My greatest fear is nothing that anyone who does not know me would guess and would never probably appear on the top twenty list of most people and yet for me, it’s almost crippling. “Only boring people get bored,” is often quoted, yet widely attributed with no one, it seems, certain of its origin. Being boring or bored is something which has driven me since my first cognitive thought. It’s such an ordinary trait or instinct; such a very average and plebian affliction from which to suffer. Not for me, thank you very much, no. I will always find curiosity in life and the world and books and cultures and languages; in all things intellectual, and even in physical challenges. I will never let anyone or anything render me boring and thus potentially bored. The only thing I could imagine to be worse than being rendered boring or bored would be to lose my sense of humor and my ability to see the absurd, even in situations that are otherwise unsettling.
And yet. Somehow I have become just that and perhaps more, the irony being that it has been imposed upon me by the collective, unrelenting narcissism of others. What? Let me attempt to explain.
I used to be – before I was harassed to within an inch of my sanity and forced out of my job by an over-sexed slob with extreme tendencies and the simplest of minds – an interesting person. My great and first love is geopolitics; not that crap Americans consume from Cliff’s Notes-like snippets in USA Today; no, the real deal. Jane’s Defence, Foreign Affairs, per Concordiam, three English language foreign newspapers every day plus Правда. The way the world is really connected and works versus how people perceive it fascinates me and always has. I would also spend at least an hour a day – usually in the evening – practicing Russian so as not to lose it, and brushing up on French because though it’s easier, it’s also less engrained in me due to the manner in which I learned it.
When I traveled, even for work, I sought out the interesting aspects of life and society, even in the most otherwise seemingly bland locales. Museums, monuments, restaurants, landscapes; anything unique I could photograph, describe, remember or just add to the catalog of information in my head upon which I call when I engage in conversation with interesting people.