People seem to underestimate (misunderestimate?) how introspective I am. One of the perks of living alone, apart from getting to freely shave in weird places, is that I have plenty of time to sit around and quietly ponder. What about? The answer to life, the universe, and everything. Me, my life, how it all fits in, where it’s all going. Anything and everything. I can literally spend days just sitting and thinking hard. It’s given me a great sense of inner peace, and a degree of self-knowledge that I doubt that few possess.
All was as it should be, until recently when it dawned on me that my degree of disconnection from the world—in a social, hermitey sense—was intimately tied to my degree of contentment with my self. The more content I was and the less attached I needed to be (to feel “whole”), the less attached I was getting. And the less attached I was getting, the more opportunity it provided for me to spend time just by myself; ending up more comfortable and content with myself!
(For the control systems junkies in the audience, imagine a very positively fed-back, closed loop system. And for the rest of us, imagine the situation where the retard on stage keeps insisting on taking his uncovered mike close to the annoyingly-loud speakers.)
This is getting dangerous, because one day I’m sure it will result in me losing my ability entirely to interact in pleasant company (or has that threshold already been crossed?). I know I want to break myself out of this loop. I want to change. Unfortunately, though I see that I ‘want’ to, I don’t clearly see ‘why’ I need to. And I’m afraid change won’t happen if I don’t reason it out for myself.
Which requires me to answer questions like, “Why do I need to talk to other people”? Definitely not a pleasant line of thought.
On a vaguely related note, during much of this introspection, I think I’m finally ready to articulate something that I’ve been trying to for a very long time. Here it goes:
I am a natural philosopher.
I am not an engineer, I’m not an applied mathematician, I am not a physicist, I am not a computational scientist … I am a natural philosopher, damn it.
It feels good to actually be able to put this in words. Now I don’t have to get shifty when I get asked in an academic setting, “So, just what is it that you do”? I can proudly say, “Why, I’m a natural philosopher, thank you for asking. I describe and ponder over the natural phenomena I observe”.
And, if you’re into this sort of thing, you might fancy this related article.