You know what they say about that question, “if you have to ask…”
I was recently on a panel discussion, and at the last moment the moderator said that since he couldn’t find appropriate bios for everyone on the panel that he wouldn’t be introducing anyone, but instead asked each of us to spend a moment introducing ourselves to the audience. This is essentially the worst thing I can imagine happening in a situation like that because I hate talking about myself. Really, it’s one of my least favorite things in the world.
The other people sitting with me spent a good 60-90 seconds rattling off their merits and accomplishments and explaining to the audience why they had any business being there. When it was my turn I froze and I think I said something like “Hi, I’m Sean Bonner and I’m a blogger. I blog about a bunch of stuff.” and left it at that. Later on Tara asked what the thinking behind that introduction was and why I didn’t mention any number of things that might have wowed the audience. I didn’t have a good answer for that, I didn’t have an answer I would have been happy receiving anyway.
This is hard to explain and talk about because it doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me — it’s not like I want to lead some secret existence that no one knows about. Quite the opposite, I want to do things that everyone knows about, but I don’t want to be the one to tell them. In some respects I think if I have to tell people about who I am and what I’m doing then I’m not doing things as well as I should be and I’d be better served shutting up and working harder. I’m sure some of this stems from anytime I see someone talking about themselves I assume they are just patting themselves on the back, part of it is that the people I really admire I do so because of what I’ve seen them do and never what they’ve said they do, and some of it is certainly that I just don’t think I’ve done anything worth bragging about.
To make this even more confusing I’m actually embarrassed when I meet someone for the first time and they do know who I am or something that I’ve done. So what the fuck is my problem? I’m sure a lot of this is based on how put off I am when I see someone else talking about themselves and I never want to have someone make the assumptions about me that I do about those people. I guess to some extent I feel that I have two choices in these situations – give out too little info and let people find out the rest on their own if they are interested, or give out too much and be a boastful self promoting dick. I always opt for the prior and when pressed can’t determine what amount of self description would be appropriate.
Which brings me to the point of wondering what I’m even getting at with this post, assuming I eventually hit publish. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for 3 days now, a drafts folder I created only three days ago and thus making this the longest time between when I’ve written something and not posted it right away. Maybe I’m over thinking this editing thing, and maybe I’m just really uncomfortable with this topic. Maybe both. I promise I’m not writing this to brag about how modest I am, which is what I feels like to me. It’s something on my head that I’m trying to work though. Maybe I’ll be able to, maybe not, but all I can do is try and somehow writing about it seems like a good first step.