I often get the nasty notion that in many respects, I’m a horribly underachieving person. I’m untidy, rather callous, careless and self-centered. I eat and drink too much, I respond disproportiantely to a great deal of things, and in many subtle and stealthy ways, I have little tiny prickles of evil all over the DMZ of my personality.
So, how do I explain the fact that I’m still, on the whole, a rather amiable person, am considered smart, responsible and useful to employers and peers, and am generally depended upon (definitely by the people close to me)?
Well, this is probably an oversimplification (something that science does run-of-the-mill), but I think that this can be explained, plainly, by “averaging” of traits.
In my opinion, while in most fields I am average or slightly above average in abilities and achievement, there are a few fields in which I am very good or even extremely good at. I’m superb at languages, semantics and connotative analysis. I got extremely fast fingers (which I employ very well as a means of making a living, making an hourly sum surpassing that of my peers immensely). I usually have a superb memory and an uncanny ability to draw the most elusive of memories long after people have forgotten about them.
The mishaps I have with my personality are balanced by my enormous devotion to the people and things I care about: my carelessness is balanced by my exaggerated sense of duty to a selected cause (so even if I spent all of my life living in a shithole, if I make it my business to be tidy, I’ll be tidy, and extravagantly so)
This would be a trivial observation if it weren’t for this implied derivation: perhaps the reason I allow myself my vices is that they are a luxury I subconsciously grant myself due to my virtues.
Maybe it’s some sort of “negative decompensation mechanism” that human beings (and other animals) have when they can allow themselves to take bad advantage of their “wealth”. It’s myopic and destructive in the long run (hence my current attempts to diet out the little beerbelly I’ve grown this past few months) – but in the short run, I could never escape the notion that I could simply “get away with it”.