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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Least Interesting Person in the World

So here I am, by myself, alone.  Well not entirely, I do live with my parents.  So they're around.  But I'm recently single, I have no real job, seemingly little prospects of such a thing, and less and less hope these days.  I feel like I have accomplished things in life, yet find myself feeling as if I must be the absolute least interesting person in the world.


I'm educated.  I have a graduate degree and additional graduate work that has focused on people, society, and their histories.  I have studied different cultures and systems of life, and specifically how to 'clean up' after war.  I have seen a great deal of different places.  I've averaged living in a new place every five months for the last 10 plus years.  10 cities, 6 countries, 3 continents.     I have lived a great deal of different lives and entertained a multitude of different career/job choices:  Stock broker trainee in New York, Advertising/Media planning, teacher of English as a second language in both Europe and China, professional athlete, president/director of a non-profit in eastern Europe, advertising sales for a newspaper, International PR manager for a marathon, I've independently coordinated cross continent flood relief/reconstruction on my own, done telephone sales of computer software,  been a personal trainer, done door-to-door environmental advocacy work, sold specialty running shoes, stocked retail shelves,  been an Eastern European day laborer, a Graduate student – twice, a researcher at the UN archives, looked into entrepreneurial projects in China, volunteered as a teaching assistant, been promoted from marketing executive to senior analyst and head of research and development for a company working in conflict areas.  I've tried to start three businesses in the last year, been un/underemployed, volunteered in local government, done some writing, become a youth women's lacrosse official, and am on food stamps.    

A laundry list of experiences.  Scattered and discombobulated at best, but safe to say, I've experienced an awful lot in the last tenish years.  I've climbed mountains, met people from all over the world, dated several amazing women, and recently tried to settle in a bit to spend more time with my elderly grandparents.  I am overly friendly – to my own detriment – and likewise ideologically.  I  can speak a second language adequately and know my way around Europe and its cultures.  I've lived in China, I study Sierra Leone and Africa, and the conflict spots in the middle east.  I have tried to make myself capable of engaging in conversation about anything, educate myself on everything I can.  I am worldly, and I care tremendously for and about it.  I want nothing more than to alleviate world poverty, to help others and to make the world a better place, to make a difference.

Yet still, I am a lost lonely soul.  I have lots of friends, yet they are all over the world and I never can maintain these long distance relationships very well.  Being back here in America it has become even worse.  When I sit and talk to people it is as if I am a leper.  I can't talk about American TV shows or babies, I am not content with just getting a job and living that life, and thus struggle in conversing with people of these persuasions.  Of course this is an issue in America because this is what we are taught to be.  Get a career, follow it, and think little outside family, friends, and your immediate location.  I question every bit of reality presented to us, analyze it and try to find better or more productive ways for us all.  But this is not what people want to talk about.  People here don't find any of the things I bring to the table interesting.

I have seen the world, yet no one cares.  No one is interested in this.  They do not want to know about the further shores of the world.  They don't want to think about much of the lives and pains of the greater world as it may force questions that are easier ignored.  Yet, I am the least interesting person in the world because I can and actually do talk about these things.  People don't want to be made to feel bad about the lives they live, or uncomfortable about/with their own priorities.  We are taught to see the life in front of us and accept it – not to challenge it or to think it could be done otherwise or even to seek out the plights of others.

In one year back in the US I have not received even a single job interview.  Now maybe my resume isn't very good, or maybe I'm not applying to the right jobs, or there are just a million people looking for the same job.  But I don't think this can all be the case, job after job, for a full year.  I am educated and experienced.  But apparently not enough, or to much, or not in a way that people here want.  I think employers, and our society, want people that are NOT interesting.  They want people that graduated from college, never looked up, and started working.  They found a ladder and took one step up it at a time.  Never jumped off it, never looked at other ladders and certainly never thought about a live that varied from this course.  In ten years I could have slowly worked up this ladder, but I would have no REAL experience in life.  But this is just it, it is not 'life' experience that these employers are looking for, it is systemic, compliance experience.  They don't want independent thinkers, they want systemic individuals that work as they are expected and carry little ambition outside of what is allowed for us by that life and job.

So here I sit.  Unemployed, uninvolved, unloved, and uninteresting, and more and more disinterested.  I see more than sports, spouses, and babies.  My career and ideological interests make little if any sense to others, and when I talk about life people inherently end up feeling badly about all the horrors of the world that we in this country are programmed not to overtly worry about – to ignore.

This is the chief problem.  I, with all my experiences, seem to be the least interesting person in the world.  What is it that this says about us as people and about our society?  Someone who has seen others places, lived amongst truly different people, and has worked to educate themselves on other ways of life is ostracized.  I have worked hard, I have succeeded in many professional and personal goals and projects, yet I still sit here alone.  In a society that does not value initiative and success, but values ladders, followers, and involuntary social contracts.  To be whatever we 'want' to be (as chosen from a list and used in multiple choice scantron form).  I want to be more, I don't want to just drink beer and watch sports, I don't just want kids and a spouse.  I want to be a part of the greater world.  I want to understand more than the spoke and wheel that I am a singular part of.  I want to be able to be both interesting and a part of society.  Right now I feel like I have to make a choice – interesting or successful – and it is killing me!

to be continued.... 


  1. I often feel a majority of people do not accept what is in front of them. Some might embrace it, others might strive for more and some can be very complacent in where their lives are. It is difficult to survive in this world and I think we are all being blinded by "trying to get by" and not seeing the big picture. It is about finding balance. Not an easy task by any means. If you have a lot to offer it will eventually shine through. The difficulty about this is when and how? How do you measure success?

  2. Dude, you are the most interesting person I ever met. And I'm absolutely sure that most people you know think the same. And as for society, we (individuals) are not able to change it, so try to accept it as it is, with all its deficiences. The smurf ;)


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