One of the things I always hated about myself was how I was, in theory, supposed to be this gigantic SF nerd, and as it turns out I really wasn't. A weird thing for someone to feel, when most of what they write is ostensibly SF or fantasy.
I liked some SF, and most of what I liked was specific works from specific authors that happened to be lumped into the SF category. But the vast majority of SF hasn't appealed to me; the fact that it sported the label wasn't automatically a win. The pulpier stuff stopped appealing to me very quickly, and even a good deal of the "smarter" SF I was offered seemed less intelligent or wise than merely clever.
Once I was honest with myself, I realized that it bugged me tremendously when I opened an SF book published in 2006 and I saw things in it that were indistinguishable from something published in 1956. To me that wasn't the continuation of a solid tradition; it was the repetition of a formula. I didn't want that. But I also wasn't sure what I did want!
Some of this I ascribe to Just Growing Up, I guess. My tastes widened, and with it the need to enjoy more flavors than SF alone could tickle my palate with. On some level, I know that's not entirely true anymore; SF is broader and more culturally informed than it used to be, and for that I'm grateful. But I've also fallen into the habit of finding my fixes outside of it, and such habits can be hard to back out of.
Still, the impression I keep receiving is that there are these specific streams of thought or inspiration that I am most fiercely drawn to, and that whenever I've found them properly expressed, one of the ways they can reach their fullest flower is by way of SF. But just because something is SF doesn't guarantee that it will appear at all. I can't say I've ever completely sussed this out; all I can do is tack closer to it over time.