- The Unrevised Collection -
I don’t know how it is in your country, but before I jumped to my last 3 years in secondary school, we had a kind of a phsycologist about once a week, that would ask us questions, deliver tests on professional aptitude and personality and eventually, have a nice, long talk with us on the last month, to help us figure out what professional path to take next.
You see, on the last 3 years of secondary school you were suppose to have specific subjects that connected you with the course you were planning to have on university or tech. degree.
However, as you can imagine, at 14 we were too young to know exactly what we want to become, and everyone’s opinion – including parents – gets in the way, mixed with whatever you saw yesterday on TV that looked the coolest thing to do in the world! – and my BFF totally agrees with me!
Around this time, I was divided between doing something in Arts & Design, and what my father wanted me to do – something in Engineering or Architecture, but for the love of God not that bloody Design thing because you can’t make any living out of it!! (ha-ha-ha!)
Anyways, the ‘kind-of-a-phsycologist’ lady was getting very frustrated with me, because I could never answer her very direct question of: but what do YOU want to do? – I know, it’s a simple question, but did you think I only became complicated after 30?
My tests turned out good in more than one thing (I know, I’m that good!) but mostly pointed towards areas where I would have to use my creativity. (Another bell?)
Wait! say you, Is this post really about aliens? – Yes. Turns out she was one.
So at one point she had enough of me and maybe had to get her fingernails done, so it went like this:
Vanessa, I have two hands here – see, this would be a good start if this was a post about aliens - this hand here symbolizes Engineering and the other one means Design. Now, when I lift my hands up in front of you, you have to speak immediately and say out loud which one of them you choose. It’s just a game, something we are trying here, you don’t have to take any degree on any of them after you finish secondary school, so don’t worry. Just say what comes to mind now, choose a hand – Engineering – and she lifted her right hand – or Design - and she raised her left hand – now!
Well you already know what I said, but the point I am trying to make is that is the same with some questions you ask people, and the funny thing is it gets even harder to get an answer if they are not 14 anymore, but full-grown adults.
‘Do you believe in aliens?’ is one of those questions. I can never get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and even when that is the first thing someone answers me, I know that ‘I mean…’ will follow, or a long explanation that concludes they aren’t sure of their answer.
But no-one is asking you to prove aliens are real, so why this fear of looking like a fool? What I notice is that people see it as only two ways: whether their answer will make them look like a fool or they will look cold and old. There are some variations of the feelings people are trying to avoid, but basically it circles around that: the concern is never in the honesty of the answer in itself, but the answer that will make sure to represent them correctly converging all their beliefs together in that one answer.
So, I have two hands, and I am going to raise them quickly…