Unspecialized

Good Morning ValentineLast evening I went to The Hap­py Dog with Lou and Was­co and ran into the usu­al indie rock crowd of folks. I like the Hap­py Dog, it’s nice and open and the island-bar was pret­ty cool too. Play­ing were Bri­an Straw, Good Morn­ing Valen­tine [who’s CD release this show was cel­e­brat­ing] and Mike Uva with Hook­boy. The music was real­ly nice and I real­ly liked Good Morn­ing Valentine’s sound. I had to bail ear­ly though since I’m at work by 7am.

I might be cre­at­ing phan­tom issues for myself but I’m still hav­ing trou­ble find­ing a group of folks in Cleve­land with whom I fit in well. I wish I could regain the sense of ease I had with my high school bud­dies, but that might only be a sit­u­a­tion that exists in high school. I sup­pose I should be past that now, since it was 8 years ago. I always feel like I’m either too old or too young or not enough into what­ev­er scene I’m at to fit in. Some places are more com­fort­able than oth­ers, but still unful­fill­ing in some way that I can’t quite pin down.

My “defi­cien­cy self” is like­ly what is talk­ing here. I used to take pride in my lack of spe­cial­ty. I can play a lit­tle music, write a lit­tle, cook a bit, do a bit of web design, do a bit of handy­man work, and think alot. From a prag­mat­ic stand­point, this isn’t very effec­tive cap­i­tal in mod­ern soci­ety. Jobs want cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and spe­cif­ic expe­ri­enced skill sets, being part of the indie scene or elec­tron­ic scene or art scene or web scene demands a cer­tain amount of in-depth inter­est and con­for­mi­ty that I just don’t care enough about to acquire. My old mot­to that “I’m inter­est­ed in every­thing peo­ple are inter­est­ed in.” is prob­a­bly mis­word­ed. I think the cor­rect ver­sion is “I’m inter­est­ed in peo­ple who are inter­est­ed in things.”

While writ­ing this, I’ve real­ized that I am def­i­nite­ly caus­ing my own prob­lem here. The unspe­cial­iza­tion might be a con­tribut­ing fac­tor, but it isn’t the main cause. I want to have some good friends with whom I feel at ease and fit in with. Yet, I’m unable to make myself suf­fi­cient­ly inter­est­ed in a par­tic­u­lar extant group to become a part of it. I’m basi­cal­ly ask­ing the world to bend to my will instead of act­ing in a man­ner that will allow me to appre­ci­ate each sit­u­a­tion for what it offers. Per­haps if I work at that appre­ci­a­tion and use it as per­son­al change-agent ener­gy, I’ll be able to be a bet­ter friend to oth­ers.


9 Replies

  • good morn­ing valen­tine mem­bers live across the street from me.

    i can total­ly relate to lack­ing and miss­ing the high school friend group. i feel like i have some real­ly great friends now (I didn’t in col­lege) but no “group”. our stage of life doesn’t make it easy to find groups of friends. we’re not in school, don’t have kids.

    i also relate to being “unspe­cial­ized”. It’s a boon and bane.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. “Good at lots of stuff. Great at noth­ing” I always want­ed to be one of those Goth kids becuase they seemed to have their scene fig­ured out. 🙂

  • i hear you about the group of friends thing. we were a tight group in high school, and i havent felt that since. i felt the same way you do now in col­lege, and since then. i did­nt fit in with the cool kids, i did­nt fit in with the super indie rock kids. i was not enough of any­thing to fit in any­where. im still not. like neil dia­mond said, im a soli­tary man

  • we didn’t have indie-rock when i was in school but when i ran track my team­mates would ride me about hang­ing out with the burnouts & gear­heads though i didn’t do drugs or have a car, those peo­ple were just more fun..

  • Yeah, I’m not rag­ging on you guys. I think I just need to unclench a bit.

    Mag­gie, I can’t adopt the pooch because I’m not allowed to have a dog in my apart­ment. Which is unfor­tu­nate since the dog and I already look alike.

    And a dou­ble dose of Led­man! Sweet Jesus!

  • I guess it’s a pret­ty com­mon phe­nom­e­non, then.

    I’ve always found it a cozy notion: the idea that well round­ed folk were the ones who real­ly made life bet­ter for what­ev­er area of ver­ti­cal exper­tise they hap­pen to be deal­ing with that month. This all reminds me of a con­ver­sa­tion I had with a for­mer physics teacher about what makes “the best sci­en­tist” (in the com­ments):

    He pret­ty much reject­ed the notion that well round­ed­ness and it’s deriv­i­tive, open-mind­ed­ness, can cre­ate real val­ue in the rel­a­tive­ly eso­teric field of the­o­ret­i­cal sci­ence.

    He’s prob­a­bly right, but I still tend to dis­agree, because I doubt I’ll ever be that focused. 🙂

    I’ve also expe­ri­enced a deal of “unclench­ing” late­ly. I find myself being hap­py more often, but it’s that much sad­der to think of the ways I’ve relaxed my ideals and expec­ta­tions.

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