Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Who Am I?

A person I admire lists as his interests,
“Foundations, nonprofits, philanthropy, aesthetics, architecture, cognitive science, cultural polemics, ethics, existentialism, hiking, jazz, linguistics, logic, mathematics, media literacy, movies, outsider art, philosophy, postmodernism, physics, quantum mechanics, religion, rhetoric, science, semantic theory, and truth.”

I feel so utterly and completely inadequate.

First of all, I had to look up “polemics” – the art or practice of disputation - then I had to look up “disputation” – debate – before I understood that particular interest. And I have to admit I’m not totally sure I understand what outsider art is, and quantum mechanics equals hocus pocus magic, as far as I’m concerned.

For quite some time now, I’ve been bothered by the fact that I don’t have any real interests any more. I mean REAL interests – the kind of interests to which you dedicate your time, your energy and your passion. The kind of interests that help define you as a unique person, offer refuge and relief, and feed your soul. The kind of interests that act as magnets and draw you in to a place that you can’t wait to reach because you’re happy when you are there.

I’ve become rote. I think I’ve even become….kind of boring.

Now there are certainly things I like to do: walking and playing with my dog, browsing through antique stores, going to the Last Stop, and watching movies. But over the course of time, I seem to have lost my drive to delve into things more deeply. I think I got too caught up in work, then I got caught up in a big life-changing move, then I battled some depression, then I came around again but in the process of adjusting to the last few years of my life, I have disengaged a little bit from anything interesting.

I admire those people who are truly dedicated to their interests. Whether it’s bridge or golf or ballroom dancing or video games or playing an instrument or running or WHATEVER – while it might not be something I’m into, I want to feel that passionately about an activity again.

Reading. Traveling. Digital photography. My computer. Gardening. Art appreciation. Listening to live music. Healthy cooking. These are the interests that intrigue me the most right now, but I need a cosmic kick in the pants to delve in and really experience these activities as daily parts of my life.

This has all been brought on by this time that inevitably rolls around every year. The time when I begin the process of making New Year’s resolutions.

I really love the IDEA of starting fresh in the New Year – it’s a symbolic time when I feel like I can reverse the negatives in my life. But I’m usually unrealistic, or overly ambitious, and am lucky if I stick to something through the month of January.

So this year, I’m taking a new approach. Rather than say I want to lose one hundred pounds or exercise one hour every day or something equally painful, I want to go positive and say that I’m going to explore my interests in 2007 and look for those things that capture my heart and soul. I want to really ENGAGE in life again, in ways other than work.

I’m not quite there, yet, in terms of my resolution, but this is the general idea. Maybe I’ll discover that I, too, like cognitive science and semantic theory, but chances are it will be something closer to scrap booking and yoga.


  • At 12/21/2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    well, as one of your okc visitors i can tell you that you are far from boring. we had a great time with you and i could have listened to your stories all night. sorry, i couldn't help myself from commenting, beth linked to your blog. blame it on beth....


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