To Be or Not to Be Self Absorbed?

Yesterday my mother was kind enough to remind me how “self-absorbed” I can be. Thanks Mom. And yes, I can be pretty “self-absorbed” a lot of the time. Just the fact that I’m writing this post could be construed as yet another example in favor of my mother’s argument.

I think I appear so because I view most everything as a life and death situation. Most everything matters that much to me, especially writing, as I’m horrified at the thought that I may be forever stuck in a job for which I have no love and, that I’ve put my life into a novel that I feel has something to say. Anyone who feels strongly about creating an original painting, composing music, or raising a decent child will understand where I’m coming from. These things matter so much that we are willing to put a “normal” life to the side and immerse ourselves so deeply into our own little worlds as to be, at all times, on the verge of drowning.

I know there are plenty of people who would tell me it’s best to “take it easy.” I agree that this might be good advice for someone who’s managed to find a comfortable place in life and has time for leisurely reflection but, at 43, half-way through my journey in this life, I don’t feel I have much time to relax if I’m going to accomplish all that I’d like to accomplish. I know this probably creates an almost comical image in the minds of most; some little guy running around like a writer with his head cut off. But in defense of this I have a quote from Bono, the singer for U2:

“Josephine, be careful, I’m a small man with big ideas.”

I may come off as being selfish and self-absorbed but I mean no harm. Actually as any good painter, poet, composer or parent will tell you: our self-absorption always has you, our audience, in mind. We want to connect with you, inspire you, move you, or coerce you. We want to walk along side of you and share what we think may be shared. So please forgive me if I step on your toes, I meant to step on your heart. And this need to share will invariably lead to the making of big mistakes (like the hip-hop post) as I find my way and find out how best to be close to all of you without getting in your way. This doesn’t excuse me, but hopefully it explains me.

Rest assured that I love my family and friends a great deal even if I appear to be lost in my own little world. I’m gonna go take a serious nap right now because it’s a matter of life and death.

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2 thoughts on “To Be or Not to Be Self Absorbed?

  1. Oh, I dunno Phil, I hear you on the artist thing…we who love to create can’t possibly imagine anything more important. I’ve been an artist my entire life. I can’t think of anything else until the vision is complete. My best friend says I’m obsessed with my products. Obsessed with my business. Phil’s said I’m obsessed with everything I take on. But it’s hardly “self” that I’m absorbed with, IMO, it’s the THING. Parents, however, are usually the opposite. We’re more obsessed with our kids and their lives than our own. If you’re not going to be absorbed with you, who will? You know when the last time I got a haircut is? Read a novel? Went anywhere alone?
    How is wanting to move people self absorbed? Maybe your mom’s reminder is one of balance…that we can become so intent on DOING, that we forget to BE.
    Or maybe this migraine is making me loopy.

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  2. Trudie

    I don’t think the hip hop post was a mistake. It got people talking and I just wanted you to listen to Eminems song, Beautiful, because it reminds me of you. Listen to the uncut version where they don’t beep out the bad words. Please let me know what you think. On another note, I’m glad you wrote this. I don’t know if everyone on your sites knows you well but I could see how some might have opinions on you that aren’t true. This shows your softer side and comes across in simple words and straight from the heart and I just think more people will “get you” after reading this. But that’s just my opinion. Which comes to my third point and that is opinions. Everyone has one and though it can be frustrating when they differ so much, it’s also the thing that makes life interesting. And as I’m sure your Libra self does, I always listen to both sides and usually find myself agreeing somewhat with both. Maybe not always agreeing but understanding to a degree why someone may feel differently. Keep up the hard work Phil. Love you

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