Mixed Signals by Chukwukwe Eugenia Adaku


I consider myself an expert on subtlety. I don’t mean to brag, it’s a statement of fact–I understand the nuances of human behavior and socialization intuitively, and my instincts and feelings have always been the most skillful guide in my life. It’s one of my strongest innate skills, and from which are borne my humour, compassion, cynicism, leadership, and humility (I realize the irony of bragging that “humility” is one of my strongest qualities, calm the fuck down). It’s the root of a full gamut of qualities and characteristics I consider myself to embody. When someone sends me an unspoken signal–or one that is veiled beneath another, obvious message or an entirely ulterior conveyance–I am apt to pick up on it immediately. I don’t claim to be the most gutsy person, however, so my response to such signals is variable: usually, the most cautious route is the one I follow. I’m wont to feign ignorance. I like to have a blunt, or at least explicit, confirmation of what I believe to be the subtle message, something overt and concrete; I’m terrified of one day misreading signals, so I require such substantiation. Yet, even when I’ve received confirmation, I’ve rarely, if ever, been wrong.
Mixed signals are, as with most people, significantly more challenging to interpret. Even so, I would tout that I possess a higher-than- average capacity to decipher and process mixed signals, even if the sender of such signals is.confused to begin with. Thematically, much of my writing has, in some way, been dedicated to the ongoing and unceasing struggle my mind and my heart engage in on a variety of topics, issues, and concerns. The former is often the aggressor, the latter usually the defender. Both have their negative qualities and their magnificent aspects, and both are inextricably intertwined. When my heart and mind have been in accord, on those unfortunately rare occasions, it’s like having an epiphany–everything clicks within me, because everything clicks around me. I’m finding my place in the world and enjoying it, feeling and comprehending it, affecting and being affected equally by it. When my heart and mind are in accord, there is balance and bliss. I can do no wrong. That is, of course, until something changes the balance–usually some external factor that throws
me completely out of myself. At this moment, I have a nearly uncontrollable, passionate, and rabidly confident push from my heart, and my mind–acting in full force to reel it in–is desperately trying to stop from being pushed aside. This is because of your mixed signals, those delightfully hopeful and nerve- wracking messages that make me pulsate with electricity and shiver with anticipation. I’ve felt this before, and I can recall the confidence and happiness it created–and I can recall my heart being correct. There are lingering hurdles of my mind’s construction that need to be cleared before I can bask in the tentative happiness I feel, but my emotions are leaping forward, at full speed. Don’t let me down now, heart–you’ve never been wrong before.

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