Journal Entry #15

Communication has been the center of my life for over a decade now…real communication between people and technical objects and not just “communications” in terms of media and journalism. Of course I have written hundreds of thousands of words from yearbooks to newspapers to leaflets and beyond, but my day job for the last twelve years of my life has relied upon making sure one system could speak to another, that one person could speak to another through the Internet, from 1s and 0s to machine language and satellites and all the way back down. And what I liked most about this technical form of communication? You could always find out what was stopping the communication….something always made logical sense if a message wasn’t getting received. Maybe a cable wasn’t plugged in, or the dish lost the satellite, or maybe there was a bug on line 458…

But when it comes to people full of their own “bugs” and “unplugged cables”,  faulty communication can seem impossible to fix. It isn’t logical when people don’t understand what we are trying to say, or when they listen to respond instead of listening to comprehend, or when they simply stop responding…and as someone who wants and EXPECTS the message to get across, I am mortified when my communication fails. I feel obligated to try every possible combination of finagling to see what other pathway I can take to get the message across….but the reality of human communication is that sometimes people are incapable of understanding and communicating effectively.

Reading comprehension is harped upon in every standardized test from the time children are four years old (yeah, ask my son what he is getting asked about the books he reads). Yet most adults cannot comprehend messages beyond 180 character tweets. If therein lies sarcasm or nuance, forget it. I have had readers come to me and say “oh my god, I loved when you said XXXX!”…when in fact I did NOT mean that at all. So where lies the communication error? Is it with my lack of proper diction? Or was it their insistence on reading and hearing what they wanted to read and hear? It makes me not want to communicate at all if I am not going to be truly understood at my core. Getting misunderstood makes me feel as though I have betrayed myself by failing to communicate well.

When we speak to anyone, when we write to anyone…are we not just speaking to who we project them to be? We never truly understand anyone. It feels like all communication with others is built within our own heads and we only feel “understood” when someone else’s verbal projection of us matches how we wish to be perceived. So we search around for people who are willing to reflect our image of ourselves back to us with their projection of who they think we are…but to truly understand someone, you have to crawl inside their head and hear their every thought and how every story they have experienced has affected their cognition. And if you did this, you would cease to be yourself…you would become them…so perhaps this perception and false projection protects our sense of self…

When I meet someone, that is what I try to do…I build their voice through understanding them so well that I don’t need to ask them what they would think or say. I am able to gather this voice based on how they treat me and what they tell me, which means I actually don’t know them at all…I only know what they have projected onto me as their mind. This realization can be pretty isolating…that I will never truly understand anyone besides my own clusterfuck of a mind. And no one will truly understand me, because I have a billion words floating in my head that have yet to be misconstrued through their movement from the mental plane to the physical. People read these words on my blog and feel a connection to 1% of me and attempt to claim connection. Oh, I get it…I feel like I know my favorite writers…but I know nothing (Jon Snow).

Twin flames might understand each other because a part of their minds are equal and mirror their souls. Kindred spirits as the same….and soul mates? We reach towards people who reflect ourselves, because we will never understand someone whose reflections distort our own.

I guess I will keep trying to communicate and I will keep getting misunderstood. No amount of italics, or drama dots (ellipses…), or ALL CAPS, or bold letters, or emojis, or memes will ensure the human connection is logical and that I am understood. And fuck, if that isn’t frustrating…


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