Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Smartest Girl in the Room

No one chooses to be who they are. At least I know I didn’t. I don’t think that even if we could, we would have the slightest clue how to do it. Too many episodes of the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits have convinced me that there is no easy way to go.

Every rainbow needs rain.

I didn’t ask to be the smartest girl in the room. For the longest time, I didn’t even know I was. Folks around me were pretty good at keeping that kind of thing from me. I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. All I knew at the time was that I was significantly different. In a world filled with different, I was more different than the rest, and I didn’t know why. I just knew that it was so. There wasn’t much I could do about it. I was just a kid. I imagine lots of kids had the same kind of feelings as I did, for their own kind of reasons.

Every flower needs the dirt.

I knew things about people. I knew their feelings and what they thought. I was sure they could know the same things about me, but they didn’t choose to. It never crossed my mind that they couldn’t do or see what I could do. I just thought they didn’t want to. That I wasn’t worth the trouble. I didn’t know why. I just thought it was so. Now I know they can’t. Other kids had misconceptions too. I know that. Other kids had real problems--problems that could not be overlooked, pushed aside, or forgotten. My only problem was that my brain could process more information at times than a child’s mind can understand.

I didn’t know how to talk about the things that other kids talked about. I knew how to dance and do math and write poetry. I think I was terribly intense. It was lonely talking to myself. I never learned a lot of the things that kids are supposed to learn by talking to each other. All I wanted to do was be good and not ever hurt anyone’s feelings.

Every star needs the night.

I wonder now if I could give back some of that smart and live my life without it, would I do it? I can’t say that I would. It’s a part of me that I would surely miss. On some days, it was all that I had.

I was the smartest girl in the room.
I guess it took me some time to be okay with that.

−me strauss Letting me be


Elvis said...

I would disagee on that.

Rainbow is the result of rain.

People of healthy births are all born a genius. What becomes of their intelligence would totally depend on their upbringing.

Flower don't need dirt. Flower need nutrients in soil.

You could see how people felt it's because you took the time to notice them. They couldn't see that in you and all they needed was a little more effort that they didnt give.

Stars don't need the night. People need the night to see the stars.

I would rather say your the observant girl in the room.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Elvis,
Thank you for stopping to leave such a thought-filled comment. It'a almost as if you were waiting for me to write this.

You words give me wo much to think about. I really like that. There are always new ways to look at things. Thank you for bringing me one, especially when I've been too stuck with the one I had.

mergrl said...

as a person who took years getting used to being different, I can so appreciate this post, you said it beautifully as always my friend

hope you have a lovely Tuesday (hugs)

ME Strauss said...

Hi very happy mergrl,
Thanks for finding a minute to stop by here. I'm glad your life is going so well. It makes me smile to even think of it.

chartreuse said...

a very good post.

i was married to a very smart woman once who told me the same thing, just not as elegently.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Chartreuse,
Welcome and thank you for saying that. It means a lot to hear that from you.

Trée said...

Liz, I grew up with an uncle (5 years older than me) who was and is one of the smartest people I've ever known. I could never match him intellectually and spent much of my youth in what could only be called a quoxitic endeavor.

My ladder was against the wrong wall. I thought I wanted to be as smart as him when what I really wanted was just to be happy. I thought if I was smart I would have what I wanted. In those quiet moments before the dawn, quite frankly, I could now give a damn less about how smart I am or am not. I just want love and peace and compassion and joy in my life. I want to touch those things and the irony is, the one thing that seems to constantly get in the way, is my brain.

Deep down inside, I want to be listened to and understood and loved for who I am, warts and all. My brain can come along if it likes, but I don't need it like I thought I did.

ME Strauss said...

Oh Tree,
What a wise comment that truly is. All that time you were wanting more, I was wanting less and both of us ended up in the same place--just wanting joy and peace, and love--not caring about that brain so much.

I'm so glad our blogs met each other without them, I'd never know you.

Kelley Bell said...

Once again, you have touched the universal core of our shared emotions.

Who among us has not felt isolated and apart from the group?

Acceptance is something we all crave, and Love is the ultimate answer to our questions of the universe.

I guess this is why I often rant against the patriarchal value systems of the status quo: Because it supports the idea that humans are seperate from Mother Earth, that we are somehow different and apart from the whole.

I say that the Oneness is here and now, and our goal must be to connect to it with each and every breath.

(Or to tell you what I really mean, go to my blog. I will post a new clip from "Mindwalk" as a personal note from me to you.

You are amazing...and I luv ya much.

ME Strauss said...

Thanks Kelly,
I bet you're the smartest girl in lots of rooms. I know you would be in any room that I go in. I love you too. I'll be over to see the clip. I can't wait.


dsnake1 said...

Hi Liz,
There are those that marched to a common drum beat and some who skipped to their own drum beat.

i guess you are of the latter type. :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dsnake,
Sometimes skipping, sometimes running, sometimes I don't know what I'm doing. I really lucky to have friends like you around to keep me from falling down too much.

Katina Mooneyham said...

I was constantly teased as a child for being smart. I would have rather read the encyclopedia as a child or the back of cereal boxes than to play with the kids in the neighborhood.

It has taken a very loving man to bring me out a shell that I built around me to protect myself. I stopped giving advice and stopped helping people with tutoring and such things because I was teased. But now I am realizing that it is who I am. I am learning to accept it that I am different. I am becoming proud once again.

It's hard but I think you seem to at least understand what it is that is going on. Take care and enjoy being different.

ME Strauss said...

Oh Katina,
I do understand. The world is a much bigger universe of people than the small places where we live. There are lots of folks like you hiding who we are, waiting to find a way to let ourselves out.

I hope you'll read two more posts down. I've been thinking a lot about this.

Then go read my friend, Kelley Bell

In fact, click on everyone who visits here, you're likely to find that we're all a lot like you are.


Michael said...

I grew up thinking I was smart.
Then I discovered that I really knew nothing at all...

Now I ponder and have no clue about how a man can love a woman that would never, could never love him back.

Or how children can go hungry even as food rots in a landfill.

Or how with the increasingly crowded nature of the world there can also be an increasing number of lonely people.

Or how the simple ripple of one word can touch so many and change the pattern of our existence.

Take Care

ME Strauss said...

Wow, Michael,
I have those same kind of thoughts. I think they show how smart you are--a sign in small children that they are incredibly intelligent is that they worry about things that other kids don't even think about.

I wonder how a mother and son could ever be estranged.

I know what you're talking about.

Thank you for thinking that I was worth sharing your wisdom with.

Yos said...

Hi Liz. I read your story and the comments all are so fine and bright. I could not understand how one feels special or different cause I never felt it myself. instead i always felt together never alone. but i was searching for awhile yet i never knew what i was looking for, there was nothing to look for but still people said there was. i was ambitious i guess the looking for something was my way of feeling "different", nevertheless i liked to read it always kind of teasing to read what you never share..thanks

ME Strauss said...

Hello, Yos,
I saw you name and a lump formed in my throat. I'm not sure why. I know one other who seems to have met the world whole. She is amazed too by this "different" feeling. I can explain a bit of it, I think. It has to do with a sense of belonging, of owning a place on the planet.

fineartist said...

We always think we need what we think we don’t have. Or something like that…good old mimetic desire. Maybe?

I often feel as if I’m not smart enough. Truth be told I’m bright, I’m capable, and I’m creative as heck. Whatever that means. Also, I am as ditzy as the day is long, and sometimes more so. I can lose my glasses on my own head. I can stammer and stutter around a sentence trying to articulate what it is that I am clearly seeing and feeling in my mind, but the words don’t come, or they come out all wrong, or with some information missing.

I accept these things about myself now, and I appreciate that what I lack in intelligence whether it be acquired or innate of type, I make up for in creativity, maybe, I’d like to think so anyway. The most important thing for me is that we, all of us, have gifts to appreciate and spread around, and with kind, loving hearts we share what we have more of and borrow what we have less of.

I’m glad to share this life with you Liz.

I have always loved this picture of you Liz, it is how I see you in my minds eye, contemplative, thinking, knowing, and very gentle.

Now I must get out those watercolors....

ME Strauss said...

What beautiful things you write inside the comments of my blog, Lori, and inside the comments of other folks' blogs. You are so perceptive, so giving of yourself. I can't help but wonder at how much you give.

Joseph said...

Hey Liz,

Glad I stopped by, you do inspire.

@ elvis Sometimes you have to hear the music behind the words (ask Liz)

Besides, I liked the post about walking on water. I have to stop by here more often, not just the work blog.


ME Strauss said...

Hi Joe,
I thought you might like those two. This is my secret hide out for folks who want to get away from the world for a while to just have a place to be.

Welcome. You'll find some lovely folks here.