". . . self-discovery and introspection are not frivolous diversions. You cannot live responsibly without knowing what your weaknesses are, what you hunger for, what you will lie about if given the chance."

That pearl of wisdom is from Cary Tennis of Salon.com, to "screwup," a married man with two kids and a girlfriend in Italy. .

Tennis also tells “screwup” to break off the relationship with the Italian girlfriend, and to grow up

Your life doesn't have to fall apart. But you do need to figure out what the hell is going on with you. Maybe you do have narcissistic personality disorder. Or maybe you just have bad case of self-involved cluelessness. In either case, eventually you tell your wife. But first, you need a crash course in what's up with you. You visit a psychotherapist or psychiatrist and you embark on a course of self-discovery.

You need to learn the names of your hungers. It is not enough to look at what you did and say, Gee, that was bad. You must ask, What was I hungering for? And what am I hungering for still? What forces were operating on me? In the hands of what desire was I a willing puppet?

Good advice.

What do I hunger for? What would I lie for?

  • A bestseller?
  • To become an uber blogger?
  • A night with the Italian girlfriend?

I hope none of these things. But they’re all tempting. I don't think I'd lie for them.

But I know what fears stand behind all of those temptations. The fear of being ordinary, unimportant, unremarkable, unknown, and remaining that way for the rest of my life. The fear of reaching the end of my life and finding I've squandered it.

These are the things that a 40-year-old features editor with a mortgage fears.

Mercifully, instead of a girlfriend in Italy, I've got a wife and three adoring children to get home to. And a book to write. So there's no time for fear or for lies.

Thank God for the miracles and wonders which abound in my life.

Besides, I know what I’m really hungering for.




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