Friday, November 17, 2006

We fear change

That's me.

It's why folks take me for conservative. I steer a rather straight course in life. I dress like the MBA that I am. And as much as I crave adventure, I'm afraid of new stuff. Particularly if it's something new and social. I imagine it going horribly, horribly wrong. And even if the odds of the worst case coming true are slim, just the mere possibility of it is enough to turn me off.

(0.00000002%) x (infinity) = infinity. A slight chance of big emotional pain and I run.

And any time K, who's much more adventurous than I, wants to go do something adventurous with me, I 1) agree, 2) get excited, then, as the date approaches, 3) freak out. I'm afraid things will be terrible and irreperable harm will be done. I cause tumult. Then I feel better, and 4) do it and have a great time. Hippie camp. Burning man.

I wish I could be more adventurous and carefree. The fact is, I'm always going to be the one who sees everything that could go wrong. It became clear to me in my entrepreneurship class: I'm never going to be the one who starts the company, because I'll be aware of the low odds of success, and all the things that can get in the way of making it. And then there's all that losing all your money stuff. I'd make an great employee number 5: "Given where we're at, how do we keep going without blowing up?" I can help with that. Just give me some reliable income.

I wish I could be more experimental and free and fearless. But I'm cautious and conservative. I'm a sensitive boy, my feelings get hurt easily. Yes, if I never take chances, nothing bad or good will ever happen to me. But my internal calculus weights avoiding bad much higher than gaining good. And if I can avoid or minimize bad feelings, I do it. Any means necessary, I'll escape from big bad feelings. Including causing small bad feelings.

I wish I wasn't this way, but I am.

And sometimes it means my life is boring and I don't have much fun. But I hurt less.