Like many others, I can be a mass of contradictions. On second thoughts, amend that to used to be. You see the person who, more than anyone else, stopped me doing what I wanted to, was me. For years I never saw it and made up for the lack that I felt with a curious combination of arrogance and humility. The latter was genuine while the former was a cover for all the insecurities lay just below the surface. In addition, I had a need to organise (a good trait) but also to compartmentalise (not necessarily good). The latter may have helped me cope but it was also very inhibiting. In fact, it actually prevented me from doing some things and enjoying others. Yet, at a rather later stage in my life than I would have liked, I am starting to realise my talents. And, like many other people, they encompass a range of things. Without, I hope, being too arrogant, I like to think that I’m a bit of a polymath.
A good example was the late Mr Bowie. Musically, he wasn’t my cup of tea; glamrock, for example, was, I felt, either pretentious or overindulgent. I never allowed for someone who had great talent across a range of activities and couldn’t be fitted into any one category; music being just one of them. I now realise that my anger over the years was in my personal failure to realise my own talents. I tried but I never saw them as anything special. Indeed, in many ways, I still don’t. What was a big deal in my head to start with just becomes something I’ve done when it’s finished. I felt great satisfaction but no real sense of achievement. The results, I feel, of that compartmentalising process which I practiced on myself as well as others. Now there’s self defeating for you.
It has taken many years to sort out all those internal contradictions. However, I am getting there. The results have been pleasing to say the least. The concentrating on doing what I can do, well is, I hope, starting to get recognition in a wider sphere. More pleasing is that my appearance on Radio 4’s Midweek has resonated among my peers. Even more so is that it has put me in touch with John Coop, someone I’d lost contact with 25 years ago. Now I always regarded him as very perceptive and he demonstrated that in his e mail with a rather back handed compliment. Among his comments was “It seems that you’re now a celebrity in other people’s eyes and not just yours”. Thanks, John. See you next month.
Maybe a bit of genuine self belief is just starting to develop after all.