Friday, May 7

A Serious Lack Of Depth

Meeting so many cool and multi-dimensional people in such a short period of time has made me realise a few things about myself, all of which in turn can be reduced to one single observation: that I seriously lack depth.

First let's start with the opinions I hold. I don't really have much to say about human rights or politics. I don't have big dreams about saving or changing the world for the better. I tend not to care about global injustice with the passion others do. Quite pathetically the single thing I tend to get passionate about is marriage, and even that's less to do with a genuine interest in the subject and more to do with it being something I want for myself. I'm sure even that will fall by the wayside if I ever did get married myself.

But it doesn't really end there. Even with everyday things like entertainment I seem to flounder. I thought I watched an expert-making level of movies, but where my contemporaries can talk about how a certain director manages to communicate a certain message in a certain milestone movie, I'm busy getting excited about the next big Bollywood comedy starring Akshay Kumar. While others are busy dissecting the lyrics of some sub-Saharan muso, I'm asking if anyone has heard the latest Justin Bieber track. Where others watch documentaries about the history of photography, I'm left finding someone, anyone, to talk about Buffy with. And then even when I eventually do find that someone, I'm left wondering if I was ever a big fan of that show compared to how they talk about it.

I don't write poetry. I don't take fancy photos. I don't play any sport, well not more than in passing anyway. Instead I sit in awe of people who can extract so much pleasure and joy in simply talking about making a cup of coffee, and am left wondering where my equivalent passion lies.

But I don't write this about my feeling sorry for myself. The truth is that despite seeing all this amazing depth in other people I don't see it as something I necessarily need to establish in myself. I'm quite secure around people who happen to be deeper than I am; I can kinda get by talking with them (although perhaps not on their level) and have stuff to say and input to make. And when I've left with nothing to contribute I'm more than happy to listen instead. In short, I don't feel like I need to change or address anything and am not about to start a hobby just to have something to talk about.

The reasons why it's an issue is similar to those I outlined when talking about my lack of ambition; that it seems to be a bit of an implicit deal breaker when it comes to meeting someone to marry. It's not that I care if a partner is more deep or cleverer than me, but more a case of me wondering whether I could ever do them justice in the long run, you know during our daily conversations over breakfast and the like. I'd want to be a sufficiently good, and if not the main, source of opinion for whomever I end up with and not someone who isn't able to provide food for thought.

So leaving any disingenuousness aside for a minute, it does ultimately come down to insecurity and ego, and the feeling of whether or not I'll be good enough for my eventual partner. The advice I would always others with the same concerns would be to be honest about who they are and then allow the people they're seeing decide whether or not you happen to be good enough, since almost invariably we tend to judge ourselves harshly.

But then this isn't just about minimum acceptability or tolerance, but more about trying to be everything a single person will ever need. It doesn't matter how nice a person is if you're going to other people for conversation while being married to them.