Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Find the center  §

Find the center. Recover.

Find the center. Recover.

Don’t get so knocked off track.

— § —

My wife says that I’m hypersensitive to my environment and context.

I don’t know if I’m “hyper” in this sense or just how one goes about measuring and quantifying sensitivity, but I do know that I am—at the very least—sensitive.

— § —

If I was 10 percent less sensitive to peoples’ moods and comments, to the light in the room or the temperature outside, to the national and international news, I’d have been a hundred or a thousand percent more productive in my life.

Being unable to compartmentalize and transcend adequately has been my biggest life weakness for a very long time, one that has altered the course of my life more times than I care to remember or count.

— § —

Strangely enough, this is different from the need to be “thick skinned” in the sense that many public figures use the term.

I’m pretty thick skinned. I routinely get people complaining bitterly and personally about things that I write that have been for public consumption. Often they have a position or an opinion on an issue that doesn’t match mine, or that they feel must not match mine based on what I wrote.

Back when I used to write about Linux, I even had some death threats. In one case, someone sent me a death threat along with my home address to let me know just how serious they were.

All over open source software.

Did it bother me?

Not at all. Still doesn’t. When it comes to the general public, I have a massively thick skin.

— § —

But when it comes to home, or personal relationships that acually matter to me, or the space immediately around my body—these I am very, very sensitive to.

Dependent upon.

If I don’t have the right equipment or seating, or someone that matters to me doesn’t have the right look on their face, I struggle to work, even to think—at times, depending on the situation, even to breathe.

I think that’s part of what it means to be “an introvert but not shy.” It means that you internalize things—your body, your environment, the people that are close to you; they are pulled inward to become a part of the self, rather than the self turning outward to join them in the world.

Then, when all of these interalized parts of the self don’t harmonize properly with one another, the self becomes fragmented, difficult to manage or dwell within.

As Yeats said, the center fails to hold; it is emptied; everyone and everything becomes a miasma of relatedness, interdependency, conflict, and ambiguity.

— § —

I was supposed to get more work done than this today.

Curses, foiled again.

— § —


Maybe someday I’ll win this battle.

Just as soon as I learn to find and hold on to the center.

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