As many of those who know me quite well would probably attest, I’m a rather serious person. This doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to fun or laughter or absurdity or even relaxing, but it does mean that I tend to eschew frivolity, fucking-about, and any general sense of just not having a purpose to what I’m doing.
As a result, when I’ve decided to have a relaxing day–then I’m going to fucking relax, bitches–and there’s little that anyone else will be able to do to get me out of that state.
Thinking about where this comes from, I have often thought that it may come from my personality type–INTJ–since most of those with the same personality are often deeply serious people in their pursuit of world domination..er.. I mean.. general competency in their lives. While I do believe that this is a trait that is enhanced or reinforced by my general personality type (since I have almost never met a frivolous INTJ–in fact, I never have…), I think that it also comes from other sources.
In particular, it comes from a deeper sense and attachment to creating meaning in this world. I have always sought to focus on the creation of long-lasting and significant structures/thoughts/ideas/experiences since I was a kid. Not surprisingly, learning was always one of those things that I could never get enough of as it helped me try to accomplish such goals–at least, that’s how I always saw it..
In any case, I know that this trait has often made life a bit more “difficult” in many social sistuations. It did, for example, make “making friends” more difficult when I was a child (and, well, even when you are an adult) because the inability/inexperience/lack of desire to engage in “frivolous talk” makes small “get-to-know-you” chit-chat fail on a regular basis. An upshot of this was that I had very few intimate relationships when I was younger compared to many of my friends (sounds typical for geeks–of which I definitely was one…). Truly, it wasn’t until I was in my older twenties and early thirties that I started to become “popular” with a number of the womenfolk hereabouts, and that is mainly, in my analysis, because Women, as opposed to Girls, seem to appreciate the kind of seriousness that I generally always display…
Finally, I think an interesting connection that is helpful in explaining my outlook comes from Aristotle and his thoughts on happiness. Somewhere in the Nicomachean Ethics, I believe, Aristotle talks about what really makes a person happy and what constitutes real happiness. Very insightfully, Aristotle noted that there was an important distinction between amusement and happiness. Being amused, which he linked to pleasure in many ways, was not the same as being happy. Instead, the only real way to be happy was to be engaged in the pursuit of accomplishing one’s greater life goals. Building a house, raising your kids, accomplishing your job, thinking important thoughts, resting after a hard day’s work–these were the things that made a person happy.
I read this part of Aristotle back in my undergrad days and it has always stuck with me. I also think that a good chunk of my seriousness comes from the fact that my pursuit of creating meaning is pretty much the same thing to me as striving to be happy, which is serious business to me. Thus, to slack off into frivolity just doesn’t sit well with me. It seems like a waste of the limited amount of time I have to exist. ( Since I don’t believe in souls or everlasting life or any such thing–I have about 80 years to get shit done… and I waste in all forms pisses me off and makes me unhappy…)
Now–before anyone who ever decides to read this and get worried–I don’t expect everyone else to be like me and be serious all the time. I’m not that kind of asshole. I believe in the diversity and plurality of humanity–people are different and that’s a good thing. However, it is also probably true that if someone lacks some amount of seriousness and/or they tend to be unserious most of the time that I’m around them–that we will find it hard to get along.
Such is life…