I’ve heard it said you can make anyone like you just by asking questions about them.
The idea is that people are generally egotistic and love talking about themselves. They’ll go on and on about what they do for a living and what kind of cereal they prefer while watching their favorite show, and how much their cat Ramen loves ramen, and it’s funny how it just worked out that way, isn’t it?
Hah—yeah, man, your cat’s a riot.
In my experience that isn’t always true—I’ve usually found talking about myself to be very difficult. I’m not saying I don’t often lean into self-deprecating anecdotes ... especially when drinking … No, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do that.
I just often make the mistake of thinking there isn’t much here worth talking about. I freeze up in social situations, and I don’t know what else to say. Conversation lulls awkwardly. I sip that drink and sigh and say something like, “Yep, yep, yep…”
I don’t have a deep catalogue of memes and YouTube videos at the ready to show my friends for hours, mostly because I don’t spend that much time on the internet. I’m a little better in groups, sure, but one-on-one conversation is just tough.
You can imagine how great I am on first dates.
I’m guilty of preferring the life right in front of me, but that isn’t always fun. People like to laugh. They like to be entertained. We all have a world of humor and distraction at our fingertips, and we’ll spend hours at at time getting lost in these digital little boxes.
Me, I’d rather watch the rain fall and listen to the chirping of the tree frogs hidden up in the pines. I’d rather notice there’s a new crack in the plaster ceiling of my 1950’s cottage home and turn the constant popping, creaking sounds of the settling into attic ghosts. I’d rather read books—real books with real glue and real pages that I can turn only after I’ve licked my finger.
Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on hours of television and video games, and I still spend a lot of my time enjoying those things today. I enjoy my family and friends. I love to travel, and explore city rooftops at night, and spend over twelve grueling hours a day trying to make movies. I’m all about the adventure.
It’s just that the older I get the more I appreciate the slower aspects of life. Increasingly, I need times when I can really settle my mind and think my thoughts that pop and creak because you better believe this house is full of ghosts.
But if all you do is watch the grass grow, what’s with the blog, huh, Christian?
That part is simple. I’m writing to prove to myself that I have plenty worth talking about; to learn to stop hating certain character traits of mine, even if they are less-than-desirable at parties; to accept that I’m just as much of a worthy human being as anyone else. I’m writing to connect myself with myself, and myself with others, so that if we ever happen to cross paths we might just have a few things to talk about.
And if I can achieve all that just by writing, maybe you can find the same acceptance through reading. Because I believe you’re just as worthy of the things you do, and enjoy, and appreciate as anyone else on this planet.
We are suffering from a severe lack of social glue that binds together our societal book, but I’ll lick my finger and turn that page and do my best to remind you that you matter.
You matter. You matter. You matter.
Let’s matter together.