Bolstered

I was as flat as I’ve been for months last night, but there was probably good reason for it. I haven’t heard back from the mechanic yet, but I’m expecting a repair quote in the thousands. Then in the afternoon I made a long overdue visit to the dentist. I chipped a molar late last year so a visit was necessary. After examining me he laid out a treatment plan. I don’t have a lot wrong with my teeth, but dentistry is expensive and he was recommending a crown as a long term solution to the molar situation. That amounted to just over $2,000, of which I’d be lucky to get a third back by health insurance. On top of all that this damned recruiter is being elusive, which is both typical and fucking frustrating. And so I was flat.

This morning I bounced out bed – well, as near as I ever get to being bouncy. I’m in a vibrant mood, which is a nice way of saying I’m feeling very willing. You see the world differently when you’re in that mood. You don’t exactly tingle, but feel the extremities of self. The world becomes a place of infinite possibility, and you feel about 10 feet tall.

Fortunately it happens to be Friday as well, so I can dream about actually doing something about it – unlikely as that probably is.

I was out last Friday night celebrating Donna’s birthday. We went on an old Manly ferry cruising out of Docklands and under the Westgate bridge. Not really my thing but it was a good night for it. I was in a buoyant, provocative mood. I realised somewhere along the line that I had become attractive to women again, but it was attitude that was the key to it.

I’d actually observed reactions earlier in the week, which led me to suppose that this way of thinking I’ve adopted has left me with a bit of a glow. I think I appear very generally to be more open and approachable. I’ve always been flirtatious and witty, but it was something to admire before, whereas now it’s something to engage with and – as I’ve reported previously – people are engaging with me.

Friday night I felt its sexual edge. It felt responded too. I felt as if I gave the sign then it might be on. I wasn’t interested in giving the sign though. I’m not saying I won’t at some point, nor am I making a judgement on it. Strangely, for the moment at least, I felt spoken for. I had to save myself, confident that the effort would be rewarded.

One thing I’ve taken from this is that while I’ve become more open and engaging I’ve lost nothing of my self-assurance, and in fact it is burgeoning. There have been moments in the recent past when I scraped the bottom when I felt pretty frail, but in general I’ve never been short of self-belief. Sometimes it has been despite everything, and I think that gave it a harder edge.

The funny thing is that I’ve made myself more vulnerable by revealing the secrets I was ashamed of – but the effect has been to liberate my sense of self and to surmount any lingering shame. I didn’t know what to expect and feared all sorts of implications, but against expectations the experience hasn’t detracted from my self-image, it has bolstered it. Adler would probably have something to say about that.

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