I hate talking about myself.
I have very little trouble talking about just about anything under the sun that I’m interested in, at length. I can spend hours talking about music, or politics, or baseball, or comic books, or literature, or any one of a myriad of topics with passion and fervor. But when someone says “Tell me about yourself” I instantly lapse into deer-in-headlights mode. Perhaps, on reflection, I’m not very interested in myself.
So, who am i?
I am a 31 year old unix Systems Administrator who works for a communications company in Atlanta. I am single, with a long-term live-in girlfriend, four cats, and more books than shelf space. I am a musician and songwriter. I am a writer of fiction and non-fiction, with one collaborative novel (written with my best friend since jr. high and hopefully to be sold to someone). I am a liberal who voted for Dukakis, Clinton (twice) and Al Gore for president. I am a baseball fan who loves the Red Sox and the Braves. I am a voracious reader, who prefers SF and Fantasy, history, and literature.
I read the paragraph above, and I somehow feel like I haven’t really told you anything. I find it interesting that I, a person who has been expressing himself with the written word since the time I could hold a pencil, can’t come up with more than a disjointed list to answer the simple question “Who am I?”
We interact every day with other people, yet we only every touch the surface. The essence of a person can be found deep inside, and is only hinted at by the facets that flash in the light. “Who am I?” is more than a question of hobbies and jobs, it is the center of every person’s personal quest for identity and belonging.
It isn’t that I am not interested in myself — it’s that I simply don’t have an answer for you that seems both true and complete for me. And until I can find a satisfactory way to answer that question for myself, all I can offer you is a glimpse at the surface.
Y’know, I never really know where to get started with this one either. :-> I usually define myself in some way related to the person who’s asking -- I’m a filker, or from Chicago, or I do tech support, or I spin, or I’m an A&S geek, or a singer. But I never know what they’d want to know -a nd I know plenty of things that do define me rather well that I’m sure most casual acquaintances would NOT want to know. I’m dissociative, sometimes to a nonfunctioning degree. I’m repressed, have a bad relationship with my parents, and no idea how to handle most social situations. I have sometimes violent swings of mood, and binge and purge on hobbies. I’m terrified most of the time. But you see, they don’t want to know any of that, even if it’s what I’m thinking about at the time. :-> So I usually talk around the subject, find things that we have in common, and talk about THEM till we shift onto other subjects, naturally working around the question.