"Everyone's personal theme song is, 'There will never be another me.'" —Thomas D. Murray, advertising executive
An old friend recently told me after reading a magazine article of mine: "I am always surprised at what a good writer you are." He's been reading me for 25 years—most of them apparently spent in the casual assumption that I'm just an okay writer. How could he say a thing like that?
The opposite is just as hard to deal with. A guy once thanked me for coming to his party with a note, "Dave, you're always great." (The implied next sentence being, "At least you have been so far.")
And then there was the boss who, when an employee told him that her uncle had died, said, "Yeah, that seems to be going around."
What I remember about the first professional baseball game I attended was looking out at all those people and trying to grapple with the fact that they each of them was looking out of his or her own head at the rest of us—that every one of these infinite faces was as fully them as I was me.
Of course, I was seven then.
Since then, I have not become any less me. Really, the only way to stop being self-centered is by eating plastic explosives. But I have, for the most part, figured out how to adjust to your insistence on being just as fully you.