The past few months have seen a change take place inside that I never expected. You see, this person, who circumstance made into an outsider, no longer feels quite that way. Moreover, what this has generated may not even have been noticed by others yet, to me, it has been a minor revelation. How so?
Well, those circumstances may, indeed, have created that feeling, one that was very real to me. Unfortunately, that then became me; indeed, it defined me. That difference, that outsider status became a badge of honour and one that I wore with pride; demonstrating, as it did, that I could take whatever life threw at me. Indeed, there is an argument to be made for the fact that I was successful at rescuing charities in serious trouble just because I could do that and, in doing so, create order out of chaos. The side effect for my personal life was, though, that I only allowed others in under certain, specific conditions. Also, I find small talk difficult so the usual social discourse with others tends to be more about putting the world to rights than “How are you?”
Well, as I’ve written recently, after a heart to heart talk with my wife, I decided to make a real effort to change both my attitude and my behaviour; as I’ve started to do. The response, I have to say, has been uplifting in ways that I hadn’t quite anticipated. The first thing is that people, I hitherto kept at a distance, have helped me enormously and that’s been heartening as well as helpful. That has caused me to see them in a different light and less the people I had, previously, judged them to be. The second, and as important, is that I am seeing myself in a different light. As a result, I’m easier on myself; I actually feel different and, what’s more, I quite like this person. Steady, old chap. Finally the interaction with others is self reinforcing; I liken it to helping each other up a ladder.
It’s still a work in progress and I have a long way to go. However, I already no longer feel quite the outsider that I always did. Something I’m having to get used to but, so far, so good!