You Don’t Know Me

This is something that I hear fairly often. I hear it in my real world job of teaching adolescents. “You don’t know me. You don’t understand where I’m coming from.” It’s a fairly common adolescent attitude-the belief that they are singular beings in the universe and that no one (parents, teachers, friends) could ever understand how they feel. And yet, somehow, in the midst of that belief, they also believe that certain artists (lyricists, writers, painters etc) do get them. Those distant abstract people GET them. It’s just those of us who are real and tangible to them who don’t get them.

It’s also something that I’m seeing more and more in the blogosphere and in comments on blogs. “You don’t know me. You only read my blog. You don’t see my real life.” I suppose that’s fair enough. If you’re reading my blog, you don’t know what I had for dinner tonight. You don’t know what books are piled up on my bookshelves waiting for me to put the laptop and the lesson planning away so I can read something fun. You don’t know what I did after work today. You only read my blog. You only see what I let you see.

And there’s the proverbial rub. I control the content of this blog. I give you all the information you have about me. You know that I knit. You know that I’m a teacher, that I love to read, that I drink coffee and tea, that I love Jesus, that I tend to rant and ramble. That’s what I let you see. I don’t tell you about all of my minute conversations that I have in the course of my day. I only give you a partial picture of myself, not the whole thing.

And that’s fine. I don’t want to give you all of that information. You don’t really need it. But if you make a snap judgment about me based only on the content of my blog, I can’t fault you for that. Well, okay, I suppose that I could, but I shouldn’t. I haven’t given you all of the information about me.

As human beings, we only have a limited amount of access to one another. We don’t know everything about one another. And this can lead to us making mistakes. We can say or do the wrong thing without knowing the hurt that we are causing one another. We make mistakes. We’re fallible.

So yes, it hurts when someone judges us and we feel that the judgment is incorrect. But we need to recognize that we don’t all have unlimited access to each other’s lives. We don’t all know what struggles others are fighting. So instead of snapping back in anger (something that I am quite guilty of in my own life) please take a moment to take a breath. And be kind to others. We may not know you, but each of us ought to treat one another with kindness and decency. 

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

An appropriate subtitle for this post would be “Or my thoroughly inadequate attempts to explain my absence from the blog for the past three weeks.”

The last time I blogged, I hadn’t been to a Detroit Tigers game yet. Thankfully, I rectified that situation the following evening when I saw the Tigers defeat the Nationals of Washington. Alex Avila hit a grand salami slam. Miguel Cabrera was also awesome, but that’s just the way he was born. Anyway, I didn’t blog about that because this isn’t a baseball blog.

The last time I blogged, I hadn’t finished rereading the Harry Potter books yet. Thankfully, I rectified that situation around the beginning of August, and I think that I enjoyed the books more as an adult than I did as an adolescent. I definitely had a greater appreciation for the adults in the books than I did when I was younger. Anyway, I didn’t blog about THAT because I never really knew how to say what it was that I wanted to say. Maybe I’ll find that drive later, but I haven’t yet, so no blog post.

The last time I blogged, I hadn’t been to Stratford, Ontario yet this summer. Thankfully, I rectified that situation this past weekend. I saw Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and some British dude named Billy Shake-Spear’s minor hit, The Merchant of Venice. Blithe Spirit was hilarious, and MoV left me wondering, not for the first time, if the play is a tragedy, a comedy, or something in the middle. Anyway, I didn’t blog about that because this isn’t a theater blog…and because I fell asleep in the car on the way home only to wake up long enough to come inside, unpack, check my email, and go to bed.

The last time I blogged, I was also on summer vacation. However, that situation has also been rectified. I am no longer on summer vacation. This morning, I began the arduous process of dragging my body out of bed early in the morning. This week is a test run for next week as this week, I have meetings with my fellow teachers at the two schools where I work. (Oh yeah, I now teach middle school and high school. I forgot to mention that earlier.) But anyway, I’m in meetings this week, and the nice thing about that is that I don’t have to be there as early as I will next week when we have kiddos to teach. (I suspect that high school seniors don’t enjoy being called “kiddos,” but as long as they never find out that I call them that, we’re all good.) But I’m being honest, I’m looking forward to having kids in front of me and being a teacher again. Anyway, I didn’t blog about that because it just happened today.

I’ve enjoyed my summer. It wasn’t long enough for my liking. I didn’t get enough knitting done. (FYI, I should have a pattern ready for release in about a week or so.) I definitely didn’t get enough sleeping done. But today, I saw kids at the middle school book sale, and I started to get excited for being back at school.

So after all of that, why haven’t I blogged for the past three weeks? Because I’m a lazy bum.

And where has Joe DiMaggio gone? Umm, I’d assume that he’s in heaven by now. I’m pretty certain that he’s dead.