Tag Archives: insecurities

My Friend Tourette

18 Jul

Image of Georges Gilles de la TouretteMy wife swears that I have a mild form of Tourette Syndrome, as I occasionally blurt out an expletive for no apparent reason.  This only occurs while relaxing in the privacy of our home, usually when my mind wanders while watching television.  Therefore, this affliction has not been a major factor in my life, and I came to realize that these events were the result of reliving an unpleasant situation in my past, brought to mind by some minor similarity on screen.  This was just another manifestation, I further realized, of my personal insecurities, which perpetually conflict my soul as I encounter even the smallest adversity.  Fortunately, I can take solace since I am not alone, and insecurities are a fundamental condition the human mind.

The influence of insecurities on human nature is perhaps most evident at school or in the workplace, as these places are perceived to have a disproportionate impact on our existence.  Strangely, for me, it is precisely in these environments where I excel, rarely getting stuck in the quagmire of jealousies and gossip.  Instead, it is situations involving large groups of strangers that are my Waterloo.  Why would anyone want to talk to me, and vice versa?  I have a nagging proclivity to require any conversation to have a purpose.  It does not need to be much, a discussion about how to kill weeds in my lawn perhaps, but something tangible none the less.

Each of us endures our own personal hell, and mine is far more manageable than most, I believe.  But I continue to reflect on human nature, hoping to find the best balance in life between the necessity to be productive, and the desire to nurture the soul.  I have mostly enjoyed my journey, but still find myself reciting the same mantra, “Are we there yet?”  My destination is not a physical location, but rather a goal to become unbreakable, both financially and emotionally.  Unfortunately, though, I fear the distance is too far, and my soul will never be content. I am reminded of Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the tortoise (c. 450 B.C.).  If Achilles and the tortoise were to race, and the tortoise was given a head start of 100 feet, Achilles could never catch him.  As the tortoise moved 1 foot, Achilles would cover 100 feet, still 1 foot behind.  While Achilles ran that 1 foot distance to catch up, the tortoise would move forward 0.01 foot.  As Achilles tried to close the gap and ran 0.01 foot more, the tortoise would still continue maintain his lead by another 0.0001 feet, and so on.

And that is how I feel, at times.  We are confounded by a tangle of infinities that eliminate any possibility of having complete control over our existence.  Therefore, our actions are only part of the equation, and it is how we react to the world that has as much, or more, impact on our lives.  These themes will show up in this blog, so check back often and subscribe.    My books also touch on these subjects, so check them out if you find interest in this sort of thing.