31 Project: Common Misconceptions

Well, on my list today for my project is common misconceptions people have about me.  I don’t really know how people conceive me and I typically don’t care.  I find a few things frustrating that I will elaborate.  People I have met who I know well find me a smart-ass, typically, which isn’t really how I see myself.  I has been my experience that people call me a smart ass when I give a cogent, logical counter-example to something they have said.  Which is frustrating.  Other misconceptions:

My general attitude at any given moment is irreverence.  Job duties and life responsibilities are taken seriously, but I see little point in a humorless existence.  The danger rears its ugly head most often during staff meetings where jokes fall flat because proper mouse/keyboard cleaning procedures are quite serious!  This doesn’t aid my smart-ass accusations, but life without laughter is little life at all.  My life’s ambition is summed up by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie:  he just wants to make millions of people happy.

There is certainly a tendency to take irreverence and mistake it for laziness, or not-caring.  But people are too serious and too unhappy and there’s no point in suffering on purpose.  Sunshine and rainbows need not present themselves constantly,  but there’s much to be gained from a smile as often as possible.

Another misconception people have about me is that I am extroverted, out-going, and not-at-all shy.  This is untrue.  I am, in fact, incredibly shy and not that outgoing.  I tend to need some prodding to do activities and I have to make a very conscious effort to get to know people.  I like to listen to people but I’m not often thrilled to talk about myself, unless it is some sort of crazy adventure I have had that comes up organically.  Social awkwardness is a constant danger.

Another misconception is my age.  People usually think I’m much younger than I am, which I honestly find pretty cool.  I look young and I act young.  Youth is a state of mind, you see, and I’m fine being considered youthful if it prevents the cynicism from seeping in.  Idealism is not a problem when tempered with realism – but cynicism is the vantage of the poor in spirit.

Despite being a typical dude (my socks end up on the floor, not the hamper) I am not a fan of most professional sports teams.  Knowledge of my card-carrying nerd status should result in little shock at this.  Baseball is something I am fond of watching, especially in person, as well has hockey games, but I find football incredibly boring,  There’s a lot of spectacle and not enough to interest me.    It’s the sports equivalent of the Transformers movies – which bored me to sleep.

For all the complaining I can do, I’m very poor at quitting things.  At least all the way.  Constant attempts are made to restart projects, quite often in fact.

I hate wearing shoes?  No, I think lots of people know that one.  I suppose many of my students had severe misconceptions of me based on my general attitude in the classroom. Most of my life, I accept full responsibility, but there was a lot going on outside of the classroom that really messed up the happenings inside, so I wish I could have demonstrated the real “Mr. Abel” more often.  Hopefully that chance will come.

Aside from the shyness, I don’t think many people mistake me for much other than I am.  I like fun and happiness and songs and keeping to myself to recrystallize at times.  I enjoy listening to indie rock with a tight hoodie every so often – it keeps me sane.

If I ever feel really mopey I take a shower and put one hand on the wall like old hard-boiled detectives in film noir.  The ridiculousness of it all cheers me up.  Random kindness tends to cheer me as well.  Yesterday at a McDonald’s twin drive-thru the person in the other lane let me through before her and it made me incredibly happy and hopeful for humanity.

Despite what I tend to say, I believe in the basic goodness of humanity and the ability to do the right thing.  We’re all in this together, after all.  That shocks some people, my crazy idealism because of my smart-ass attitude.  I’m not much of a smart-ass, though.  I’m just terribly honest.

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Author: Matthew

A father, son, husband, and fairly rad dude.

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