A lack of empathy
and becoming awkward
If the Oxford English Dictionary is to be believed, empathy, is defined as follows: "The ability to understand and share the feelings of others."
At nineteen, living away from family and friends in a state across the country, it has come to my attention that I have become lacking in the area of empathy. I write this observation down because I am unsure as to whether or not I should be concerned about this. When speaking to others, I find myself unable to meet them on their level emotionally. For example, if someone begins speaking to me about a situation I may not fully care about or doesn't concern me, I find it difficult to forward the conversation in an efficient and meaningful way. Instead, I opt to halfheartedly say some variation of, "I hear you," or, "It happens," which I fear, after prolonged use, has become a clear sign that I am not interested in hearing any more and would rather divert the conversation to something I'd like to talk about, or worse, myself.
Am I becoming more narcissistic?
In any case, this personal phenomena has manifested itself most clearly in moments when my mind is most occupied with work regarding film, which, for better or worse is 99% of any given day. With this in mind, another question presents itself within my ever buzzing mind: "Is being one track minded ALWAYS a good thing?" As with so many questions of similar nature, only time may tell. Though, I can only hope a personal, satisfactory answer may be found sooner, as opposed to later. I feel this way because of what is assuredly my most prominent fear related to this internal struggle:
Am I becoming awkward, or, worse, have I always been awkward?
At first sounding positively sophomoric, I chuckle at myself at the very thought of such a thing. Upon further deliberation, however, I concede that my fear is at least somewhat warranted. A superior on a television production I recently worked on used the following words to describe me to a colleague: "This is Tim, he's a bit awkward, but we all really appreciate him. He works hard." In brief, I am concerned, slightly more so each passing day, that this burning, ever present desire to succeed is beginning to transform me into an individual that can be most accurately described as dull.
Again, time is the deciding measurement in determining whether or not this fear will manifest itself as true years down the line.
Years down the line, I hope I am content with the individual I have become. Either way, I can rest in the knowledge that I tried my hardest to understand myself even at the age of nineteen, a habit I pray lasts well into those aforementioned "years down the line."
A Journal Entry by
Written in a movie theater parking lot, July 2, 2017.