True enough. I’ve had critics, mild and harsh and I try to respect their views of me and try to find some validity for their perspective while not allowing it to emotionally affect me. I’m not suggesting you’re doing so; but rather responding that when others characterize/mischaracterize me, it’s fine – and even when I mischaracterize what I perceive to be characterizations of me… and so on.
Muddling is my zen. For me, striving for clarity and precision and focus gives me a headache. I like my messy room and my messy mind; I doubt there’s a soul who doesn’t have some sort of muddle deep beneath clarity and precision.
Is this imposing my own mess and ascribing it to all humanity? Absolutely But it’s the awkward that I find most fascinating, the bones aching, 5 foot 2″ size 12 foot tripping up the stairs and voice cracking pubescent me that’s never left. I’m the crying-for-my-mommy-first-day-of-kindergarten… the boy lost in the big city, and the preacher at the podium, politician and General, smart-ass film critic and backtalking 4th grader, “got-it-all-figured-out grownup”, Superhero gonna-save-the-world all mixed together.
Honestly, I prefer being the 42 year old, bearded 6′ tall handsome guy I’ve become and suspect I’ll have a similarly pleased-with-myself attitude in later decades as I’ve had before, always describing my experiences to my younger selves and trying to help them comprehend their own awkwardnesses as I progress forward through Time.
The glimpses of how I’m characterized on occasion I don’t take as attacks but opportunities for growth. I relish the challenge of “you’re wrong and here’s why” not so I can convince someone else of my intellect or clarity but as a challenge to convince myself as to where they could be right about me, in as dispassionate a way possible
When someone is off-balance, I like that their center of gravity actually is, for a moment, awkwardly just outside of their own bodies. It is where I leave the narrow path to those who are better capable of keeping their centers within them; the off-balance state is a strangely comfortable one for me. It allows me to empathize with the awkwardness in others by experiencing it continually in myself and learning to cope through acceptance of it.