UNRELATED: Happy Pi Day!
I apologize for giving you less than my full attention. I let myself get distracted by the shiny spewing from the internet firehose. In concentration and communication I am woefully out of practice. I'm an editor who needs to turn a critical eye to my own choices and frivolities.
Let's start that process.
In my youth, I switched elementary schools every other year and spent the summers travelling with my grandparents. I was the perennial new kid, and I tended to be academically ahead of my grade level. These circumstances predisposed me toward social breadth rather than depth. I didn't really have deep friendships until high school, after I decided to live in one place for the entire year.
I've been involved in theater since 1981, the same year I picked up the Moldvay D&D Basic Box. Improv exercises and RPGs have gone hand-in-hand for my entire gaming career. To become a better improviser, I've leaned more toward breadth than depth in academic pursuits. In college, I started as a Physics major because I wanted to study everything, but then the math got complex and too non-intuitive for me to grok. I ended up with a degree in what I spent all my time doing: Theater.
I didn't get pigeonholed into a specific role in the theater, nor even a specific side of the curtain. I could do any job and do it fairly well. Again, I flitted between the actor and techie social circles. I've played kings and clergy and villains and boyfriends, but I never quite had the depth for a real romantic lead. A part of that realization hurt, but it made sense to me intellectually.
I acted as a social bridge. I could understand what several diverse groups wanted and at least bring them to the same table if I couldn't forge a compromise with my insight into both sides. I could speak several social languages, even if I struggled with high school-level French. I still think of my D&Dified self as a neutral good half-elven bard, firmly wedged between almost every extreme you can think of, building worlds and communities for myself because nothing else quite fits.
|"Seek a life useful."|
Which is not this.
I'm broadcasting. I'm disregarding the potential for deeper connections and conversations for perceived lack of time, and I'm treating social media like TV: broadcasting into the void and hoping the message gets through. Sure, I try to follow up to comments, but I think that's the barest of minimums for social engagement.
All this breadth is starting to impact me negatively. I'm doing what's in front of me because I gave up trying to plan anything for fear of those plans falling apart. I was lucky to get 4.5 hours of sleep last night, between working, editing, coordinating buildings & grounds at my church, making time to play games, and spending time with my wife and daughter. I want to do all of these things, but I need to start making decisions about the price I'm willing to pay to juggle all of these priorities. And right now it's coming out of my health, which can't last for much longer.
Earlier this week I tried meditating for 10 minutes and ended up straining my back. There's my wake-up call, I think. Maybe I'll answer it this time.
PAX East is next week. I don't want to go into PAX this year with the attention span of a rabid weasel on crack. Again. I want to have deeper conversations. I want to be more comfortable and more open, not moving on like a shark and trying to "trade up", whatever that means. I don't want to run away from awesome opportunities to get to know people like the new kid in school did. If you run into me, sit me down for a few minutes and let's talk.
I don't know if I'll become a better social citizen anytime soon, but typing it out helps.
Wish me luck.
All the best,