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what i am not

ah, friend. you've heard me say this before. people see in me what they want to see. they notice one element of how i look. or one behaviour that i engage in, no matter how playful my intent, how accidental the undertaking, or how rarely i actually do that thing. and suddenly they are convinced they know me. the real me. to my core. their instant insight is unshakeable. and i am forever branded.

it doesn't matter that the last person who engaged in that exact same behaviour came to the completely opposite conclusion about me. though of course they were equally convinced.

and it's not just now and again. it's constant.

welcome to the age of certainty.

honestly i preferred it when folks just didn't know what to make of me at all. at least then i could get a couple of cheerful words in edgewise before they cemented their cluelessness in place and began to ignore anything i said.

one thing i've had serious trouble with over the last few years is people insisting i'm a teacher.

i have massive respect for professional teachers. we give them the opportunity to help young people trying to navigate the incredibly difficult terrain of our world.

all we ask in return is that we are allowed to overwork them, disrespect them, underpay them, and blame them for results that come from things like bad parenting over which we make certain they have absolutely no control.

happily no one's ever mistaken me for a professional teacher. though i do sometimes get asked if i'm a professor. stop laughing. it's true.

but the 'uh oh' moment for me is when someone looks at me and says 'i am here to learn'.

oh no. no. not again.

last time was online, a complete sea-lion. who eventually blasted himself into my private space, finally letting out another one of my favourites.

'i am here to learn.'

no, sunshine, thought i. you're clearly not here to learn.

plainly, you're here to be taught.

there's a difference.

see, only one of them takes a mountain of my time. while you passively ingest. and argue. apparently.

and if you don't understand the distinction--then i am specifically not here to teach you


i'm not a teacher.

i'm a signpost.

if there are lessons from a signpost they are by definition short and sharp. maybe even brutal.



don't even

that last one i imagine in a painting. not too big. on one side we're looking down at a valley, or maybe an ocean view, with rocks below. but clearly we are high up. on the other side is a roadway, or maybe just a path, going off into the distance, or perhaps heading out of frame. and somewhere along that path is a sign. just far enough away that it's not immediately obvious it's of any importance. but then you discover it. and that's what it says.

don't even

but i digress.

no, friend. i am many things.

there are also many things i am not.

that's one of them.


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