I am a confident person.
It is not a mantra and it is not the statement of a person seeking to compensate for a deep-seated inner lack of confidence. It is a simple place I have arrived at after a great deal of work over the years.
It has been a journey. I was not born in confidence or circumstances that engender confidence. In many ways it has been a journey of over-coming that has led me to a place of self-satisfaction (not smug) and confidence.
Lately however, for many reasons, that sense of confidence threatens to be corroded. I feel small cracks forming in the mortor between my bricks, threatening the foundation of who I am.
Part of it comes from frustration. That sense of things that you know you can help with but are incapable of reaching because of an ever widening sea that stretches between you and the problems.
Another is an insidious feeling that things are being assumed about me and my abilities simply because I am older. Ugh. I hate the word. I am 51. My inner life, my thoughts and passions, do not feel any older than they did when I was 12, 20, 30 etc. save for increased knowledge and some small amount of wisdom and experience.
Still as a man who has spent his life as a communicator and marketer I know when the packaging is having a detrimental effect on the product. I can feel it in my bones.
I’m also a person of conviction. I speak out when I feel injustice or inequality. I voice my opinions. I work hard to ensure that my public face is the same as my private face.
I can be a loud mouth.
It’s the packaging or the personality. Maybe both. Likely both.
All of these things are conspiring against my being taken seriously lately. I do not feel old but I feel like others feel like I am becoming old. Does that make sense? It is incredibly frustrating to feel as if you are losing control of your own brand, as it were.
Obviously this is unacceptable. At least by me. I will always fight these things. I will fight the rust of a sedated life that is pushed aside. I will fight the pressure to be defined by a box. I will fight age. I will fight death. I will fight it all as best I can. It is all I know.
Still…this weathering has me feeling the penumbra of depression that seeks to slide across my mind like a dark eclipse blotting out the bright, good things. I can feel it and it makes me restless and uneasy.
I retreat into busyness without depth to avoid it. I hide in senselessness and numbness from a self-inflicted anaesthetic to protect myself. Not a great place.
Ultimately it is a need to be known, to be valued, that is likely at the root of these things. We will see where it all leads.