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Sunday, August 17, 2003

Long Day's Journey Into Blog

We've been in San Antonio all weekend, so the blogging has been delayed. Which is fine, as far as I'm concerned, because I have had an incredibly hard time answering my own damn Friday Five question. It certainly doesn't help that I've been in the dumps all day today, gazing into my own navel and stewing over what I find there.

The problem, as I see it, is that it requires that you (1) understand yourself, and (2) understand how others see you. Well, #1 is completely lost on me, and #2 is pretty hard for me to grasp as well. In fact, when I was in high school and college, I had a recurring daydream about finally getting the chance to really understand how other people saw me. It never occurred to me to actually ask anyone. So, the question seems calibrated to test whether your personal issues are as well hidden as you think you are.

Hmm. I have no idea, but I might as well try, since I came up with the damned question.

The Friday Five
Five Things That Are Often Misunderstood About Me

1. My Thinking Is Very Muddy. Sometimes I think that people get the impression that I think clearly, but I don't, even when I'm being a lawyer. My mind is very soupy. I put in a question and stir it around, and see if anything comes to the surface. At its best, this mode of thinking can be very creative. At its worst, it can be slow, unreliable and irritating. The worst is my difficulty with remembering names -- faces pop right to the top of the "soup," but names get stuck to the bottom.

2. Anger. For a brief moment, I would like to contrast myself with Adam. Adam freely comments on his anger and disdain for certain people, theories and credos, such as when he noted that he was ready to kill someone by removing his liver with a spoon. I laughed, but at the same time, I know Adam well enough to know that his actions are based on principles far deeper than what he says to be entertaining, and trust him completely. I think the fact that he is willing to say these things is a good sign of his deeper character.

I do not comment on my very substantial reserve of pent-up anger, and that may be a bad sign.

3. Theology is a smoke screen. I understand complicated subjects far more easily than I understand simple ones, because I understand rules better than I understand truths. As a result, I write about theology because I don't understand faith. I can spend seven hours writing about the status of homosexuality in Pauline Greek, but I can't really accept the idea that God wants the best for me -- or even cares whether I exist.

4. Every single aspect of my relationship with my father. After a series of misunderstandings, miscues and misadventures, I feel completely misunderstood by my father. The whole experience makes me gun-shy. And tired. Just tired.

5. Ambition. I am not ambitious, I am obsessive. At certain points of my life, I get obsessed in a way that coincides with ambition (such as was the case in law school). But the point of my drive is not to achieve some sort of status vis-a-vis other people, it is to completely master and conquer the subject of my obsession. Of course, there is a contrary principle at work: I am motivated by a fear of failure, or of falling behind. So I tend to wait until the last minute, when I realize that failure is a real possibility, and then get motivated.

 9:07 PM

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