Anyone who bothers to read what I write will know that the past few months have been ones of change, something that has been the template for my life. This time, however, it’s different. You see, in the past, although I always ploughed my own furrow, it was often been in response to circumstance. This past year, it has started to be at my own volition and there’s both the satisfaction and the difficulty.
You see, my childhood template may not have been a good one, far from it. However, it was the only one I had. Those experiences defined me no matter how much I tried to pretend that they hadn’t. Indeed, as I told myself, they’d had no effect at all. The problem with that is that my denial didn’t change the reality of the situation, it just made me feel that it did. So, what was the manifestation of this in my day to day life?
Well, first and foremost, it meant that I would always try to create some sort of order out of chaos; a great benefit in my working life. It also meant that I was determined to have the last word and would argue for the sake of it. This argumentativeness a symptom of that small boy’s deep anger at his situation. Finally, I would always need to be right, even when I was manifestly wrong. This latter, my response to having little that was secure in my life. In this way was the carapace constructed. Unfortunately, this had a side effect which was that, what I used as a defensive shield, kept others out. The overall result was that the person who, more than anyone, else prevented me from doing things for me was myself.
So, why am I writing this today? Well, because I’m now creating my own template and, although it’s not too difficult, it can be unsettling. You see, many of those formative relationships that others take for granted, some kids didn’t have. So, if you like, we’re making bricks without straw, as I’ve done for much of my life. This time, however, I’m doing it for me and not as, in the past, for others. I am, in fact, taking my son, Matt’s, advice. In case you should think that this sounds a little self congratulatory, it isn’t meant to be. In fact creating some of the projects that I’ve done has given me the most enormous satisfaction. A satisfaction that I’m now getting from building the most important project of my life; a more rounded and easier person who believes in himself a little more. Almost as a by product, he’s letting people in and, although that’s nice, it’s actually quite scary. Perhaps, at last, that self imposed glass ceiling is being broken and that’s, surely, no bad thing.