SnapDragon Speaks: On Being Vulnerable.


Life. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. But there is beauty in the struggle, my friend.

Turn it Up, 2020. Pennsylvania. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

My greatest fear in life is to be misunderstood.

I know, I know. Kiiind of wishful thinking on my part.

Because really: who hasn’t been misunderstood at least once in her life? In fact, who hasn’t experienced this on a relatively frequent basis?

I know I have.

And it hurts, Dear Reader.

It feels like a mouthful of abscessed teeth.

Nevertheless, life goes on. And we travel on with it, in another pursuit to share the very best version of ourselves.

. . .

For me, art has always been the pinnacle of self expression.

Music, paintings, writing, and film: there’s a treasure-trove out there, just waiting for an audience.

And after a labor of love, the artist decides to release her work into the wild.

Into the unknown.

Into a sea of countless viewers, each with a unique perspective.

I hope they understand, she whispers.

. . .

Sometimes, when my mind is at its clearest, I am reminded that life’s a crap shoot.

We’re all human. We’re all imperfect.

And we’re all just trying to get it right.

So when I’m afraid? When I’m scared to speak my mind, or dance to the music? Afraid to stand up, sing out, and shine on?

I tell those thoughts, Not today.

Because life is for living. For trial and error. For getting up again and again even when I fail.

Because this collection of good intentions is not too proud to try.

. . .

So let’s talk.

Let’s mingle.

Let’s vow to engage in dialogue with passion, respect, and an effort to enhance the human experience.

Because we are in this thing together.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, thinker, and occasional speaker of unpopular truths.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

. . .

Let’s chat, Dear Reader.

How can we be better communicators? Better listeners? Better at giving each other the benefit of the doubt?

Go ahead and drop a comment!

47 thoughts on “SnapDragon Speaks: On Being Vulnerable.

  1. Occasionally, there is a gift in being misunderstood. There’s a chance to really consider either what you’re presenting and how you’re doing that, or what your intentions are. (Sorry, working on an Ethics paper and it is seeping into everything right now!) Or to quote ‘Alice in Wonderland’ “Do you mean what you say? Or do you say what you mean?”
    Yes, sometimes I get frustrated when my husband and I don’t understand what the other is saying or trying to get done. It happens. The silver lining is we generally come out of it with a better understanding of what the other person values or needs. I feel like it make us both better communicators. Since we both value our marriage… We’ve also both gotten a lot more open about asking “Wait – what does that mean?” and not taking it as a challenge.
    Publicly I try to remain as simple and straightforward as I can be, not because I think people are all idiots, but because it minimizes confusion. I can’t help what people think, if I do my best to be authentic and they don’t “get” it – that’s OK. I only live in my brain.

    1. Excellent points, Liz! As you said, I think asking clarifying questions is key. It can be so easy to jump to conclusions, when really it was just a communication breakdown. Thanks so much for your comment, and best of luck on the paper! 🕊

  2. I really struggle with this also. But when I remember I am not trusting myself, it gets easier. In other words, I only care what other people think when I am not sure of my own feelings. This is a constant struggle for me but I’m getting better at being myself with practice!

    1. Well said! I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Sometimes not knowing our own feelings can complicate everything. Thanks so much for your comment! 🕊

  3. My greatest fear in life is to be misunderstood.

    A quote by Clarence Darrow:

    I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood.

    I suspect tongue in cheek, well at least a little.

    1. I love it! What a great way to turn things upside down. And I think Darrow may have had a solid point! Maybe sometimes there is only a lesser of two evils. Thanks so much for your comment! 🕊

  4. I think to understand others better we all need to realize that there is more than one right way to do anything. Not everything is a definite and has to be “my way or the highway” maybe someone else way works just as well if not better than your own. You’ll never know if you don’t try it. You’ll never understand if you don’t step into someone else’s shoes and situations.

    1. So true! I think seeing things from the perspective of others—or even trying to—is difficult for a lot of people. Thanks so much for your comment! 🕊

  5. Misunderstanding others and being misunderstood is my life story. It is the curse of being an Aspie. One I do not wish upon anyone. I would give years off my life just to be able to read the subtext and to project what others look for.

    I survive, regardless.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, friend. And thank you for sharing your experience. May we all practice a little more patience and understanding toward others! 🕊

  6. A thing that can help with feelings of being misunderstood is the insight that everyone is in their own drama. They often project their stuff when moving around the world, from their own needs and desires which actively make it harder for them to see you. In other words, some misunderstandings are driven by the needs they bring to a conversation.

  7. Great post! Ugh- communication…. so much more complex than the whole messenger, receiver, message bit. I think communication remains one of my greatest personal challenges but there has been growth. I am better at restraint. I have learned (mostly) to convey my point without screaming or yelling. The cursing is still present but “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn.” It is very hard for me not to take things personally. To remember, mostly it’s not about me! I guess we are all in this crazy struggle!

    1. We are! We are all caught in misunderstandings from time to time. It can be both frustrating and heartbreaking, especially when the other person refuses to even try. Thanks for your comment! 🕊

  8. The struggle is REAL! Putting yourself out into the world is a scary prospect. AND Yet… all that is worthwhile is on the other side of that fear.

  9. Hey SnapDragon, I really appreciate this post, I feel like I can relate to it in so many ways. Just commenting on the big picture of being vulnerable as it connects to art, I absolutely adore it and feel like it’s addicting. To be understood through something you put your heart into, that isn’t “cookie cutter” and something people might not find “normal” is almost addicting to me. I love writing, creating music, making high energy travel videos, and taking unique photos. I put my own twist into all of these forms of art and when I feel like people understand me through them, I feel amazing. I know they see my true self.

    My biggest fear is not being the best I can be, which relates to how you used “imperfect” here. Logically, I know that it’s okay not to be perfect, but I’m still fighting the part of me that wants to be perfect all the time, the inner voice that tells me to hold back or not try my hardest because I don’t want to fail. Food for thought, and something I can work on more during this social distancing. Thanks for the post I really enjoyed it. <3Ellen

    1. Thanks so much, ellieejay. I appreciate your comments, as well. It certainly is rewarding—addictive, even—when our art seems to make the impact we had hoped for. And when we feel like we have failed. . . well, that’s another feeling entirely. Let us continue to put forth our best efforts! Wishing you much creativity during this time. Thanks again for being here, friend. 🕊

  10. So often we try to look at ourselves through other people’s eyes. When we do that, we usually project out own insecurities onto the picture we imagine the other person sees. We make our own shortcomings the center of the other person’s attention.

    In reality they are the center of their own world. Unless you do something spectacular or are very close to the person, you are on the periphery of their vision. You are not seen at the level of detail you imagine nor is your flaw as important to anyone else as it is to you.

    An artist is by nature an exhibitionist. You want to draw attention to your creation, else you wouldn’t put it out there. Yet the same principle applies. It is your project, your baby. You have been as intimate with it as is humanly possible. You will be aware of every imperfection and it will scream at you. However, the casual observer will look at it, maybe think about it for a moment and move on.

    I recently workshopped a scene for an acting class. It was about an old man lost in the fog and pain of advancing age and looking for a way through. I was so frightened I was shaking throughout. I forgot my lines half way through and ad-libbed the last part.

    It turned out to be a massive hit in the class. Instructor even called it bold and innovative. All that fear translated into the character’s fear. The flaws in the performance made it better.

    We should all investigate the idea of Wabi-Sabi, the principle that is the flaw in a thing makes the rest of the work beautiful.

    1. Oh, Fred. This is beautiful, truly. You are absolutely right: sometimes the imperfections make the experience even better, even more human. Thank you for this insightful comment! 🕊

  11. To answer the questions, it is one word – Accept –
    Accept that others exist,
    Accept that anyone can be wrong, including oneself.
    Accept that one may not know everything.
    This attitude will make one a good listener and reduces scope of misunderstanding.

    Adding a little here.
    “Snap Dragon is a writer, thinker, occasional speaker of unpopular truth,” and a motivationist !

    1. Wow! Thanks so much, friend. That means more than you know. ☺️
      And you are absolutely right: acceptance can set us free. Not even one of us is without flaws! 🕊

  12. this reminded me of the beginning of my blogging journey, I would get comments that I felt didn’t understand where I was coming from on my posts. the curious thing abut blogging was that through the comments section I learned to become a better listener, to not take comments personally, & like you said to respect the feedback from my readers, & learn to accept that they didn’t always have to agree with me, I think especially with the bloggers I interact with on a regular basis, I learned to see how their comments were an extension of who they are, their personality, & their experiences, so that also helped me understand from where they were coming from

    1. Definitely! It can be both frustrating and hurtful to put your words out into the blogosphere and have them misunderstood. The silver lining is that perhaps this misunderstanding can create dialogue, and growth. At least, we can hope! Thanks so much for your comment. 🕊

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