What I Know about You

Howdy stranger. Even if you are a regular reader of this blog, chances are I’ve never met you. Even so, there are things that I know about you with complete certainty.

  • You have value. (We all do.)

  • You are capable of learning new things. (And there’s so much to choose from!)

  • You are capable of change (even if you don’t enjoy it).

  • You know things that I do not. (We could learn from each other.)

  • You have interesting stories to tell (even if you may not be good at telling them).

  • There’s more to you than meets the eye. (We’re all complex.)

  • You are a survivor, by virtue of the fact that you are right here, right now. (Yay!)

  • You are curious, or you wouldn’t be reading. (You can’t deny it.)

  • We have something in common. (Here we are, after all.)

  • There’s no one else exactly like you on earth. (Isn’t it great?)

  • There are things we would disagree about. (I think that’s exciting.)

  • You can imagine me, here, at my keyboard, just as I can imagine you, there, looking at these words. (See? We have a connection.)

  • You have good taste in blogs. (Okay, so I might be a little biased on this point.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure there are a million other fascinating things about you. I just thought I’d tell you a few, in case no one else had in a while.

The fact that I can say these things, without hesitation, about every single person who reads this post, gives me hope for humanity.  It’s a connection. Even if you are the most despicable human on earth (I suspect you aren’t, by the way), we have these things. It’s a starting point. We ought to be able to build from here.

So as you get out there and have a nice day, ponder the fact that all this divisiveness is merely an illusion.

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What’s in a Name?

I have always felt as though I was given the wrong name. I don’t feel like a Barbara. I never have.

I think we should all have naming ceremonies as adults, and we should get to pick our own. You should have a birth name and a real name. Mine would be Serenity. But the way the culture is at present, if I tried to change it now, I’d be laughed at by everyone who knows me. I am resigned to my name.

Even better, our names should be our story. They should be added to with each passing year based on our traits and experiences. By the time we are 80, our full names should take hours to recite.

For example, You would have “Mary, who danced before she walked, who loves dogs, who shocked everyone by spelling O U T at age 2, who was Rudolph in her Christmas pageant…”  And so on, and so forth.

In a world like that, if someone said, “Tell me your name,” they would be indicating that they really wanted to know you well, and they’d settle in for the duration with a nice cup of tea. And telling your name would be a gift that you would only bestow upon those who you felt deserved to know the very core of you.

And after telling your story, you could say something like, “But call me Serenity, for short.”

who_are_you

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What Are You Known For?

Recently I overheard someone proudly say, “My grandma was known for making the best apple cobbler in the county.”

That got me thinking. Is everybody known for something? I believe they are, at least to the people who love them most. I’ve heard people described as the type that would give you the shirt off his back, or the strongest person I’ve ever met, or, on the opposite extreme, a massive jerk.

Do we know how people truly think of us, or how we are described by others? Well, I certainly don’t. So I decided to ask. I reached out to about two dozen friends and loved ones, and posed this question:

If everyone is known for something, what do you think I’m known for?

I decided to keep it that simple, and only elaborate if someone asked for clarification.

Most didn’t bother to respond. That disappointed me greatly, but that’s typical with any type of survey, formal or informal. Even that taught me a little bit about who will actually step up for me, or at the very least, who lacks concentration and/or is epically busy.

Of those that did respond, many came back with the easy, surface stuff. I’m known for being a bridgetender and a writer. Those who aren’t in touch with me as often mentioned that I’m known for being a fractal artist, even though I haven’t made a fractal in years.

Those were legitimate responses, and nothing to be ashamed of. But it made me realize how important it is to properly frame your question. What I was hoping for, really, was not what I’m known for by people in general, but how would you describe me to others? What has been your personal experience with me? What makes me unique in your eyes?

But there were those who delved deeper. One smart aleck said, “Epic farts.” But even he got more serious and went into more detail after a little bit of prompting. Here were some of the responses I received:

  • Supporting someone in need.

  • Makes me laugh.

  • You’re unique. A fair amount of women I just can’t “talk” to.

  • Loving.

  • You mean what you say. You tell it like it is.

  • An advocate for those you feel have no voice.

  • Brave, independent woman who takes no nonsense from nobody and loves her husband and dogs and job.

  • You care about right and wrong so much that your blood boils when you see what you believe is unjust.

  • Perception.

  • Delivering your opinion in a most enlightening way.

  • Integrity.

  • Curiosity.

  • You are adventuristic. A ‘seize the moment’ sort of person.

  • You appreciate the now.

  • Heart to heart sharings of intimate fears.

  • Your ineffable sexiness (this one made me blink, and blush.)

  • Candor.

  • Courage.

  • Compassion for animals.

  • Patience and persistence in pursuit of making a good life for yourself.

  • Reverence for the use of language to convey your insights.

Wow. Just… wow. These were wonderful observations. They certainly made me proud. They humbled me. Some of them were extremely unexpected. But I’ll take it.

This experiment also taught me a lot about how different my inner self is from my outer self. The two ways I’d describe myself were not mentioned by anyone. I would think that I’d be known for my intelligence and the fact that I have no filter whatsoever. But maybe I see myself that way because I use the intelligence as a suit of armor to hide behind, and I spend a great deal of time doing damage control for my lack of filter.

The bottom line is that I’m really glad I asked this question. I would recommend that everyone try this with their loved ones. The education you get from it, in ways both predictable and unexpected, is priceless.

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One of my copyrighted fractals.

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Astrology and Names

I have to admit I have a big problem with astrology. I don’t buy that on any given day there are only 12 paths to choose from for everyone on the entire planet. And of course, it has no real basis in science, so if you were to trace it back to its genesis, you’d find that basically someone made it all up.

But, having said that, I’m not willing to discount that it was made up based on some interesting observations about people. I have noticed that if I mark all my friends’ birthdays on a calendar, they tend to be clumped into well-defined time frames. In other words, people in certain astrological signs seem to appeal to me much more than others, and that has been the case throughout my life. It’s rather uncanny. And if that’s merely a coincidence, it would be even more uncanny.

But then I’ve noticed this trend with names as well. For instance, if your name is Debbie or Ray or Paul or Vicky or Carol, odds are we’ll get along swimmingly. If your name is Bob or Andy or Linda, we probably won’t. Not that I’d discount you based on your name. It just often seems to work out that way in the end.

The point is, you can probably find a pattern in anything if you look hard enough.

Maybe my skepticism about astrology comes from my tendency to be stubborn and cautious, which are, by the way, common traits for Capricorns. 🙂

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[Image credit: DIDIH.com]