You may be wondering who the hell this guy is and what’s a Manic Impressive. And maybe I’m wondering who the hell you are and how did you get here. Tell you what, I’ll fill you in and maybe you’ll hang around and do the same for me. Or maybe not, but I’m gonna do my part anyway.
Manic Impressive is my self diagnosis. Which means, and let’s be totally clear about this, it is totally made up. By me. For me. To explain me to me. And now, maybe, to you.
No, I’m not sick. At least not in that way. But there’s a certain group of symptoms I exhibit that are deeply part of me. They bring me moments of absolute brilliance, then long stretches of other stuff.
I write this to try to connect with others and move myself to positive action in my life. I do it to better understand how to make my way in the world. Perhaps you share some of these symptoms and can get some meaning or reassurance from these pages. Or perhaps someone you know or care about is like this, and you’re hoping to better understand them, or at least, to know when to keep fishing or cut bait and split.
The awareness of this came while I was driving with my wife one day some 20 years ago. It was a spectacular spring day, the hills were green and there was wall-to-wall sunshine. As I crested a gentle rise in the road, the next five miles were laid out in front of me. It was a majestic view and I was feeling great.
So great that I started to sing. And drum my fingers on the steering wheel. And make up words to my new made-up song. And just as I was completely feeling it, I noticed my wife. She was not feeling it. In fact, the more I was feeling it, the more irritated she seemed to be.
Odd – why would my life partner, the woman who loves me, be irritated by my happiness? Well, she just didn’t understand why I could be feeling so good. It didn’t make sense and it bugged her. So I tried to explain, and these were the words that jumped out of me: “I guess I’m just Manic Impressive.”
Since that day, I’ve found those words to be the exact explanation for who and what I am. I’ve also found others who are described very well by that phrase. People who are talented, creative, inspiring, but who have trouble putting it all together and getting it out there in the world.
These are my people, and this is our struggle…