Blog /25 Things

February 06, 2009 07:46 +0000  |  Environment Family Friends Self Reflection Suburbia Why I'm Here Women Work [at] Play 14

People have been sending these my way for days now and the activity seemed so very contrary to my usual behaviour, that I thought that I'd give it a shot. I'm not going to "tag" anyone to do this though since this is my blog and not bloody Facebook, but if you want to share your own, you can post it or link to your own post here in the comments.

Here's the deal. This is a list of 25 random things about me. They're personal, so if you want to know more about me, this might be a scary place to start, but it's your call:

  1. I am a very private person. This may come as a surprise to someone who doesn't know me, as I do after all maintain a blog and all kinds of online profiles. Look carefully though and you'll realise that there's nothing all that personal about me anywhere. I don't share. I'm going to try to make this post an exception.
  2. I'm happy to listen to others though. People like to talk to me -- gods know why. I like to think that I'm a pretty good listener and that my lectures are often helpful.
  3. I never used to care about the environment. In fact, when I moved to Ontario, it was the furthest thing from my mind. It wasn't until I realised that so many people still burned coal to make electricity that I got involved.
  4. As part of a seventh grade public speaking exercise, I wrote a speech titled "Why Does Everyone Talk About Saving the Environment, but No One Does Anything About It?" (or something to that effect). I was then voted as the one to give the speech in front of the whole school. I was so terrified that I skipped a complete paragraph from my cue cards.
  5. I was, and still am, terrified at the prospect of public speaking. In recent years, I've actively combated this fear by repeatedly putting myself in situations where I must speak publicly in one form or another. It's working.
  6. I don't try to save the world out of guilt, or a feeling of responsibility. I do what I do purely out of a sense of principle: I honestly believe that there is a Right way and Wrong way to interact with this planet, and I fight to ensure the former. As Mark Twain said: "Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest".
  7. I am seriously afraid that I will waste away here in Vancouver. Most days I feel as if any ambition I had was left behind in Toronto.
  8. It is because of this fear that I've avoided doing things "for me" in the past like joining a choir. I've always felt like I have a responsibility to act on the aforementioned principles and forgo my own wants until those goals are achieved, but the hollowness and lack of purpose I've felt since returning have caused me to consider some selfish options. I still feel that this is a mistake, but I don't know what else to do.
  9. I love my job. I love the work, the fact that it's constantly challenging and that I'm being given the power/responsibility to write some really fucking awesome code.
  10. I often burn 90% of my work day spinning my mental wheels trying to get my brain out of its funk. I believe this to be related to my poor diet and sleeping schedule... at least I hope that's the case.
  11. I'm so afraid of what it might be if it's not diet or rest that I won't talk to a doctor about it.
  12. I'm constantly concerning myself with others' impressions of me. Alone, at home working on my computer, walking down the street, writing a blog, or deputing at City Hall, the question of how my words may be construed 20years from now is a serious concern to me.
  13. I often catch myself reliving or daydreaming about past or potential future conversations. What was / could've been said, or what will be / should be said, and the rebuttals for each. These conversations sometimes cross over from the mental space into real out-loud annunciations for my part of the exchange -- though this is usually only at home as I'm getting ready for work.
  14. I've developed deep emotional attachments to a number of people scattered around the world. These feelings aren't romantic, but rather almost familial and definitely protective.
  15. I think that my unwillingness to share is likely directly connected to my inability to commit emotionally to someone. Either that or I just haven't met the right girl yet.
  16. My childhood was really quite horrible. My family was wonderful, but my school life in Langley has probably damaged me permanently. Don't raise your kids in the suburbs folks, it doesn't do anyone any good.
  17. My single bastion of sanity in high school was choir practise with Mr. Thompson and Mr. Rahn. They gave me something into which I could pour myself at a time when all I wanted was shut the whole world out. Had it not been for Thompson Tran, the guy who dragged me into choir in the first place, I think that I would be a very different person today.
  18. My parents actively discouraged me from taking music, art, shop, or drama classes in high school. I was told that such activities were for the dumb kids and that I, as a smart person shouldn't waste my time with them. I'm not bitter about this, it's just unfortunate that I missed such an opportunity for a creative outlet for so many years.
  19. I honestly do think that I'm really fucking smart about a lot of things. I don't care if this makes me appear arrogant, condescending or superior. The way I figure it, so long as I'm open to the possibility that someone out there is smarter than I am and I embrace their opinions when I meet them, then it's all good.
  20. I'm attracted to people who are smarter than I am, or have an understanding of the universe drastically different from my own.
  21. I have an image in my head of the girl I'm supposed to be with. I've had dreams about her for years. In these dreams she has long, straight, brown hair and wears a long, stretchy, cotton grey dress. She sings and plays guitar. I am aware that harbouring a fantasy image of a non-existent mate is counter-productive and I don't care.
  22. I'm sometimes frustrated by the maintenance a friendship requires. My feelings toward people don't change with the distance between us or the time between our visits, yet many of my friends seem to think otherwise and try to reconnect repeatedly. I don't begrudge them this, but it's also really hard to make time for everyone as well as myself.
  23. I vividly remember dozens of instances where I've been wrong about something. In all of these cases, I've been sure and was later proven ignorant. This is a serious concern for me so I usually use non-committal fragments in my sentences to assure my position as a non-authority on a topic... Unless I think that I am an authority, at which point any mistakes haunt me permanently.
  24. I cannot tolerate being called "stupid". It's a trigger word for me. I'm alright with naive or ignorant, though these words do flare me up a bit -- usually enough to get me to ask question after question until I'm no longer worthy of either word.
  25. I use the regret model for my decision making: I imagine how I would feel looking back on a situation 20years later and then decide to go with the option that I would likely lead to the least regret.


6 Feb 2009, 8:53 a.m.  | 


6 Feb 2009, 5:41 p.m.  | 

8. I think you NEED to do some "selfish things" in order to do the unselfish things. I can't function properly on half a night's sleep, and similarly I can't do my best to help others meet their needs if mine aren't being met.

13. I do this too. ALL THE TIME. And sometimes I catch myself doing it in a whisper when I'm walking around by myself in public. That's awkward.

24. But you call other people stupid all the time?

6 Feb 2009, 6 p.m.  | 

Heh. I guess I figure that calling someone stupid is ok if it's an accurate descriptor. This probably goes with #19.

6 Feb 2009, 7:37 p.m.  | 

re: #8, you need to do "selfish" things for yourself in order to grow personally, be human, LIVE and evolve. It's a bit like fine-tuning what you already have. You just need to make some time for it. your sense of responsibility is fine but you need to do things to make yourself happy too and these are for the most part, harmless, good things that will benefit you. as long as it's not shoot drugs up your veins, i think we're ok.

6 Feb 2009, 7:39 p.m.  | 

fyi I also do #13 but i don't end up speaking out loud, i just get angry and ranty! :D

6 Feb 2009, 8:49 p.m.  | 

You are honestly one of the best people i know. I miss you!

Poesy Dirtyfoot
6 Feb 2009, 11:27 p.m.  | 

You ARE fucking smart about some things. And you ARE fucking amazing--truly a god among men. When I look at you, I love what I see. Maybe I'm "hearing" too much here but I hear this undertone touched with despair and hopelessness that is hard to take when I see that you are a gift to the world, your family and your friends.

6 Feb 2009, 11:29 p.m.  | 

Ah Poesy, always awash with the compliments. Danke :-)

7 Feb 2009, 6:38 p.m.  | 

Well Dan, I do think you're one smart fucker, but if I ever hear about you calling *me* stupid I will give you another black eye. :D

(It's a trigger word for me too which I think is the main reason it bothered me so much to begin with).

8 Feb 2009, 1:57 a.m.  | 

Heh. Duely noted Lara. You don't have to worry about that though. I don't like stupid people, and I like you a lot :-)

Lara Dwyer
8 Feb 2009, 3:48 p.m.  | 

Well that would be comforting except I have seen you call your own friends stupid!

Thanks though. :)

9 Feb 2009, 4:41 p.m.  | 

I agree with the above on #8. And I add myself to the list of people who do #13.

It was very brave of you to say these things publicly.

you might not understand this, but I consider your inability to fully connect emotionally with yourself and with others to be one of my greatest failings.

15 Jun 2009, 4:08 p.m.  | 

Oh Dan...

Notice all the people's comments above, encouraging you to do something that makes YOU feel good. Joining a choir may be "selfish" in your mind, although I don't see it that way at all. Nobody would suffer from this choice, and indeed others might even be enriched. You see, you'd be happier, there may be a bounce in your step, and who knows, there may be a girl in a gray dress in that choir. How freaky would that be?

15 Jun 2009, 8:11 p.m.  | 

We'll have to talk about this some more, but my explanation does make sense, I assure you. I like your optimism though :-)

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