But back to me. Essentially what I try to do with my life is to feed myself with rich experiences and meaty ideas, transmute that material into new ideas and creative works, and enjoy myself in the process. I'm unusually keen on finding "rich experiences" in pretty mundane stuff, like conversations overheard in the bookstore or shapes in the clouds, although I'm also game for some more explicitly horizon-broadening stuff --- notably travel.
In other words, I'm big on savoring simple pleasures, and although I like to freshen my repertoire of experiences from time to time, I don't seek excitement. My personality is such that, when I find something I like, I tend to stick with it for the long haul. I've been buying the same cookies for years, because I really like them. When other kinds of cookies come my way (like as gifts) I welcome them and enjoy them, but so far I've remained satisfied to keep buying these ones that I like. Pretty much every night I eat three (or maaaaaybe four) of them while I read the Los Angeles Times. There are certainly nights when I don't, for various reasons, but I'm mentioning this habit because if that sounds terribly monotonous to you then you are hereby warned to steer clear of me. If it sounds sort of cute and sweet then you should steer towards me.
It's more important to me to "enjoy myself in the process" than to earn societal rewards like fame and money. I tend to use a lot of my time in a pretty easygoing way, and then produce things --- papers, stories, music, computer programs --- in a sudden burst of work. In other words, I'm not ambitious in the usual sense; I'm internally motivated and have my own standards for myself. (Yes, that's right, I'm saying I PLAY BY MY OWN RULES. Booyah.) Despite this, I do a good bit of stuff that other people care about, and so along the way I get enough money and recognition to satisfy my needs. I'm a quick learner and a sharp thinker --- enough so that in many endeavors (particularly in intellectual endeavors) I can do as well as other people do without trying as hard as they have to.
I really, really like thinking about things, and I tend to dig deeply into ideas, seeing connections among disparate things. I am especially fond of analyzing emotional or subjective judgments --- noticing how things make me feel, what I like and don't like (in books, music, sunsets, etc.), and trying to pinpoint the essence of my own preferences. This means I think a lot about myself in a really analytical way. This may sound self-absorbed or disgustingly cerebral, but if it sounds that way to you you're probably not the kind of person I'd click with anyway. I treat my self as data in the world, and I feel a kinship with others who do the same for their selves. (If you've ever read Montaigne --- in particular the prefatory "Author to the Reader" note to his essays --- that's the sort of thing I mean here.)
That said, I can also be extremely silly. Silliness is one of the simplest pleasures. Any mention of the word "butt" is likely to set me giggling like a second-grader.
I like having conversations about weighty matters like "the meaning of life" but also random everyday stuff like the new sandwich shop around the corner or what you overheard on the bus. For me, thinking critically and being somewhat goofy aren't alternatives; they're both part of how I think about most everything, and they just vary in their proportions. I'm just as likely to make a jo mama joke during a discussion of political economy as I am to quote Proust during a conversation about farts.
It's great to hang out with people and shoot the breeze in these kinds of silly and/or serious conversations. That said, activities with large groups wear me out quickly, and even activities with small groups wear me out after not too long. Although I like interacting with people in the right contexts, the truth is that with most people I fairly quickly reach the point where I would rather be alone. This isn't because I'm narcissistic but just because I'm very, very introverted. I love it when I meet people who I enjoy spending big chunks of time with, but such people are none too common.
Now, I said before that I set my own standards, don't take no guff offa nobody, blah blah. However, there is a special niche in my life for an exception to that. I would like to find one person who can appreciate me more or less as I appreciate myself. I would still take no guff offa her either, but I would care (a lot) about what she thought of me. As if that weren't asking enough, I would also like to appreciate this person more or less as she appreciates herself. And as if that weren't enough, I also want her to care a whole lot about what I think of her, and to appreciate me in similar fashion. And just because I'm greedy, I'd like her to be easy on the eyes.
And she must be a ballerina and have 20/20 vision and a shoe size of between six and --- just kidding. But seriously, folks. There are many people in this world whom I appreciate and understand, and who appreciate and understand me, to various degrees. I'm looking for one person (just one!) so that we two can do that for one another in the highest degree. Basically, I'm on the eternal quest of the introverted romantic: looking for someone with whom I can be as comfortable as I am when I'm alone.
I have a predilection for women who are "sweet". I put that in quotes because it means different things to different people. Other words for it might be giving, loving, sensitive, etc. I retain an old-fashioned sense of mushiness and tenderness, currently held in reserve for the right person. And that right person is someone who also has an ample reservoir of tenderness and affection that she is saving for her right person. I would like to meet somone who, regardless of the workaday necessities of our modern existence, ultimately wants to make her special someone really, really happy, because that will make her happy too. A quick rule of thumb is that you are sweet in the way I mean if you could see yourself, in ten or twenty years or so, sending in a PostSecret like this about your eventual significant other.
So it wasn't by accident that I mentioned that stuff before about the cookies I like to eat every night. There's a question on this site that asks whether you're looking for "someone for tonight", "someone to go out with", or "someone to come home to". I chose that third option --- and I would add that that I want that person to want to come home to me. Vacations are nice, but fleeting. When it comes to relationships, I'm not looking for a vacation; I'm looking for a place to live. (I should note, though, that I'm also open to making friends on this site; so far I've connected with some cool people. And I should also note that, despite the serious tone of this self-description, I also look at profiles on here just for laughs. Like the ones in all caps.)
Now, maybe this last bit should really go down in the "most private thing" section, but here it is anyway. The alert reader will have noticed that I talked about understanding and appreciating but I didn't mention anything about love there. That's not because I don't want that. Love is what I want --- and, in fact, one of the things that I think makes me a bit different from many other people on this site and in this world is that I retain a pretty idealistic notion of that love that I want. However, I actually believe that if someone were to really understand me, they would love me. Before you roll your eyes at that, let me add that I also believe that if I were to really understand someone, I would love her too.
In other words, it takes one to know one. The particular parts of a person that they most want someone else to understand can't be understood except by those particular people who will appreciate those particular things. People's hearts, souls, personalities, whatever you want to call them --- they're like the cave in the 1001 Nights, that opens only for their personal Aladdin.
That doesn't mean I believe in "soul mates" exactly --- I don't think everyone has just one "perfect match" out there that they have to find. There could be many people you'd mesh with equally well. (Everyone's cave might have multiple Aladdins.) But I don't believe that it's purely a matter of "making things work" and that you can "make things work" with just anyone --- some people just aren't compatible.
The upshot is that I'm not looking for some mystical perfect "other half", but I am super super picky. I don't hold it against anyone else if they are picky too. In fact, it seems like just about the only way this can work eventually is if I meet someone who is so doggone picky that, until she met me, no one else quite fit the bill.