17 Comments
May 25Liked by Eleanor Konik

I'm a guy (42) and never changed oil or patched a tire. It's all good.

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May 25Liked by Eleanor Konik

I'm a guy (50) and never done either of those things either. But between my father and my grandfathers, I started my life feeling like I was surrounded by people who could do anything like that. Change oil? No problem. Wire an extra phone jack into the house? Yep. Build a form and cast concrete steps to go up to the porch you just built. Build a desk. Pour a larger patio. Repair a tractor. Patch a boat hull. Make syrup. That's probably why I feel like I constantly have to keep learning.

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author

Yeah, for me it's compounded by how my cousin-in-law and brother both started from scratch and own their own businesses doing handyman/construction type work. My father in law grew up on a reasonably successful farm so he has a lot of handy skills too. My brother's hobby is basically building houses, my uncle's hobby is repairing boats for resale, meanwhile I'm always fighting the temptation to hire someone to change lightbulbs because I'm afraid of heights. It's hard on the ego.

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May 28Liked by Eleanor Konik

It took me until surprisingly late in life to realize that just because someone knew something that I didn't, it didn't necessarily mean that they knew more than I did. Up until that point, I had been operating under the mental model that if someone knew something I didn't, it meant they knew everything I knew plus that additional thing that I didn't, and that's just not the case. You've got to learn to focus on your accomplishments, not your shortcomings. ^_^

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May 25Liked by Eleanor Konik

Eleanor...you just proved you are Human. We all can relate to your story. We all need to play more. We all need to learn to socialize in person more. You are a valuable member of our community and your contributions are meaningful. I would rather be considered an "amateur" any day, and one of my hobbies is "Amateur" radio, and we are always being talked down to by the self described "professionals", but I am having fun, they are not :):)

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Jun 6Liked by Eleanor Konik

And whenever I read your newsletters full with links and research and thoughts and opinions I would think you're way smarter than me and that this wall is impenetrable. Fun how these things go...

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Jun 4Liked by Eleanor Konik

Great write-up.

My only comment on the last paragraph:

"One of the things that’s been interfering with my writing pace lately is that a lot of my time has been spent reading and thinking about things where I feel sort of unqualified to comment publically. Parenting books, economics debates, that sort of thing. There’s a certain pressure that comes from having a newsletter where most folks signed up because I’m particularly knowledgeable about leveraging a specific tool… but I feel like my last few articles have gotten disconnected from showing what I use the tool for."

I think it's okay to share your opinions and ideas, even if you may not be an expert on the topic. The value I get from reading directly from authors is learning about their unique perspectives and ideas. And if there's an error, maybe it spawns a discussion?

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author

Being willing to brave public criticism is definitely the hardest part of writing in public about some topics!

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May 26Liked by Eleanor Konik

One of the things I really like about your articles is how you humanize life experiences.

You do this by learning whats important to you and talking about your learning experiences. I make it a point to read everything you write and I want to support your work because, for some reason, I feel strongly connected to your particular subjects, and I feel they are important for the future of collaboration.

I also often struggle with being too personal on the internet, I don't want to be a burden on people by making people feel uncomfortable about hard topics. But at the same time, I also feel we need to be personal with each other. I feel being too personal is a balance act. It really depends on the motive IMHO. If I have a objective to affect an outcome, like I tend to do with topics like whats going on in Ukraine, or Gaza, I tend to come from a place of wanted to educate people on rights and wrongs, which often is my misplaced desire to control people's perspectives, not good. On the other hand if I am sharing because I want to connect with people on similar topics, then my embarrassment is probably misplaced.

I feel to be in a similar boat. I grew up more of a creative/designer person, while my friends we're strictly coders. I would learn coding things from them and that helped me get my head around many things that I work on now as a Information Technology provider. But at heart, I tend to like working in a abstractly creative way. Its been hard because those childhood friends I grew up with are making lots of money as coders working for the major technology companies. But you know what, I am really happy that I don't work in the corporate industry. I run my own computer business and have the time to work on other things that interest me. I'm learning how to be a writer, I geek out on hardware projects and I love the obsidian community, I'm looking forward to attending the Second Brain conference in Oct. So you know what, I don't have to be like other people, I am my own person, and I like who I am.

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The balance between genuineness and authenticity and real human connection without oversharing (particularly about things that aren't 'mine' to tell) is sooo tough. And I figure "liking who we are" is like 80% of the battle to a life worth living. Thanks for sharing!

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May 25Liked by Eleanor Konik

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this. I relate to the notion of feeling like an imposter amidst some very smart people. Also, I LOVE a good Geocities reference! That brings back a very specific nostalgia.

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author

I shake my cane at all this newfangled javascript! 🤣

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May 25Liked by Eleanor Konik

I so very much needed to read this - and I'll probably need to reread it on a regular basis, because I'm sure I'll forget! Don't get me wrong - I like hanging out with extremely intelligent and accomplished people, because they're fun and interesting. But still, I have to sit myself down from time to time and remind myself that "only" having two master's degrees isn't a small accomplishment, that it's okay that none of the fiction I've written has been professionally published, that it's okay that I'm not fluent in Japanese yet, and so forth and so on.

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author

Being the dumbest / least knowledgeable / least accomplished person in the room is a lot better than being the smartest person, tbh. But it's still kind of rough on the ego!

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May 26Liked by Eleanor Konik

Definitely. Being somewhere in the 50th-75th percentile would probably be pretty ideal, I think.

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I feel this last part a lot. In the last few years I've become really interested in physics. I hang out with actual physicists so I know I'll never be at their level but I can at least try to talk about the books I've been reading & the parts that really got me thinking, that I connected to some other things I've been reading etc. Looking forward to your amateur perspective too!

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deletedMay 26Liked by Eleanor Konik
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Aw thanks! I really hesitated about sharing it ("it's too rambly and unfocued and self-centered...") so it's been really nice to see it resonate with people, especially since I was super sick over the weekend. Hopefully next weekend goes better!

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