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Some time ago my roommate told me in passing that i was a genius.

i don't remember exactly how i felt at the time, but i think it was something like caught off guard followed by uncomfortable. I mean, on an honest day I can admit that i'm pretty smart and talented. But a genius? nuh uh. i don't consider myself a genius by any stretch of the imagination.

when i think about it, it feels like a hybrid of how i was when i was younger and had no self-esteem at all. Even when i was good at something, better than most other people at it, i compared myself to those few people that were better than me, and i told myself that i sucked, partially because i believed it, but also partially to keep myself in check. If i felt like i was good at something, i might stop trying to get better at it. The "i'm already good enough" mentality. And i also thought that people that were comfortable with themselves were assholes. And i didn't want to become an asshole.

There are certainly times that the "i suck" mentality kicks in, but it doesn't permeate my thoughts as thoroughly as it used to. But it feels like this lack of acknowledgement that i'm a genius comes from the same idea, just maybe on a different level. To me, i'm just an ordinary guy. Just like anyone else.

Now that i typed all that, however, i'm not convinced that that's right either. It's *close*, or maybe partially correct.

To try a different route, it could be that the idea of being called a "genius" or "talented" or a "great composer" carries a burden of expectation. People who give off some kind of negative first impression have to struggle to change that impression. If person A seems stupid to person B, B will assume that A is stupid until proven otherwise. but it happens the other way too. I give off a generally positive impression to people. A *strong* positive impression. so it's shocking to people when they discover something that shatters that positive impression.

Oh, this is starting to sound like stuff i've spouted off before. maybe not on LJ, but certainly in email, in person. It's old, i'm sick of it, so i'm going to stop abruptly now.


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March 2017