One of the books I remember reading with my parents as a child was The Little Prince. Now, as I revisit it in adulthood, I’m amazed that as I was sounding out words for myself, we were actually reading through that very adult story. I did like the pictures. And even at five or six, one picture and its accompanying prose resonated pretty perfectly.
I think even at that early age (especially as one who was an only child at that point) I got very frustrated when people (grownups) couldn’t see the things I did/said/drew clearly. It is the consequence, I think, of being smart. And I say that without any ego. When you figure out things more quickly or with a different level of understanding than the rest of your peers, it is frustrating. And to this day, I still get flustered in the same way about such things as I did when I was that six year old first reading Le Petit Prince.
And sometimes that flustered feeling comes because I think people
don’t hear me don’t want to hear me clearly because I’m a female. Now before you get all excited about my whiny
feminism (seriously, out of the 400 blogs I’ve written, how many times do I
whine?), I really do think some things either aren’t listened to or heard
differently from a woman’s voice. Talk
about something like numbers or facts… and what do you know? Try to prove the validity of a different perspective with a list of points to
consider and I’m giving a lecture. And
that is the LAST thing I want to do.
I think about how to speak, how to tell a story, how to convey facts without being dull or as a dominating soliloquy. Maybe I stopped for a bit, as I haven’t given a tour in over two years (I miss it) and my public speaking has been limited to these every so sexy business meetings. Nothing that gets me excited and informs my telling with contagious enthusiasm as did the labyrinth at Beauport or comparing children’s armor to buying an eight year old a sports car. But, I still like to know what I’m talking about. And I still like to express my opinion as a possible point of view, not an evangelical be all end all truth.
I really do get that there are other perspectives. I want to listen to them. I want to disagree. I want to have some back and forth. Intelligently. Respectfully. Peel back the layers. I don’t want to be shut down as though my voice is complaining or lecturing or that my facts lack perspective… or power.
So I come home and want to stamp my foot and pout like that six year old girl who still understands the vexation towards adults who only saw a hat and not the elephant that had been consumed by a boa constrictor.