Was a moment in college when I had friends who were reaching for sophistication, and I had it in my mind that I could be sophisticated too. Tea was a popular thing at the cafeteria table. So I went out and bought an electric tea kettle and a box of tea bags, just in case one of them wanted to hang out in my dorm lobby with me while we drank tea.
(Seriously, I have no idea where these ideas come from, other than brute naivete.)
Thing is, I never actually made tea in my own room. I never brewed a cup, never guessed at why we drink tea. I never learned how to do it right, how to make good tea, using up tea bags in the pursuit of excellence and sophistry. I didn’t want to waste rare money and use up supply in order to get better. I wanted it to be on the ready just in case. So it just sat in a box, waiting. Waiting for me to call someone over for tea. Tea that most certainly would have been less than passable.
But I never called anyone.
That bundle of facts still fucks me up.
We get better by using our tools in the pursuit of excellence. We learn nuance, choices, options, tweaks, effects. We come to understand the properties of our medium. Therein is the sophistication. It’s not the act of presenting and providing; it’s the process of learning preferences.
I was a bobblehead. I am a bobblehead still, and will continue to be a bobblehead. My sophistication comes now in the form of knowing my nature by divining what had been in front of me the whole time while I was trying too hard.
Introspection. Retrospection. Perfection.
At this age, I’ll take what I can get.