I set out writing this blog with the intention of keeping it a secret. I wanted to allow myself to write freely, without censoring my entries based on the individual thoughts and feelings of my readers. But I find I just can’t shut up about it. Now that I have added ‘blogger’ to my repertoire of self-describing adjectives, I am anxious to explore just what it means and how it will impact the way others perceive me.
To be clear, I thrive by placing the world — myself included — in categories. I am female, smart, often hungry, introverted, assertive, kind. Sunday drivers are distracted, slow, clumsy. New York Times readers are smart, urban, wordy, highbrow. Macs are sleek, easy, superior to PCs in every possible way, etc etc. Every single person, place or thing in my world is inevitably understood within a taxonomical network of adjectives. These are in a constant state of flux, as I learn about myself, my friends, the world. Ironic as it seems, I find understanding my life this way has enabled me to see people more clearly for who they really are, by understanding them in context.
Think about it: When someone tells you that something reminded them of you, or that something is “so you,” it is another way of saying that, in their mind, you and this particular thing are categorized in tandem, and that you will perhaps cross their mind whenever they are face-to-face with it. It’s truly a compliment, like any other.
Yet, for some reason, many people recoil at the thought of being “pigeon-holed.” I have been criticized by others for being too judgmental, and my defense — that I understand the world in terms of categories, and that it helps me to interact with people if I can understand them in terms of these categories, which are constantly molded and revised as I interact with people — is often brushed off as bullshit.
I have one particular friend, though, (“D”) who seems to know me better than anybody else and really seems to get my whole “system” (I hesitate to call it that, because it’s more of a subconscious thing, but whatever.) D has the observational qualities you might normally attribute to a child; recognizing and breaking down the idiosyncracies of the people he interacts with in a really outstanding — and often unexpected — way. Today, the topic turned to judgment (always a touchy subject for me, as you might have guessed); Once again, D broke it down with the outstanding clarity I have always admired.
“That’s the thing I love about you,” he said. “You’re a judger, but you don’t judge your judgments.”
YES! That’s exactly what I have been trying to say all along! I think D must use my system too…
So, I continue writing, not just as a female, smart, hungry, introverted, assertive and kind person, but now also as a blogger, accepting as part of myself whatever that category entails.