I'm Confused! No Wait, Maybe I'm Not.
My experience with Confusion is...?
B- Very Confusing
C- Extremely Confusing
D- Slightly Confusing
E- Meltdown Mode
F- Not Confusing
C - Extremely Confusing
The amount of time I spend trying to figure simple things out is astounding. Simple, it seems, for others, is not always simple for me. From organizing my closets, to grocery shopping, to ideas for meals or raising my daughter, I find it all very daunting and difficult. I know raising a daughter is not simple, but getting her fed, hair brushed and clothed ought to have moved to F. Not Confusing by now. I spend an exorbitant amount of time on "simple" things, repeating them the same difficult way over and over. This is a very frustrating process. Ironically, I don't see this as that difficult until I learn it a new and easier way. I just go around assuming life will always be just this side of crazy. I can't see out of my box to do it differently, until I see someone else doing it. I couldn't fathom what life for me would be like utterly alone. Confusing, yes; Exhausting, absolutely; Nap time...long. The meltdown happens one out of five times depending on the level of difficulty and the amount of damage done without reading or asking for directions. I have had the idea that I should know something before I learn it. This does not coincide well with having to see someone else do it first. No wonder I sit and stare mindlessly on occasion...it is the only time when I am not having this vastly contradictory dilemma. I went through school like this and, let me tell you, it was exhausting for me and my loved ones around me. I suppose I live my life like this. I seem to have past this on to my daughter...ugh.
D - Slightly Confusing
I consider myself low tech. I did however, learn to do a PowerPoint last year in my Marine Biology class. Now I love it. I used it for two other classes the following quarter, one being communications. No more handing out Xeroxed copies. Now the big feat was redoing my Powerpoint on my Mac when my PC quit. Then I had to switch it back to PC because schools don't use Mac. The librarian didn't think it could be done. Well, desperate times lead to desperate measures. I jumped on the Internet and looked it up myself and realized you could import the slides. It was an amazing moment for me. If I hadn't had school the next day, I might have celebrated. The greatest challenge of all, would be learning this new skill with patience and grace. The moment lasted hours and the emotions were swinging back and forth like a pendulum. I may have succeeded, but not without stress damage to myself and others.
B - Very Confusing
This new found computer skill was for my speech class, and in this said class, I missed wearing a straight jacket, by that much. The meltdown ratio went from one out of five to one out of three when I entered that class. I do not stand up in front of people and talk on a regular basis...or ever. I avoided speech until my senior year in high school; that landed me in a class with my boyfriend's younger brother. The pattern never changed. I postponed the mandatory communications class in college until the last quarter of my AA degree. I carried a resentment through my whole college experience because of the communications requirement. I even debated if the degree was worth the amount of fear I would have to endure to achieve this atrociously senseless requirement. It was astounding to me that I had to live that fear again twenty years later. You should be exempt from a glorified speech class once you hit your forties. This class also required keeping track of a flash drive. What the hell do you use that for? I didn't even know what a flash drive was. When I went to buy one, I asked for that little thing you plug into a computer that holds your life and your sanity. Then I proceeded to leave my flash drive in a variety of areas including two libraries...twice. Who keeps track of this little thing that stands between you and a passing grade. The first time I didn't recognize mine because the lid had been put on it. I didn't know it had a lid. I thought it had been lost forever and I saw my life flash before my eyes. Then an hour later the librarian called...it was recognized through data, that it was mine. After that incident, my friend graciously bought me a case for it with a clip. Unfortunately, I still left it in computers I used. What I needed was my flash drive to light up, beep and offer to do my dishes.
E - Meltdown Mode
Meltdowns went to Def-con one, due to stage fright, during speech weeks. You see, I was suppose to already know how to do this...and of course I didn't. I was up one night until one practicing my speech, changing it, timing it and saving the latest version to my flash drive...or so I thought. I had volunteered to present my speech on the first day of speeches, to get it over with, and then I asked to be toward the end because I couldn't decide on a topic. So I went on the last day; I call it black Tuesday. I hadn't saved the latest version of the PowerPoint presentation on the flash drive. I turned three shades of red, realizing in front of the class that I didn't have my slides. It was a nightmare come true. My lack of tech skills was exposed. It was as if I had gone to school naked. Whatever...So I was the only one who went on Wednesday. I thought I did really well considering all that I endured. It was on the comparison of Monsanto to Hitler...I needed someway to grab the younger classmate's attention. I obsessed night and day on this topic. I was expecting an amazing grade, along with an invite to go to coffee, from my teacher. Instead the teacher marked me down because I was a day late. Again, another resentment. I was practically the same age as the teacher. We had age in common!! Wasn't that enough to forgive the technical glitch? What was this anyway...college? Where was my coffee invite? I wanted to whine and wear her down until she gave me a better grade, but I just couldn't do it. I had seen it work though. So I just gave her ‘the look’ and refused to participate for a week. This was a much more mature approach and one that I have perfected over the years. You know, that whole drink the poison and wait for her to die trick. She didn't...so I resumed participating; I was the only one excited to be communicating in my communications class anyway; age does that to a person. Once you couldn't get me to talk and now you can't shut me up. I have so much to share with those younger people. I knew no one else was going to get this information to them. I was desperate for them to know what I knew. Once they had a glimmer of what I knew, they would fall over themselves scampering to know more. So blind and naive and self involved I was. At that age, I'm sure I didn't give a rats ass either. It was a difficult quarter.
D - Slightly Confusing
When I am not in school convincing myself I should already know everything, I am perpetually looking to make my home homey. I have painted walls, pulled up carpet, calked a tub...all with the precision of a drunken sailor. Hanging things on the walls is a whole different story though. You can't tack up curtains without it looking tacky...hmm. I have a lot of tacks in my walls. I do own my own hammer and have an actual tool box. Amazingly, I have used both the hammer and the tool box. I have hung pictures with nails, only because some are too heavy for tacks. I have now put up curtains; they also are too heavy and awkward for tacks...again, tacky. All this was a trial and error process. My brain does not see simple and straight forward. I practice guestimating as an art. It is not a practice I recommend for anything you want to be straight. I have since watched someone else measure from the ceiling down. What a novel concept, one that hadn't dawned on me. I do that now, but find it is not that much more accurate than my guessing. Hence the reason that little measuring trick would never have dawned on me. I believe I may be an abstract artist at heart. If that is the case, I can step back and admire my unique decor as Picasso did his paintings.
A - Confusing
Most things in my life take time. I have friends that are more daring in the ‘try new things’ arena. I get some great advice this way. I just learned from a friend, that if you turn your jeans inside out before putting them in the dryer, they dry faster. I also have an organization problem and have not used space well. Being in friend’s homes, I discover wonderful ideas with what to do with my space. Implementing these fabulous ideas at home is another story. On occasion, I do implement these ideas. For example, I never considered putting a container in the car with emergency kid necessities. My friend has video games, movies, snacks and water, along with an emergency kit of course. I was impressed. I now have a smaller version in my car, but not in a portable plastic tub nor with any bandaids. It was just last month, that it dawned on me to stop asking other women if they have...whatever, in their amply supplied purses and supply mine instead. With such necessities as Advil, dental floss, band aids, personal hygiene products and emergency crayons, I have felt true freedom. Why does it take so long to not only discover the simple, but to utilize it in my life? It was truly exciting when I remembered to supplied my bag with stuff I actually needed.
F- Not Confusing
I don't know the reason I don't think to do these things on my own. I truly live a complicated and difficult life when it comes to the small things. I take pleasure in discovering new and easy ways of doing things. Three steps is more efficient than, say, ten. I don’t know where this handicap came from. It wasn’t from my parents. They are very handy and willing to try new projects...and are organized. I try to focus on my strengths these days instead of my weaknesses. I have an eye for decorating (even if it is a little off center), an ear for music and a gift for helping others (when capable). I am writing now, which has been a passion of mine. I have given up the perfectionism part of it (for the most part) and enjoy watching my thoughts unfold. My acceptance of who I am ebbs and flows and with age comes a type of surrender, of the idea, of who I think I should be. I find the more I write, the more I need and want to write. I am grateful I have another outlet to continue to discover who I am. I can define myself in a positive light and not label myself inadequate with my time consuming confusion. If I must grow old, I'd like to do it with acceptance and grace.