now if any artifacts are ever to be found, i cringe for the soul who need make distinction between the ways the word “fire” is used.
after a while, studio marketing teams took to simply bringing us their desired wordings to pass along to our clients rather than giving stars the opportunity to provide any bonafide input. meetings once held to gather at least the lead famous person’s ideas to more authentically tout the films were summarily dismantled. thusly, all overarching ideologies were also dismantled, and soon what we had read in the lord of the flies novel (or what the non-readers among us saw on “lost”) wasn’t nearly as haunting. compared to reality, fiction rarely is.
one marketer had the pushy audacity to insist that across all social media outlets, the cast utilize the same phrasing to promote a film. the nuances of the story being told were immediately lost, and my client’s chagrin at the ghastly oversight brought him to reevaluate his participation in the campaign. we were quickly deemed unpopular in those circles. but, his immature attitude aside, it is small-sighted to think that way at all. for a stand-up specifically, that is a profoundly disconcerting perspective to abide by. their livings and personas are built on sharing their unique perspectives, and butts don’t end up in seats to idolize generic viewpoints.
when one gets sick, we glaringly see our worst faults when we pause and step back. zoom out. see a bigger picture, and the parts we play in it. as with tales of the hidden figures who have come before us, a lot exists that doesn’t get listened to at the time. if what is being described doesn’t overtly match the leading narrative, in many cases it is dismissed or devalued. actual happenings are ignored or not seen to be in conjunction with other occurrences. but as with the feeling of true, deep love, when you know, you know. and the curt dismissal of what presents as off-brand symptoms is belittling and damaging. if we can learn anything from our celluloid history, that people are so easily disbelieved despite visible threads of connective logic is a paramount notion that we really can’t continue to ignore.
as i researched autoimmune disorders, when i was told i had one, i was led on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. some of the basics are known, but how they display varies, and some of the simplest, most obvious issues we have get overlooked in misguided efforts to fix what isn’t broken. we don’t see until much later how the missteps taken can exacerbate any smaller crevices that already exist, and soon, any former attention and grace we had is gone as energy is refocused to ostensibly fix something else. all over again, so much gets missed.
quotable movie lines are only so if they resonate. and as that dinosaur movie blatantly shows us, life always finds a way. with all medical occurrences, there are contingencies and variances. human-developed or otherwise. and like any technology, the previously-determined solve is outdated far before it gets rolled out. the process of testing is rarely thorough or fast, and experiential dealings with anything are not even included in the metrics. so we don’t even know all that we can miss.
in embarrassing confrontations with reality,
my looking mostly normal on the surface is proving to be accidentally sneaky in most of my encounters. what truly commandeers my day-to-day gets glossed over by snap judgements made about my personality. while i could simply leave such settings before, a wheelchair makes that prospect laughable. that i have never been a fan of smalltalk and don’t partake when possible is at times now erroneously assumed to be sheerly an unconscious reflex. that i stay in the car when we have to move to a more arduous location is to oblivious passerby observed as just a telltale sign of the girly, bratty bitchiness they offhandedly assign to me.
while i was once extremely good at surveying situations for potential dangers to others, that skillset has yet to turn inward. i am constantly caught in a world that feels like opposite day, and having a brain caught between phases, in its perpetual state of paradoxical insomnia, means that everything feels like it could be just a dream. the concept of nightmares takes on a whole new meaning given that, and i sometimes sense the requisite sensibilities in the people who appear in them. but, fear wears me out, and with a newfound awareness of my own ability to be unkind, my once-revered skill of being able to fit in with anyone is now a glaring detriment. seeking out safe haven from untoward judgements has become more treacherous than ever.
too many of us make what is unlike ourselves an automatic negative, and a mentality like that is unsightly. no matter how you spin it. other than solitude, which brings with it its own downfalls, it sometimes feels like there is no clear way to discern the good from the bad, the proper from the improper. situationally or otherwise. patience is the only saving grace from this perhaps, and i myself often lack it in spades. but clearly, i am not alone in that either. we all have and take less time for things in general, and having had it beaten into us that faster is better has done us all a great disservice.
this is perhaps most apparent to me when i am faced with genuine awareness. which is an innate quality of those with bents of autism. but, as a streaming show on a life lived around that kind of abrupt candor extolls, they’re perhaps the ones of all of us who have it the most figured out. how they say what they say is not always pleasant to hear, but it usually isn’t wrong. so while it’s not at all easy to switch perspectives, to see things as their benevolence instead of harm, i can only hope that i don’t run out of time to assimilate that cordiality into myself. in all honesty, it would behoove us all to do so. and thankfully, i guess that makes me not alone in that, either.