13 things I’m bad at

And of course I couldn’t just leave you with my strengths. Here’s what I’m not-so-good at…

  1. Committing to repetitive tasks for a long period of time: I like to change things up. Committing to any repetitive task for too long automatically makes me think it’s not that meaningful. So then I quit, or just hate the process each time.
  2. Waking up early: It’s not so much that I’m bad at waking up early. It’s that I’m bad at going to sleep. Once I lie down, I can conk out quickly. But life is too exciting to squander away sleeping. That’s how I feel the night before anyway.
  3. Waiting patiently: Plain and simple, I hate waiting. If I have a book, no big deal. But lines aren’t my thing if I have nothing to do. I’d much prefer to try to run to work than wait for the bus if I’m late. I want to feel like I have some control over the situation.
  4. Listening in a conversation instead of thinking about what to say next: I’ll take a cue and let this one speak for itself.
  5. Empathizing with other people: I think I’m improving in this area. In general, though, I often value being right or being seen as being right over the feelings of others. The strange part about this is that I value friendships highly, so it’s not that I purposely want to make people feel bad – it’s that I’m oblivious to their feelings.
  6. Long-term planning: I have some things I’d like to do in the future, but I don’t really plan for them. I have a deadline in 2019. After that, I’ll start from scratch again. Most of the time, though, I prefer to focus on the next few months, maybe a year or two. After that, things get out of control, so to me it doesn’t make as much sense to try to plan further.
  7. Finishing before a deadline: If there’s a deadline, I’m pushing right against it. If it weren’t for deadlines, I’d rarely finish anything important.
  8. Living with compromise, seeing shades of color: In other words, I tend to see things in black and white. More accurately, I tend to interpret them in black and white. I feel like I see the color, but then in order to make sense of it, to understand it, I force things into boxes and push them to the edges.
  9. Remembering to be playful (in writing especially): I love humor, but when was the last time you laughed reading Marshallogue? I pretend to take myself too seriously, even though internally I know it’s all a joke or a game or an adventure. “Why so serious?”
  10. Showing up on time: I like to squeeze every minute out of whatever I’m doing if it’s fun. And I have a lot of fun. As a result, I tend to be late all the time. This goes along with #2 and #4 above.
  11. Paying attention to (meaningless to me) details: This one is hard to put into words because some details I really care about. I still haven’t sorted out why it is that some matter to me while others don’t, but I know that in general many of the details that matter to most people, don’t matter to me.
  12. Revealing my feelings, especially when they seem to make me look bad: Although I love interacting with people, I enjoy feeling independent. Sharing my feelings honestly makes me feel vulnerable, which takes away that feeling of independence. So I guard and hedge.
  13. Sharing my actual weaknesses: This is a probably a direct result of the previous one. Let’s just say, there are a few others weaknesses, big ones, that I won’t share here. I’ll just group them together for today and call them collectively “Thing 13.”

What are you bad at?

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