09 March 2011

The homely truth about O-Mo

There are a few things I think people sometimes misperceive about me and a few tidbits which seem to surprise people when they find them out. I've probably thought of some of these because of the new people I've been meeting and spending time with and the questions they come up with along the way. It makes me wonder what perceptions people have of me and when they'll see past their self-told stories about me based on initial impressions. So by way of clarification:
  • I'm interesting and fun to certain people, but I'm often terribly boring to people who "like to have fun" in the dancing, partying sense or frustrating to those who are especially action-oriented or hardcore.
  • I know a few people genuinely and deeply care about me and say they're glad to have me around, but I occasionally still feel completely useless to everyone, like my total absence wouldn't make any notable difference.
  • While I sometimes let the previous feeling motivate me to want to live in a way that would be more impacting, I sometimes instead wish I could just vanish away to stop using up resources and people's energy for my piddly life and concerns.
  • I am often confident about many things, but I'm also insecure sometimes about others. Being confident or having conviction about some things does not eliminate insecurities or uncertainty about others.
  • I have an abundance of love and affection to offer, but I nevertheless often think that the strongest and most animating affection and love I have felt will be homeless, and I'll be better off alone or am unfit to really match up with anyone in a meaningful, lasting way unless I shut down significant parts of my personality and cognition which most people find difficult to deal with or share...
  • I have a lot of beliefs and conviction, but those have been gained through or proven by questions and doubts.
  • I want to make the most of my life and really contribute something but often move on to another idea or lose practical interest before the follow-through. It's not that I don't have ambition or don't care, it's that I may need external help to channel and invest and don't easily identify that help.
  • I fall into intellectual laziness sometimes, failing to exercise my mental muscles or remember why I've incorporated certain principles, and emotional attachments or desires sneak in to draw me in directions I don't believe are ultimately best but which "feel good" at the time. Fortunately, I'm also slow to act, so I typically have time to realize my potential direction and remember the reasons before I've done anything "rash" (like going to church in a moment of wishing for the sense of community or simplicity of just playing along but without believing it, or fooling around with someone who's hot and seems willing but with whom I don't want a romantic relationship and whom I don't trust enough to know that they're disease-free or know for sure where they're coming from emotionally). This lends an air of stability which is pretty accurate but is not necessarily the whole story: there's still messiness behind the stability--it just typically gets processed internally.
  • I'm intelligent but easily distracted from learning about things by shiny, newer things or old hobby interests.
  • I like good books but rarely read because I'm a very slow reader and don't feel satisfied by skimming.
  • I am once again without a job and am, in fact, looking for employment but not nearly to the degree I probably "should" be because I hate job-hunting and let myself get very easily distracted by...blogging, for example. Or dates. Or movie nights with the boys. Or a long, hot bath. Or working out. Or cleaning my room. Or manscaping. Or cooking. Or editing wedding photos I have to get done. ...and then I procrastinate the photo editing because once it's done, I know I'll be out of good excuses to put off job-hunting...crap...
  • I chew the skin around my fingernails. A lot. Especially when I'm reading blogs and formulating my own entries. Then once I've done it a little, I have to keep going until there are no rough edges. This often means I've made a meal of my own skin after a couple of hours before I force myself to stop. It's pretty disgusting when I think about it. I don't consider it a "nervous habit", just a lost-in-thought one, but one I should probably kick nonetheless.
  • I care about people's feelings, but I have a threshold to how much I can hear complaints about the same thing repeatedly, and I can become insensitive when I get especially pragmatic with other people's trials. This is 'ironical' because my journals and blogs show a pattern of talking about the same things many different ways...and sometimes the same ways...
  • Even though I wish more people were more direct with me about what they perceive as my shortcomings (whether or not I'll agree), I'm also sometimes afraid to ask direct questions or realize I just don't care about someone's opinion on something.
  • I feel a desire to be more, to do more, to contribute more, but I also value just enjoying the company of those I care about and making happy memories together from what we have, even if it's not much. Of course, I can't help but wonder if I am a slothful, apathetic person because I'm not so goal- and accomplishment-oriented as some of my friends. Part of me thinks there's more to it than that, that there's a fundamental personality difference that I have yet to tap into to find my place, but another part of me wonders if I really am just lazy, or if my priorities are not lined up for my happiness, even if I don't think they should be lined up the way others around me line theirs up...which I don't. *shrug*

Hey, the first step is admitting the problem, right? On the other hand, I didn't write these for y'all to confirm or deny them. Almost every time I write or say something like this, someone says something they think I meant, and I didn't, and I disagree, and then they think I'm just stubborn and rebellious for not agreeing with their own interpretation of or spin on what I said. Ha, whatev.

On a related note, there are those things which are, I believe, not so problematic (at least not anymore) but "just are":
  • I rarely remember references or quotations, and I rarely repeat information or pretend to know something about something until it's been confirmed in some reliable way, or else I'll repeat it but make clear that I don't know its validity. I used to worry this made me sound less intelligent. I no longer worry about it, even if it's true.
  • I'm a fairly good-looking guy, but I'm heavily acne-scarred on my face and shoulders and upper back, and it took me years to first get over the shame and then come to terms with it pretty thoroughly. I used to hate the thought of disgusting people with my ugly back and zit-covered face and couldn't keep from worrying about it in many situations. Now it rarely occurs to me, not because I'm naive to the fact that some people will be disgusted but because I no longer am. One step in that process was having someone I cared about and was attracted to look right at my acne-scarred shoulders, touch them, and even kiss them without apparent reservation years ago. I sometimes forget how meaningful that was to me at the time.
  • I've been accused of being a bit of an exhibitionist in certain circles (only among trusted gay friends, really), but I was painfully modest for over a decade and was really uncomfortable about being seen shirtless, so it's possibly an overcompensation...though I'm really not a nekkidness freak or anything.
  • I have what some might regard as a few refined tastes, but I also unabashedly like some things which seem to invite the response, "Really? I think I just lost a little respect for you." Like watching The Bachelor. *wink* I pay little attention to such juvenile judgments.
  • I'm a jack of a few trades, master of none. I thought of myself as talentless for years. I now think of myself as having a talent or two, albeit very underdeveloped because I can't seem to maintain interest in one long enough to really excel. I'm no renaissance man compared to some I know, and I may be OK with that.
  • I fart. A lot. No, seriously. Like, more than is probably healthy for any normal human. But I'm OK with it. It's everyone else who seems bent out of shape by it. Weird.

Somehow, I felt like this post was going to feel more...exposing than it does. But I guess it's nothing huge, just those things I've noticed people seem to overlook or be surprised by. I suppose my blog readership has a very different view of me than a person I met on a dating web site, so I'm probably misdirecting this energy, but ah, well. It's been an interesting exploration for me, at least. :-)


JonJon said...

Wait, so do you fart a lot wherever and with whomever, or do you just fart a lot when you are alone?

Also, I have a hard time imagining you being intellectually lazy.

Original Mohomie said...

Not wherever and with whomever. But hey, if it's building up, and I don't HAVE to hold it in for the sake of public health and safety, I'm not gonna. Just sayin'...

As for intellectually lazy, just go with it: I was totally out of shortcomings and was grasping at straws, so I had to make some up.

OK, actually, I do wonder what I gloss over or when I refuse to let go of personal paradigms or emotional attachments, even when reason seems to indicate that I should, because I either don't want to research it or for whatever reason am just not ready to deal with the ramifications. For example, critically examining the philosophy of objectivism, or doing the research to clearly and articulately defend my support of Obama or my discomfort with the health care reform as passed, or admitting the influence certain life experiences may have had on my beliefs and choices instead of believing they're purely rational...the sorts of ideas I'd just rather mull over a while longer than try to argue quite yet and may never be interested enough to really dig into. :-)

Clint said...

So, it sounds like you've just admitted to being fairly normal.

I think we often think that other people are more interesting, together, stable, adjective, etc., but the vast majority of us are just figuring life out as it happens.

Valiant effort, but I can't be talked out of a blog-crush that easily.


Original Mohomie said...

Well, I'm worse than normal: I'm even a bit...BORING. I know, pick your jaw up off the floor.

But on to more important matters: your first (to my recollection) public admission of an O-Mo-blog-crush, which takes our non-relationship to a whole new level. Let the world know...

Clint said...

What? I, um...yeah...wait, weren't we talking about you? Aren't you boring or something?

jimf said...

> I refuse to let go of personal paradigms or emotional attachments,
> even when reason seems to indicate that I should. . .
> For example, critically examining the philosophy of objectivism. . .

OMG, do you mean Objectivism (a la Ayn Rand)? Please say you don't
mean that you **have** already adopted this as a "personal paradigm"
and that you haven't been willing to "face the ramifications" of
letting it go. (If it's the other way around, then -- trust me,
don't bother!)

> . . .admitting the influence certain life experiences may have
> had on my beliefs and choices instead of believing they're purely
> rational. . .

Uh oh, I fear the worst, re the above! (Though being an Obama
supporter doesn't quite fit in, your discomfort with
health care reform probably does.)

Well, there's plenty on the Web about Objectivism. Hey, the
skeptic Michael Shermer used to be an Objectivist and no
longer is -- you might start with him.

"The Unlikeliest Cult in History"
Michael Shermer
from _Skeptic_ vol. 2, no. 2, 1993, pp. 74-81

With regard to **anybody** being "purely rational" -- well,
you could try George Lakoff. Here's a taste or two of him:

Original Mohomie said...

I do mean Objectivism a la Ayn Rand. It does seem to make some sense, and I think it's sort of rationally attractive, but it "feels" like an emotionally empty perspective and seems extreme if fully applied and possibly somewhat ignorant of considerations I value and regard as true but which may not be completely rationally defensible given current observable, quantifiable knowledge...in short, it just doesn't quite sit right. :-) And the very few people I know who have most staunchly subscribed to the philosophy of Objectivism have seemed rather abrasive to me. I recognize that emotionally unpleasant isn't the same as wrong, and I don't know enough about it to be able to argue those impressions rationally or address the philosophy itself in a way satisfactory to those who care enough about distinct philosophies to navigate such discussions deftly, and I don't know that I care to, so I shrug and say, "I'll live how I want to live and how I believe is best, and I have my own views about life, the universe, and everything," and I leave it at that, even though it frustrates me at times when others are intellectually lazy about things I care about. :-)