November 9th, 2010

me according to me

I met someone new today, and consequently spent some time talking about myself. I didn't really care for some of what I heard.

Here on LiveJournal, I will post self-criticisms fairly often, and that's okay. I've always maintained that one main reason for keeping a journal, for me at least, is to give me a place to set down and work out my thoughts about myself and how I'm leading my life. I can analyze what i do, find the flaws, and try to figure out ways to improve myself. And I tend to be very self-critical, so it's a way to get those thoughts out of my head and let me go about my life without dragging myself down as much.

Now, when I'm meeting new people, I'm generally not denigrating myself to them. I may be a bit self-deprecating at times, but I'm not going off about how (metaphorically, not literally) lame I am because I have all this stuff to get done and I haven't been doing it, how work's still insufficient and I haven't done enough to find more work, or anything like that. I do have some hard-earned self-confidence and self-respect, and I do know that if I'm meeting new people I want to make a good impression, I don't want to be complaining a lot or putting myself down.

But as I've talked about myself recently to a few new people, I've been hearing a lot of "well I used to do this, but I haven't been doing that for a while," or "I'd like to be doing this, but I haven't found (or looked for) more opportunities." When I talk about myself, I start thinking that I don't sound very interesting or fun or active. Why would I want to hang out with me? I used to enjoy bicycling, I've been saying for several years now that I should get a bike so I can explore more of Seattle, but I still haven't done it. I decided twenty (!) years ago that I should learn how to play bass, but I've never done that. I pretty much stopped playing violin nine years ago, before moving to Seattle, and a few times a year something makes me miss playing, but I never follow up on it. I haven't been doing any regular role-playing gaming for a couple years now. I've wanted to go kayaking around on the lakes in Seattle, but haven't done that yet. I wanted to throw myself a big party for my 40th birthday, sponsoring a few of my favorite local bands at a show, but that didn't happen. That last one was due in large part to my crappy financial situation, and that gets out of the fun stuff I'm not doing into the not-fun stuff I'm also not doing. I'm not making enough money to support myself. I'm not spending time and making effort to find more clients and more work. 

I don't like what I have to say for myself. Even leaving out the mismanagement of my professional life—which generally I do leave out—I've had to say too much about not doing things. Now I know that's not my whole story, and I do talk about things that I am doing, such as going to shows and volunteering for KEXP and organizing Go Play NW. But I'm dissatisfied with myself and the many things I feel I should be or need to be doing but am not, and when I talk about myself to others, that brings my dissatisfaction home in a way that just writing about it here in my journal does not.