I try to be a fixer. Or, maybe I don’t try so much as I can’t get out of my own way sometimes.
I don’t think I’m particularly good at fixing things, by the way. It isn’t really a strength of mine. But that is where I often find myself.
That’s at least part of why this website exists right?
I am not the type of person that you should call if you just want someone to listen and commiserate with you. I know that often (usually?) that is the best thing to do for someone, just listen. But that isn’t how I’m wired.
When a problem is in front of me, my brain just zeroes in on any possible solution.
I have been like this my entire life. And this singular personality trait of mine has informed almost everything I know about myself.
Academically, I have always done well in subjects that require problem solving. In fact, I loathed spending time doing anything but problem solving. Any other form of learning, especially memorization, filled me with so much contempt for school. I am not a fan of formal education in that I believe that generally it is very good at producing drones, not creative humans. And I hold this opinion because so much of education is simply memorizing something and regurgitating it back up during the exam. Most students simply go on to forget it as quick as possible, and there is almost no attempt to connect the information to anything else in any meaningful way.
I try to apply this as much to my own life as others. I no longer go out of my way to “help” other people, but I certainly used to. I was the king of unsolicited advice some time in my past. Now I simply speak my mind basically only when asked, except in this space, obviously.
I do work on myself constantly, almost obsessively.
I get obsessed a lot, this is one of the things I try to work on. Getting obsessed about trying to solve your obsessions is a rather wonderland-y rabbit hole to find yourself in.
Trying to fix yourself is hard though, right? Near impossible probably. It is amazing the kinds of filters we are capable of placing in front of our self-image. I suppose this is exactly why therapy is effective, lay yourself completely bare and someone looks you dead in the eye and tells you why that was a fucked up thing to say. If your close friend/ family did that you might listen, but you would also probably retort with a similar thing they do. If anyone else did this, you would shut that down before they stopped talking. But a therapist? You pay them to say that to you. Odd dynamic.
The reason I’m not a very good fixer is two-fold. First, I’m not that smart and I’m certainly not trained in any kind of way that would be beneficial to anyone, in almost any way. It is a shocking lack of humility on my part to believe I could really help anyone. It might also be an equally shocking waste if I do feel such a passion to solve problems but never found my way into a field to put that passion to use.
Second, I almost never see things through. I’m not a closer, really. I bogged down by details, bored by process, and easily let down if results aren’t immediate.
It is probably why I’ve never really found any success.
I love big picture stuff. I fall in love with my imagination pretty often and love to dream up big ideas. But I never have any ability to complete those ideas. Hell, I rarely have the ability to begin them. Success is found in those details though; money where your mouth is, rubber hits the road, and all that.
It has been suggested to me that this is an ego thing, a defense mechanism. It is easy to have the idea but difficult to see it fail. I don’t know. That certainly is true, but I don’t really feel that way. To me it is just a loss of interest. Things I am interested in, I don’t mind the detail grunt work as much.
The worst part of this is that going through that implementation phase, doing the detail oriented grunt work, that is where you learn to develop good and sophisticated big picture ideas. I’m cutting myself off at the knees by avoiding this stuff, and I know it.
And, of course, being who I am, I have good ideas on how to fix that, but I find it next to impossible to do.