If I examine it logically, I’m aware that I know amounts ranging from “a little bit” to “rather large truckloads” about a whole lot of places and time periods. Ancient Rome, ancient Egypt, ancient China, Japan, Mesoamerica, India, Viking Age Scandinavia, the American frontier, etc.
And oh yeah, increasingly broad swaths of English history.
Sometimes, though, I go into fits over how much I don’t know.
This admission is brought to you mostly by my current reading on the Ottoman Empire, but also by seeing a preview for a documentary about Rudolf Kastner (who I’d never heard of before, despite him being Rather Important), and half a dozen other things reminding me that there are whole chunks of the world (like most of the southern hemisphere) about which I know almost nothing, whole centuries or even millenia in the areas I am familiar with about which ditto.
(And, of course, this little gap.)
What I know never really feels like enough. Even though I’m aware that I know more than your average bear. One of my favorite things about this job is that it gives me license to decide I really ought to learn more about Topic X; but the list of such topics actually goes from A to Z and then starts pillaging other alphabets for more. And a lifetime doesn’t feel like enough in which to learn it all. Which it probably isn’t.
Yes, folks, this is the kind of existential angst that occasionally plagues my mind. Tossing it out there because I suspect some of you feel the same way, from time to time. Consider this official commiseration space — or space to admit to similiarly half-logical forms of self-criticism. What things do you go into fits over?