I have spent most of my life dealing with two unpleasant but consistent realities. The first is that I am a classic outsider and I want to find a place in life, not only geographical but also social and positional, where I feel comfortable. This is not an easy task. Part of that difficulty, it must be conceded, is because I’m not really a person who tends to make insiders feel very comfortable themselves for the inverse of the reasons that they don’t tend to make me feel comfortable. The other reality is that I have a lot going on inside of me and I am always trying to find ways of dealing with it in a beneficial and creative fashion that neither harms myself nor others. This is also not an easy task, as may easily be imagined, given the sort of things I have to wrestle with.
I have never ever thought of myself as an insider. Perhaps at times I have been an insider without being aware of it, but I don’t have the mindset and approach of an insider. Whatever access to powerful or influential people I have in any institutions, and being a rather obscure person without a great deal of fame or wealth, that access is not very extensive, I have shared rather generously with others. I’m not someone who likes to practice office politics, as passionate as I am about political philosophy. My desires are rather simple–I want respect, I deeply appreciate freedom of speech, and I have had long and often unsuccessful quests for a middle class lifestyle and loving relationships, especially of the romantic kind. I’m not the sort of person who tends to be automatically cognizant of logistics–I don’t hoard resources particularly well and I’m not skilled at acquiring them either (except books!). The sort of goals and drives I have do not necessarily require me to be an insider, though they would probably best be served by me being connected enough that I was at least an honorable and appreciated member of the periphery, seeing as I have tended to prefer the periphery to the core throughout my life.
On the other hand, it is not only that I want a better and more honorable and slightly more “inside” place, but also that what is inside of me generally wants to get out. I am a fairly compulsively extroverted thinker, and that is the source of many issues and complications in life. One thing about me that I think is probably insufficiently understood is the extent which I use my writing as a vent for my feelings and concerns to be dealt with in an intellectual and cerebral fashion. That said, someone who is sufficiently intuitive can generally do a good job at determining at least some of the many layers and concerns that I am addressing at a given time and place, even if they probably will not understand all of them. Unfortunately, the way my thoughts and concerns tend to get out often exacerbates my difficulties with others, particularly elites and people who are sensitive to fierce language. A lot of people in positions of authority have sought office because of their personal insecurities, and I’m generally someone that tends to inflame the sensitivities and insecurities of others. It’s not a good mixture, in general.
So, what is to be done about both conundrums? One would think that the most optimal solution would solve both problems at also. I would think that greater security in my own life, and probably greater stability, would tend to tone down at least some of the harshness in my own expression, and might lead to less that needs to escape, and therefore less complications with others. Whether the chicken-and-egg problem can be dealt with in a successful matter (and I am certainly not alone in this issue at all) is something that I suppose has to be seen, but I often muse how both issues could be dealt with simultaneously. More likely than that is a gradual honing of rhetorical skill to where my writing and speaking no longer causes so much collateral damage to the point that others feel more comfortable, allowing me to feel more comfortable. It could happen. Will it happen? I suppose time will tell.