Mountain of Thoughts: How do you introduce yourself?

The most difficult thing I experience whenever I start something new – say a new website, a new account in a social netwoking site, or just simply meeting new people for the first time – is introducing myself. How do I introduce myself? Where do I even start? Okay, I told them my name…and then what? It’s not that I’m having trouble connecting with other people, not even a case of stage fright since I’ve been doing stage performances since grade school. When people ask me to introduce myself, my mind always switches to overdrive and I’m loaded with all sorts of information that I still have to filter out before I even blurt out something I wouldn’t want other people to know. Which leaves me stunned for a few seconds until I decide to just make a generic introduction – “Hi I’m {insert nickname here}. I’m a {insert occupation here} and I’m from {insert hometown here}.”

Sometimes generic introductions don’t fit well in certain situations. When I started this blog (probably almost two years ago), I had so many ideas for blog posts, but I was slowed down by the very first page that WordPress asked me to do – the About Me page. I was a proud writer back then, so I couldn’t just throw a tasteless generic intro out to show to my friends. I spent a lot of drafts and revisions just to complete that page. But sadly, I ended up showing too much garbage. The end result? A simple About Me page after two long years. Ughh..

To be honest, I’m not even comfortable giving out my real name (because it sounds weird to my own ears, or much like I dont’t think it fits me well). And even if I show my real name, and then what? Does it give out anything at all about myself? Out of all the experiences – the hardships, the flaws, the things that made me happy, the years that changed me, the challenges that shaped me – the things that make me me, how can one sentence give justice to who I really am?

Pretty existential thinking, right? 

But I thought about it seriously. If I told someone I was a software developer, and there are millions of other software developers around the world, does it even matter that I’m a software developer? Do I not get lost in that crowd and lose my significance? Surely I’m something more than one thing. And so I have to show them more. I’m a writer. But there are still millions of software developers who are also writers. So I show them more.

I’m a hiker. I love the moutains. I like the color red. I like tea and I drink it everyday. I like covering my head with a hat or a hood because it feels warm. I like hot showers. I hate air conditioners. I was afraid of traveling when I was a kid because I always got motion sickness. I think cockroaches are the most disgusting creatures in the planet. I like gore movies and stories of love and war. I think working at a cafe looks fun because you meet nice people. I don’t want to own a car. I dream of owning a vineyard and making my own wine.

I could go on and on about myself, but that wouldn’t be an introduction now, would it?

But the point is, it’s not the titles, names, and positions that people give me that define who I am. It’s actually the small things that I do, the things that I believe in, the experiences that I go through, my reactions to those experiences, the relationships I am in, in all the years that I’ve lived – those are what make me me. And knowing how much all of that is worth, I know I can never get lost in the crowd of software developers who are also writers who are also hikers in this world.

I stopped being so critical about my About Me page when I realized that it wouldn’t really matter what I wrote down. The descriptions that I show to the crowd are just a small sample of what my life really is, and the real me – the entirety of me – will not disappear anway. Whenever I introduce my self to other people, I can always hand them my good old generic intros, believing that I will still be me and continue becoming me as we become part of each other’s selves over time. 🙂

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