My word of the day is indignant, or at least it may as well be.
I seem to have a different process than others tend to; I take in many things at a very deep level and continue to constantly sort and cross-reference them in my mind. When I was younger I would often do this consciously as a game (“How can I create a way in which the next two objects I see relate to one another in an interesting way?”), now it remains mostly subconscious. Sometimes, this means I will jump from step 1 to 10 because steps 2 through 9 are already built in my head such that they have become automatic associations and what I see as a “logical” step from 1 to 10. I’m aware, however, that even with people who think similarly it is ignorant to expect them to read my mind, so I don’t. I actually like to think I’m a fairly proficient teacher. There may be an added air of peculiarity in my style when I’m particularly inspired, but I rarely (if ever) have students struggle to understand what I’m conveying.
Still, I have never been one to think I know everything. If anything, I am increasingly aware of all the things I don’t know with each passing day. So when I do know that I know something, or when things seem to snap into alignment, I am particularly stubborn about it. There is a careful meshwork of visions and ideas and perspectives in my head so, when I do finally catch an angle, I know it is not by chance. Because of this, I often come across as admittedly more confident and knowledgeable than I would like to. Since my way of thinking directs more energy toward the “whole picture” view, I also fall into a role of overseeing projects and taking the brunt of responsibility quite frequently. I don’t necessarily mind this role, but if I had to type myself in an ideal role it would be somewhere between a leader and a follower. Too outspoken for a follower, but with no desire to be a figurehead of any sort.
What does that have to do with indignance, though? Well, today I was working on a collaboration, except it didn’t feel very collaborative at all. Some people may prefer that, and one may hastily presume I am one such person, but I assure you I am not. As far as I’m concerned, the things worth mattering are those that can uphold their own base structure. Getting to that point takes refinement, and refinement takes perspective, but I am only one person… how many perspectives can I alone contribute?! What really bothered me was that I could feel myself getting increasingly more indignant. For two reasons; One is that it feeds the illusion that I want to be “in charge,” which is the opposite of helpful when I myself don’t know what I’m doing and when that is not at all what the assignment is supposed to be or what will yield the best results; the second is that I don’t like shutting down (or further shutting other people down). When I get cold and instructional, I am shut down. Not only does that create an additional creative block, it’s just plain bad energy!
I tried to think of ways to reframe the situation, or how to modify my approach to at least not have that bad energy be at the forefront, but I think maybe sometimes you have to take the “try again tomorrow” approach. It can be really hard trying to strike a balance when you feel like your only options are bitter apathy and cold demand. The best I could do today was try to be encouraging and inclusive while trying to push as much along as I could so that, at the very least, we were a bit productive.
– to stay open and allow room for understanding (and extending that to myself as well)
– “trying again tomorrow” — clearing the proverbial slate before reentering a situation
– not to internalize — recognizing that the management of people is not solely my responsibility
Goodnight for now! Remember to extend yourself grace.