Friday, July 27, 2007

A Crisis of Confidence

Ok, Toasty One - You are the winner of my 100th Blog entry contest. I am just tickled. Wow 100 entries in less than a year. While I have a number of lurkers - not too many folks entered my contest. So Toasty check your email later and I have sent you some pics and tomorrow I will send more after L's party.

A Crisis of Confidence

This is actually a hybrid of Toasty One's suggestions. I am combining why I became a writer with something most of you may not know about me.

So, I think that a few of you, at least those of you that are in my inner circle, might be surprised to know that I am not all that confident in myself. By that I mean, I tend to have to summon up huge amounts of courage to take risks. Why this is I am not really sure. Every time I have taken a big risk, I have in fact gotten the big reward. I often tell myself that nothing ventured - nothing gained. I mean that. I know in my heart, in my soul that it is true. That said, every time I have taken that leap of faith, stick my neck out, boldly go - where I have never gone before - I have had to talk myself into. Sometime H has had to put up with me for weeks while I talk myself into it.

These defining moments have been punctuated by moments of great personal evaluation, often sleepless nights, and long sessions of me talking out loud to my self. I will replay the possible outcomes in my head. I will talk it thru - the problem is I talk to myself - OUT LOUD - for days, as I fold laundry, wash dished, shower, get dressed - you name it - the conversation is on going. (In the car!)

But this works for me. It helps me summon up my courage and to chart a course that makes me feel the best. I have not nor have I ever been one of the people - who is 100% self assured and just feels like I will make the right choice always. I am not sure that those folks really exist, but I know I am not one of them. I am not by nature a risk taker.

The big moments of my life have all worked this way with the exception of one. When H asked me to marry him, I knew without a doubt that marrying him would be the single best decision I made. I did not have to discuss this one with myself at all. I just tearfully told him yes.... (or I squealed and then cried - I am not sure. It was so exciting. Also I was overcome with a feeling of rightness, that I am not even sure I thought about my answer. I just said Yes.) I still feel this way today.

Let me explain my process a bit. So when I switched job within my company, I went from working with a grouping of 7 folks to working on a team of 4. The head of the team had a bad rep in the office. He had gone through associates like most of of us go through tissues. I mean it was bad. He was known for his temper, his potential womanizing, he perfectionist tendencies. An all around difficult guy to get along with. He was also ranked number 2 in production and was offering to pay me alot more money and offering me the opportunity to grow in ways that were exciting and career enhancing.

To top it off, from a getting along with former co workers standpoint, I would have to see the guys I was leaving (in the lurch a bit) everyday. We were in the same area. Yikes.

So I meet with Y after hours the first time to discuss this and tell him I want to think it over. He is fine with this. Now I am looking at it from every angle. Myself and I are talking about it all the time. In the car, my walk to and from the bus stop. It is on my mind. I run thru the possible outcomes in my head. I think it thru. I have little "role plays" in my mind. I finally decide that the positives so outweigh the negatives for me in this and that I must give it a try. I had planned to leave the company before this opportunity presented itself, so what the hell?

So Y and I have lunch. He goes over the job description again and we talk. He asks me what I thought. Well I told him. Very clearly what I thought, with confidence and conviction. I gave him some ground rules. (Yeah, my conversations and I usually come up with bravado that is not normally there on the fly. I can be tough, after some serious chatting.) I had practiced my little speech not less that 12 times. I told him there would be no funny business. If he broke the rules (I had outlined), I walked. No notice no nothing. They were rules not meant to be broken. I also asked for a bit more money than the original figure on the table and enumerated in great detail why I wanted that.

End of story. I got what I wanted: the money and six years of great experiences and support. Why did I leave? Well, L and my life goals had shifted and he broke rules # 2. He knew it when it happened. I did not even stew too much. I knew our time together was over.

My point is I could not have done this one the fly, I would not have had the courage. But my conversations - some how give me the inner strength to ask for what I want and get it. They allow me to take big risks. I only wish I could take the big risks without the conversation time. It is exhausting. But somehow, my verbal "walk throughs" work.

So it has been the same with writing. This blog is my time to practice, to work thru thoughts and ideas. To keep the words flowing. My conversation of sorts. This has not been an easy decision. My writing is intensely personal. In fact, my novel is pure fantasy and my short fiction thus far has been romantic in nature, but I have a serious story in the works, which is painful and very moving. I have a nonfiction project in mind, which would be very personal if I move forward with it. I know that some of the readers here some of my friends may not approve or like some of my stories, my work, my poems. Coming to terms with this has been tough.

I also write poetry, which can be very personal and sometimes dark - always emotional. Putting this out there is no small step, but I have found no more reasons or at least reasons compelling enough to prevent me from opening my thoughts up to the world. I have something to say. Some of you (S & J especially) have called it a gift. The time feels right and I have reached a point, where I want to be confident in myself. i want to use the gift I have been given to the fullest.

I realize that not everyone will like what I write. I realize that what matters most is that I like what I write. It is less about making the right choice and more about making the the choice which is right for me. (Yeah, reaching that conclusion took hours of conversation. My hears were ringing.)

So it really is about turning over a new leaf. My blog has been about that. In 2007, I am revamping myself and trying to move forward confidently and trusting that I can do this. I want to do this. It is worth doing.

Only good can come from that.


Anonymous said...

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IHateToast said...

I loved the photos and look forward to the others.

What a ride! I bet you squealed.

You should be proud of not just setting up rules for appropriate treatment and behaviour, but being able to say them out loud to the person whom the rules are for. I often find myself thinking that if x, y, and z aren't done, then I'll do blahblahblah.
But then I never let the other person know. Not really fair. Sure, I might not expect him or her to follow the rules from the start or for good, but it's not fair not to put them out there.

Sven would be proud.