Talking out of my ass

So today was improv Sunday. Very nice, too. We did suryas and standing poses, and then Volleyball Guy did a workshop of the first third of intermediate. Right up my alley, since this is what I’m working on every day. Nice to stop and talk about what was going on with the poses, and to learn the adjustments and to help out other folks in class.

Here’s the deal, though: we have new people at the shala. This is a good thing. Volleyball Guy is taking the opportunity to teach more, to bring these folks along. The catch is that he asks us Mysorians to throw in our opinions. On the one hand, I think that’s a nice idea. On the other hand, I kind of hate it. Why? Well, because I talk out of my ass.

Isn’t it enough that I do out-of-the-ass-talking at work? I manage a substantial team, so I talk out of my ass to the designers, and then I talk out of my ass to the executives. I am never, in any way, trying to put one over on anyone. I really try to stay agenda-free and have some kind of integrity, and I try to offer solace and motivation as needed, etc. But I can’t get past the feeling that I wish I wasn’t being called upon to actually know what I am talking about.

Of course, I love the sound of my own voice as much as the next person. But gee whiz, how much ass-talking can one person do? I mean, I have this blog: this is the perfect place for me to make up whatever reality I damn well choose. But everywhere else? It’s starting to be a burden. Maybe I am feeling particularly sensitive because I have a new supervisor for the design team, so now I’m doing an extra level of ass-talking: design pronouncements to the designers, management pronouncements to the supervisor, up-the-chain talk to the executives. I keep trying to just say what I think/feel, but it never feels terribly steady. I mean, I don’t know anything more about anything than anyone else.

When Volleyball Guy asks me to help define the term “yoga theory,” I can certainly go off on some explanation, and it’s even an explanation that I’ve thought about a bit, and that I hope is useful to people, etc. But in the back of my mind, I’m going, “Should I point out at the end of this that I am totally making it up as I go along, based on my current best experience and basically I have no idea if I am on track or entirely delusional — or will that tarnish my credibility?”

Maybe this is the downfall of thinking. I am loving Carl’s thinking blog, but I am also finding that sometimes I totally believe what I think and say, and other times (often within a split second) I think it’s all just a pile of crap.

Here’s the deal: I can tell you what I think and believe, and I’m happy to do so at any given moment. Will it be true, and will it continue to be what I think and believe? Like, even for the amount of time it takes me to type or say it? Oh hell, no.


In other news, Sanskrit Scholar, The Sicilian, Crim Girl and I had lunch after practice. Lovely to kick back and laugh and talk about yoga. (Please God, don’t make me say anything authoritiative!) No worries. We all take each other at face value. Such a thing to be grateful for, that there are people who can accept that I don’t know what I’m talking about pretty much 99.9% of the time.


7 Responses

  1. Mmm, and just when I was wondering about that Carl-blog note about where your words leave off, wondering if over time you might find more words on the topic we were discussing there.

    I feel this way often too, especially when there’s a great distance between the certainty I give off (in order to say a whole sentence, you have to stake SOME ontological claims and all) and the uncertainty that I (plenty comfortably) feel. Ultimately, all I know is that …

    But even if what you mention in an improv class is bravado (and I doubt it), maybe that’s the kind of environment where just such kind of diversity of experience– and play– are best.

  2. Oh, I’m sure I’ll find more words. 😉

    “in order to say a whole sentence, you have to stake SOME ontological claims” — thanks for that! It really does help put things in perspective. Otherwise, I feel like I am slipping on ice. I wonder why that impulse sometimes kicks in, where you wish everything could be stable and “true” somehow.

  3. One of the reasons I left grad school ABD is the feeling that I was talking out of my ass (and getting the ass-talk published!) and then I realized so was everyone else…and it freaked me out so much that I decided I just couldn’t stay in that profession.

    I guess I didn’t realize that uncertainty, or shifting reality, or whatever, pops up in a lot of different realms of life!

  4. Haha! Grad school is where ass-talking is most fully explored and admired! And corporate America. Yeah, it’s loved by all in corporate America.

    I like to think that if we are at least concerned about the level of our ass-talking, then maybe we are not quite so deluded by the words coming out of our mouths. I hope so, at least.

  5. I hope so too…

    Now instead of scholarly monographic ass-talking, I write fictional ass-talking. At least everyone *knows* fiction is made-up, right?

  6. Hi Karen
    I’m glad you’re posting your thoughts about whether you’re being authoritative by blogging or not. My blogging has been “discovered” by the project manager who I worked with on two projects at the office and suddenly I feel vulnerable. Not that I would say anything that my mom would not read. In fact, my mom reads my blog to know what is going on in my life. Also, I haven’t criticized anyone at work. But as you say, someone’s blog, if one reads it, reveals what a person is like. Who they are, their values, etc., come through in their writing. I’m gay and practice yoga and calorie restriction. That makes me unusual to begin with. Well if your conclusion is that you don’t feel correct 99% of the time, you’re in synch with Aristotle, who said “I only know that I know nothing.” By the way, I revealed my blog to the PM because I wanted to share the pictures I took on my vacation. Had I not been so hasty to be showing them off, I would not have shown him the blog. I don’t think anything bad will come of it, but, repeating myself, I feel vulnerable.

  7. I hope it all goes well at work for you, Arturo. Your blog is always so measured and classy. I can’t imagine anyone ever taking offense. That said, it does feel vulnerable to have people from the professional part of your life read your blog. A few people at my work know about this blog. Luckily, I think they grow rather bored of all the talk about yoga, so they don’t spend too much time reading what I have to say. 😉

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