On Purpose?


I was asked–in the course of a conversation so there was some context because this would be weird to come from the blue–if I liked learning stuff about myself. I had to think about this for a little bit. Do I enjoy mining the depths of my psyche? Did I savor unlocking truths about Doc? I rolled this thought back and forth through my brain, considering what it means. Then I was like, “No.”

Seriously, there are so many things to learn that are not me, and I spend plenty of time with me. All of the time. Like ALL of my time. I can’t get away from me. And if I am using my learning time on myself, how will I ever figure out how the blockchain works?

The questioner, unlike my shallow self, really enjoys self exploration, finds it fascinating, revels in the time to attain knowledge of their substance. For them, there is value in the activity itself and in the insight gained.

And I’m like, “Why?”

Why would I struggle through the probing and, sometimes, pain of reflection? Because it’s good for me? I eat vegetables–even learned to like spinach and brussels sprouts. I walk past the closest subway stop to the next one to get more steps in. I cut back on booze. I got a flu shot. I do plenty good for me stuff.

Don’t roll your eyes. I’m learning how to cook fish. I’m learning about how video games are rewiring the brains of especially young men. I’m learning about institutional racism. I’m learning how to get rid of the damn raccoon that’s trying to move in without paying rent or signing a lease. I’m learning how to change my wiper blades. I’m learning which bus can get me to work when the Red Line closes down next month. I’m learning  the limits of political decorum and gridlock. I’m learning about the Outkast catalog.

So, ambient learning about me? I don’t think so.

I don’t like to do things just to do them. I don’t get jazzed about process as much as I do results. So, all of the self-learning that I do is about outcomes. Understanding my role in an argument with The Spouse so my apology is meaningful. Being the boss who helps staff succeed. Figuring out how I contribute to the pool of general negativity so I can combat it. Mastering my triggers and maximizing my strengths to be a better Doc.

I don’t want to know about myself. I need to know about myself.

In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own. ~Alice Walker


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