Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking Oneself Too Seriously

First of all, hats off to my beloved brother-in-law Ed, who started me down this thought process with this post. If you’d like to read it before continuing here, that’s fine; I’m not going anywhere.

Now for my thoughts: first of all, it’s definitely easy to go to one extreme or the other. I am reminded of the conscious decision I made, somewhere along the line, that I didn’t give a *$#@ what other people think about me as long as I’m happy with myself. I’m still not sure my unconscious mind is completely on board with this decision, but it does manifest itself in things like:

  • When I go to the beach, I generally let my gigantic belly hang out all over the place, despite the fact that most guys my size would be hiding under a T-shirt.
  • When I was 13 years old, I really liked Debbie Gibson (mostly because I was a teenage boy with hormones, but I digress) and actually saw her in concert twice. The day after each concert, I wore the T-shirt I’d purchased there, knowing full well that the social ramifications probably wouldn’t be particularly desirable. (I actually did wind up with a large hole in my shirt where someone apparently took a lit cigarette to the back of it, but I just wrote Debbie and she—or more likely, one of “her people”—sent me a new one. So, nyaah.)
  • Yesterday in my elders quorum meeting, an person that I didn’t even recognize expressed an opinion with which I vehemently disagreed. I wasn’t nasty about it by any means, but neither was I going to just sit there and be afraid of offending someone. I raised my hand and spoke my mind on the subject, and it started a really good discussion. (Most people, as it happened, seemed to agree with my position. Again, nyaah.) ;-)
So from a conscious standpoint, I either take myself too seriously or too trivially, depending on what you think my reasoning is.

Now… what can I do about this? I don’t know. I guess the bigger question for me is whether I actually should do anything about it. For this, I must appeal to my friends: does my desire to be true to myself, no matter what, pose a problem?


  1. Thanks to your response to my blog post, Jeff. I admittedly still worry far too much about what other people think about what I do and say. But what's worse for me (as far as taking myself too seriously) is that I worry too much about what I think about what I do and say. For example, I sit and worry that the previous sentence won't make any sense to anyone but me. :-) I suppose the bottom line is, I need to lighten up a little. Thanks for your insightful post!

  2. np. And thanks again for getting my mind going again. :-)