I think about the concept of “understanding” a lot. I wonder if a person can ever truly understand another person? I wonder if anyone has ever truly understood me? And I wonder why we all have this desire to be understood at all?
One of my biggest motivations for writing is to try my best at explaining myself as plainly as possible. I want to explain everything about myself. Why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, how the world appears to me, and what I think people ought to do. I want to explain where I have been and where I am going, and why. I want everyone to know that someone like me exists.
As much as I am driven to be understand, I am driven to understand too. I want to know people. I want to know where they come from and how they have lived. I want to know what they see and feel and I want to know what drives them forward. I want to know that other people who exist too.
So far my need to be understood, and to understand, has not been resolved. People generally misunderstand me but I think it is more my fault then theirs. I just haven’t learned to articulate my thoughts as well as I would like. Not only that but all words and phrases in any human language can have multiple meanings. We can be easily misunderstood by things that have nothing to do with the words we are using. Context, tone, body language, even the other person’s mood can affect how we are understood.
For me, it feels like something always goes wrong and my words never mean precisely what I want them to mean.
Writing helps though. People aren’t inherently good at listening, not in my experience anyway. They don’t like to hear another person talk about themselves for too long. They like to get to the part where they get to say what they want to say. But with writing I can ramble on as much as I want about whatever I want and people will read it and actually take in my words. They have to wait until I am done to respond.
It may sound a little narcissistic, but all I want is to be heard, to be known to others. With writing I find that more and more my words are doing what I want them too, and other people are understand exactly what I mean to say.
In response to July NaBloPoMo prompt: Do people generally understand what you’re trying to say?