Alas, I’ve been asked to introduce myself again — a feat that has not grown easier with time. In contemplation of who I am, I have encountered the same difficulties that faced Leslie Jamison and Jack Gilbert. I’ve found that language often can encapsulate precisely what I want, but that it also has its deficiencies. Whenever I want to write about myself, I have a slew of thoughts, but can never find the appropriate words or tone. Notwithstanding this oft-felt befuddlement — or perhaps, because of it — I have a fascination with words. And, for me, one of the best ways to broaden this reservoir is by making a list of particularly striking ones when I read. Over the past few months, I’ve started to collect a respectable list on a sticky note on my laptop.
Given that I find writing about myself to be relatively challenging, I figured that a few of these words that stuck with me might have the ability to shed some light as to who I am. Here goes nothing…
Circumspection (the quality of being wary and unwilling to take risks; prudent): Although it’s on the list, I’d say that I’m not entirely circumspect. Throughout my time in college — particularly starting in my second semester of freshman year — I think I’ve become significantly more daring. I’ve started to release my inhibitions (thanks, Natasha Bedingfield).
Letting the perfect being the enemy of the better: Ok, I wasn’t totally transparent; I also like to put phrases on the list as well. This one that stuck with me — and is one that initially made me pause for a few seconds. You’ll come to find that I like things to be done a very certain way (even to a fault). This line has taught me to be a little more reasonable my own personal expectations. Beyond my own work, I think this is germane to a wide variety of disciplines.
Apoplectic (overcome with anger, extremely indignant): Similarly, I wouldn’t say that I am ever this angry — that is, except when the Cavaliers continue lose to the Warriors.
Perspicacious (having a ready insight into and understanding of things): This word is on the list (1) because I think it rolls off the tongue nicely, but also (2) because it is something that I value. I’ve always been intrigued by renaissance men/women and hope to embody them someday.
In hindsight, maybe this approach didn’t suffice. I think I’ve barely scratched the surface as to who I am. But, maybe that’s a positive thing. This wasn’t an exercise of circumspection; it was definitely an unconventional way of going about introducing myself to you all. I’m not totally in love with it, but I’m not letting the perfect be the enemy of the better — that is, instead of writing something rather trite. I’m also not too apoplectic about it (and I hope you aren’t either).
I don’t think I’ve quite reached the last word; perspicacious. Recently I watched an account of Winston Churchill and, at the end of the movie, a particularly compelling quote was displayed on the screen. It read: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Put simply, it is incumbent on all of us to go with the ebbs and flows of life. So, while this post might not have been entirely perspicuous, the continued effort to get there counts. In short, that is where my excitement for this Minor stems from…the pursuit of becoming better.