So it’s been a month since my last couple of posts. Time flies when you’re having fun. Also when you’re busy. Or if you’re not. My impending & unmentionable birthday is evidence that time will keep moving in one direction no matter what we do, but still, it does feel like it is moving pretty fast. Anyhoo, I’m waffling already. After that last post, I received some lovely messages from people who appreciated what I’d said partly because they’d had similar feelings themselves, or had been through their own relationship woes, but didn’t want to have to write about it themselves, which is fair enough. If me blurting out my innermost horrors can help someone else, then it it all worth it. I have to say though, I did read back what I’d written (I don’t usually, which is why I probably repeat myself, ad nauseam. Apologies for that…), and I was quite tempted to delete it because it just feels pretty cringe-worthy. However, I went with the view that I felt I needed to get it out there at the time, so I ought to leave it. Also it just made me realise that if I was looking at it and cringing, then it meant that I really didn’t feel that way about myself anymore, which was good.
Fast forward a month, and I can honestly say I do feel sooooo much better. It isn’t that I felt miserable before then, rather that getting to a point where I feel I can leave old feelings behind is really great. Hence this post about confidence. Confidence is such a strange thing really, especially when it comes to perception. I quite often have people tell me they think I’m really confident when actually that hasn’t been the case at ALL. While I’ve been pretty sure, in the past, of my abilities in some areas, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever felt particularly confident in my life. I know through experience and feedback you can grow in confidence in different aspects of your life, but to me it has always seemed as though it is something you just need to feel, and if you don’t get that feeling in your bones, then you’ll never consider yourself to be confident. Of course I find it really easy to see the good in others, and to see reasons why people should have confidence in themselves, even if they don’t feel it, but I’ve struggled to see the same in myself. I don’t know if that’s because I always looked for evidence of competency, and if that evidence wasn’t there (i.e. if I’d not done as well in something as I thought I ought to), then I couldn’t be confident. I’m such a nightmare when it comes to failure, as I bloody HATE being shit at stuff, which is ironic really because I’m not exactly in line for any prizes when it comes to life in general. So as a result my thinking was that if I aim for a certain level of competency and don’t reach it, then essentially that’s because I’m a bit shit, so bang goes the confidence. I also used to falsely associate confidence and arrogance, and since I CANNOT STAND arrogance, I wasn’t so fussed about feeling I wasn’t a confident person, because ergo, that meant I couldn’t, therefore, be arrogant. Probably just as well I’m not studying philosophy; I’m not sure my reasoning would stand up to much debate.
Anyway, that’s just who I am, or should I say was. I did wonder after writing those last two posts whether a few weeks would pass and I’d feel like actually nothing has changed, and I’d still have a pretty negative view of myself. As though all these things I said about letting feelings go was just bollocks and I was back to where I started. Happily though, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever felt better. Yeah so I’m still a bit (a lot) of a porker and not in the peak of health, but jeez I really feel like a mahoosive weight is off my shoulders. There is still a lot a want to change about my life (see earlier porker-slash-fitness comment), but despite that I am really happy in myself. I actually feel confident, it’s amazing! I’ve come to realise that feeling confident isn’t just about thinking you’re brilliant at everything, it’s about knowing what you’re good at (and actually being able to acknowledge that you’re good at something), knowing what you don’t know, and not being afraid to get help when you need it. I know I’m better at some things in life than others, and that’s okay. I know there are people out there a million times more clever, but that’s fine. In fact that is brilliant because it means there are a wealth of people out there to call upon, and jeez if someone can do a job better than me then who am I to stand in their way. I always used to feel like I needed to be better than other people, in that if I could be better than others, then it meant I was worthy therefore I could have confidence in myself. What a load of bollocks!!!! Can’t believe it has taken me so long to see that. I can’t force confidence into my life by excelling at stuff, especially when I don’t always excel. It was no wonder I never felt confident – I’m never going to be better at everything than anyone else, so I was fighting a losing battle. This fed into my relationships too; if someone likes me then that must mean i’m nice/good/worthy, blah blah blah, therefore I should be happy in myself. Cue disaster when things don’t work out and you’re left feeling like you’re a waste of space.
The upshot of all of this is that now I genuinely feel like I am who I am, the good and the bad, and people need to accept me for who I am. I can’t pretend to be someone else, and don’t want to be anyone else. I am much more comfortable in my own skin, for the first time in my life really, and it feels brilliant. I’m in a much better place to tackle the unintended consequences of a lifelong lack of confidence (that’s that porker bit again). Also when it comes to guys, I’ve no idea what’s going to happen, but I absolutely know that I’m not going to look for a guy to make me feel good about myself anymore, I don’t need to, also that approach sucks and really doesn’t work, for anyone. Obviously there’s nothing nicer than someone thinking you’re ace, but you need to feel ace about yourself first. I want to be with a guy who is happy in himself and doesn’t feel like I’m trying to make him into what he thinks I want, just as I wouldn’t want him to try to make me into who he thinks he wants. It should be about two people who like what they see in each other, and want to be together for that reason, to support each other through life’s ups and downs, and not about two people trying to change or fix each other. Obviously there’s more to a relationship than that, but you get my drift (hopefully).
One of the other consequences of feeling much happier in myself is I now have an overwhelming urge to rid my life of all the crap I’ve been carrying about for years. I’m a total hoarder, and at risk from being discovered rotting in my own juices after falling victim to a toppling book shelf. The only thing I’m missing is the cat to eat my remains. I’ve realised that all this ‘stuff’, some meaningful, most just junk is really weighing me down. I’ve ended up collecting all these things that don’t actually mean much in the scheme of things, but have become replacements for experiences and memories. I started thinking recently about what I would try to save from the flat if I woke up and the place was on fire. The only things I give a shit about are some photos and a couple of keepsakes of my Mums, the rest doesn’t matter. Granted, it would be devastating to lose everything you own, but bar a couple of items I could easily grab, the rest is replaceable. So spurred on by a pal who loves a good list and is pretty organised, I wrote myself a mahoosive list of everything I wanted to sort, and I’ve started working through it. I had over 100 things on there, and after a trip to the recycling centre and a couple of hours effort I’m down to 83! I’ve decided to be brutal. I’ve wanted to do this for an age, to be fair, but what stopped me was the thought that I’ve spent money on all this stuff, so I ought to sell it and try to recoup some of the cash, but that in itself and spurred me into utter inaction, since the faff involved in selling it kept putting me off. There are a couple of things I will try to hoof, but in the main I’ve come to the conclusion that the money is long spent, and I just need this crap out of my life. Then I can actually get on with living and getting out and doing what is important: spending time with friends and family, seeing places, doing new things, getting fit and healthy (and closer to that picture at the top!), making lots of new memories and just generally enjoying life.
So that said, I’ve waffled on for far too long (again), and more importantly, I have some list-ticking to do….
Have a good evening folks 🙂