Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Sometimes it’s good just to take a step back and see yourself for who you are.  §

I’m an unusual guy. With an unusual personal history. I think and do unusual things.

There are times in life when I revel in this fact.

There are times in life when I hate it.

There have been times in life when it has served me very well.

There have been times in life when it has cursed me.

Tonight it seems better to just look at it directly and honestly and without any particular emotional response and see it for what it is. Admit it to myself, tell it to myself, be aware of myself.

There’s a certain self-indulgence that you have to guard against in saying things like, “I’m different from most everyone else,” but there is also a certain dishonesty in refusing to concede it at times when it stares you right in the face. Better to acknowledge what is and maybe to conceptualize it if it’s been a while since you thought about it.

That’s not to say that I’m better than most everyone else. Anyone who looks at me can see that my life is less together, I have less financial stability, and I have seen less objective success than a great many people. For all the doting that adults did on me as a young man, I have never done much that was particularly brilliant. Even my dissertation wasn’t turned into a book in the end, which speaks to the lack of self-discipline that has overtaken me, yet another personal flaw.

So this isn’t about a value claim. It’s a qualitative one. The various ways that most people are in my society—good and bad—I am not. It is what it is.

— § —

N.B. I had originally used the term “strange” rather than “unusual.” And then I went to “odd.” But in the end, “unusual” seemed kinder. And though I don’t want to be unduly generous to myself, it doesn’t pay to be unduly harsh, either.

So unusual it is.

Maybe “anachronistic” is a better term. Given the state of things in western civilization and populations just now, though, that amount of self-applause is probably a bridge too far for a public post. Well, almost.


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