(Pic related... read further.*)
My epiphany is about my reading material. I'm always in the middle of something, but only one book at a time. Instead, I should be reading two books at a time! It goes like this... bear with me...
I'm checkin' out this classic LiveJournal on Nice Guys by DivaLion. It is good biscuits. It also references the Five Geek Social Fallacies theory.
There are a lot of Nice Guys out there, and they are incredibly insidious, because on the surface they SEEM so sweet, so misunderstood, so very different from the boorish asshole who cheated on you or told you that those pants do, indeed, make your ass look fat. But in the end, they turn out to be using their "niceness" as an excuse to hide behind, much like medieval aristocracy used cloying perfumes to cover up the ass-stank of their unwashed bodies.Myself, I have had to learn to manage my pathogenic niceguyism, developed during my high school years. One of the things I have figured out is that depression (or my depression, anyway) is described with inaccurate metaphors. Depression is not 'darkness' and 'isolation' but quite the opposite: it's hypersensitivity to social situations. I once wrote that my adolescence felt like walking down a hallway that's too crowded, or a light so bright it forces me to turn my head down and squint.
Nevertheless, a decade after puberty finished up, I do occasionally find myself backsliding into Nice Guy behavior and Nice Guy thoughts. (Tho it says alot that I am finally aware of my own psychology.) My life now revolves around finding tools to manage my niceguyism and identifying the triggers. Knowledge is good, but it's only a first step.
Returning to DivaLion:
Here is a classic example of a Nice Guy experience that I had in high school[...] I was friends with a circle of about four guys who were all very tight with each other, all to varying degrees both nice guys and Nice Guys. [...] The most recent addition to the group who was very quiet and who I probably knew the least [...] decided he had a huge crush on me. This did not prompt him to, say, talk to me more or anything, so I remained blissfully ignorant until I slowly began to piece together the cryptic comments, weird behavior, and snickers of those guy friends whenever I was around."Holy crap." That's what I muttered to myself when I read the passage. It's unsettling to fall so neatly into a stranger's social categorization, but that's the Tubes for ya.
Coping with my behavior has been tricky. Which brings me back to my epiphany about reading material. It can take me a long time to get through a book, not because I'm a slow reader, but because I am not always in the mood to read what I've assigned myself.
For example, right now I'm reading The Shadow Factory by James Bamford. I'm enjoying the read, and learning a lot of new things about the NSA and the U.S. intelligence systems. Emotionally, it meets a specific need by directing my libido onto my greatest fixation, politics. Other recent titles that met this need were Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin and The Discourses by Niccolò Machiavelli.
At the moment, that's the direction I want my libido pointing. Occasionally, however, I like letting it roam free, finding its own course and discovering new and amazing passions for me to pursue. Like a new puppy, it's never easy but often rewarding. For that, I have read George Burns' inimitable biography of his wife, Gracie, a Love Story. I've also used My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk as well as the poetry of Rumi.
What I need is to have something from both stacks sitting on my nightstand at any given moment. To put it succinctly, sometimes I want to turn myself on. Other times, I want to forget about that altogether. Can anyone recommend some new material for my 'passionate' reading stack?
*I am a supervillian. My superpowers are giving directions and the ability to put many things into a confined space (like loading luggage into a car trunk). Stay out of my way, do-gooders!