I went on a date today. The young woman in question was smart, pretty, and ambitious—stupidly ambitious, the way I was when I was her age.
Finally, I understood how my father felt all those years ago, dealing with me. He, too, was ambitious when he was young.
The reader must know: I basically idolize my father. I have repeated his sins, if they are sins, in terms of career overreach. He is smart, and I am smart—but neither of us as much as we thought we were. Hubris is in our blood—fitting that I come up against it behind a pretty face.
I like to think I’ve gained some wisdom from my journeys on the internet, the world, and work. Some of this I dispensed today over lunch.
It was like talking into a vacuum cleaner. I just kept talking. Not in some socially awkward way—at Secret NRX Bootcamp the first lesson is “how to not be a frikkin’ weirdo”—but because who doesn’t like a pretty girl hanging on their words? In some ways I stimulated the growth of what I hate—knowledge without understanding
But it comes to naught. A man does not wish to be an encyclopedia or a self-help book, particularly to a woman. He wants his words to be valued and respected, certainly, but he himself does not want to be valued because of his words—in fact he must not, because if he is only valued for his words, what when he must say things that are hard to bear?