My second coming

What an interesting week it has been, though in subtle ways. This time last week I was unhappy at having my plans thwarted. Today I feel refreshed.

What has happened? Little that’s material. I was knocked back from one job, but had another suggested to me, and another couple at work mooted to me. Nothing is ever definite until it is, but at least there appears a promising trend.

After my disappointment, I bounced back quickly, as always I do. I’d be interested to place myself of today against the man I was ten years ago and make a comparison. In many ways, I would be pretty much the same, but much has happened in that time, and there are differences. I’m tempted to think most of them are positive.

I was always a strong man, but that strength has been proved by experience in the years since. In so doing it has transmogrified into something more authentic. It’s the difference between muscles wrought in a gym and those that come from hard labour. The whole experience has belatedly made me more open and accepting. I am more mindful.

I’m just as smart as I ever was, which came as a relief. I feared being out of the game for so long that my reflexes may have failed me, but I’m it and a bit more besides. In general, I’m less diplomatic than I used to be, though still capable of charm. As I’ve explained, my experiences have left me with impatient with the insincere and insubstantial. Life’s too short. I remain very effective.

One odd difference is that I seem to have hit a late prime. A friend a few weeks back said I was looking better than I had for a long time. I think much of that comes down to a state of mind. When you’re weighed down by the struggle to effectively survive it impacts on appearance and demeanour, and a revision in attitude since has probably helped.

At the same time, I am looking good. I’m fitter than I was ten years ago, and most days I walk out the front door, better looking too. I come from a good-looking family and so the importance of appearance, if not a sense of vanity, was imbued in me from an early age. I still recall quite vividly my mum telling me that I would grow up to be a man with the good looks of someone like William Holden. As recently as a few weeks ago I was emphatically reminded that I look just like Colin Firth – not something I agree with. But still.

(A peculiarity – like Benjamin Button, I seem to be ageing in reverse. I’ve always looked youthful for my age, but it seems now that as my ageing has slowed still more than my contemporaries are going by me more quickly. I have no wrinkles at all, and though I have grey hairs they make my hair sandy. I was always worried that one day I would wake up and find it had all finally caught up to me. I was afraid that this youthful advantage would be denied to me and the opportunities it gave me lost. Bitter day that would be! I no longer think that. As long as I stay healthy and fit I’ll always be youthful).

On top of all this came the realisation a couple of weeks ago as I sorted through my books that there was still a lot of life ahead of me, much to look forward too and be excited by. That’s an attitude I want to embrace, and having brought it to the forefront of my mind I find it infusing me with expectation. It’s helped by positive signs on the work front, as well as with my writing.

I’ve come through tough times and survived. I’m reframing this time of my life as a late flowering, a renaissance, and it’s amazing how that shift in perspective changes things.

One thing that hasn’t changed yet is my relationship status. It’s shocking to think but for basically the last 6 years I wouldn’t allow myself the possibility of a serious relationship. I wanted to get things right first. I needed to stabilise. The time is now right and fits well with this state of mind.

Nothing is more complex than relationships. I’ve documented the situation with A., which is ongoing. I’ve given up trying to work that out, except to acknowledge that she likes and respects me but there is something that keeps her from me. That’s up to her to figure out now. I hope she does.

In the meantime, some episodes on Friday night brought to light other possibilities.

I’m very wary of being the cute older guy that younger women want to have a fling with. I’m not against a fling, but my priorities are more serious. All that is doubled when the women at question are from work.

There was a function in the office on Friday night I helped to organise. A. was there for a while and very typically was aloof for part of it before reaching out to mitigate it. Strange that the lightness and flirtiness of her emails no longer translate into the flesh. As I said, she has to come to terms with that.

There was another girl there I’ve become friendly with in recent months. The first time I set eyes on her I felt a visceral attraction to her, but it was purely physical. In recent times we’ve overlapped and got to know each other well. She’s smart and fun and very attractive and has a lovely smile and likes me. It’s at the stage where it might quickly become something more if we choose it – a drink, some flirtation, then…

On Friday there was both drinking and flirtation, but other people too. I enjoyed it, but at the back of my mind was two things: A.; and the knowledge that I’m a much older colleague of hers. She’d be about 28-30, too young for a serious long-term (A. is 35).

I knew about this woman, but another emerged on the night. Perhaps it was the alcohol that did it, but a woman I’d merely nodded to in the past or exchanged conventional greetings with was quite aggressively flirtatious with me. I enjoyed it. I always enjoy flirtation and aggressive flirtation is my favourite kind.

She’s not as attractive as the other, but has a raw sexuality which is alluring. In basic terms, I’d love to fuck her and think it would be a great fuck too, but I almost certainly won’t. She’s about the same age, less pretty, more assertive, and probably wants no more than a fuck if her behaviour Friday is any guide.

I’m gratified by the attention and glad for the possibilities, but doubt there is anything I can really do with either of these women, for the reasons I said above. It might be different if I didn’t work with them, but even then, I want a keeper.

My gut-feel is something probably will happen with the pretty one, but in any case, the trends are positive. Renaissance it is.


Frailty and power

I went out for dinner last night with Donna. It happened to be the date of my mum’s birthday, and it’s become a tradition that we catch up on that date to celebrate.

We didn’t dwell on it. I don’t think we mentioned mum once except towards the end to mark the occasion. I wasn’t maudlin or sad. I’m glad to remember and I think it’s a fine thing, but I’m past the point I dwell on it for too long.

But then this morning as I’m heading to work on the train I’m listening to an audiobook and there’s a scene where there’s someone who had gone away many years ago returns to the town he grew up in and reunites with the friends and family and the woman he loved. He’d gone off, had adventures, made a name for himself, and to some he’d become a hero. But then he is undone meeting these people he once cared so much about, all of whom had missed and wondered what had become of him. Their affection for him was undiminished and he is embraced, forgiven for his absence and loved for his essential qualities, buried deep within his hardened exterior. He had gone away, become tough through experience, then returned, and in his return he connected not only with his loved ones, but with his sensitive self, so long neglected.

I listened and felt incredibly moved. I could understand completely, as if it reflected my life – though it doesn’t, not directly. Then, as he is held by his adoptive mother I found myself gazing out the window of the train with tears in my eyes. I felt as he did at that moment, though in a different context.

I have not gone away from my mother, she went away from me, and she won’t be coming back. I remembered that feeling as he is comforted by his mother, the strong man made frail by love and I missed that and envied it and realised that it was something I could never experience again.

I have lived without it. He went away, I stayed, but both of us became hardened in the interval. Love was not something we encountered and we took its absence for granted. He didn’t know what he had forsworn until he was wrapped in its arms again. I forget too what I no longer have, but am reminded – unsatisfactorily – when I witness the experience of others.

As I said, I’m not about to get my mother back and that’s a fact of life. That’s not to say I can’t experience variations of that, and I earnestly hope, expect, and plan to do so. Like a lot of things, that’s just the situation now.

I have these moments but the truth of it is that I’m an incredibly resilient character these days. I get knocked off course sometimes or experience a wobble, but it doesn’t take long before I right myself again and some innate quality is reasserted.

That was at 8 o’clock this morning. By 10am I was sitting in a fancy office high in a tower at the bottom end of Collins street being interviewed for a job. I blitzed it, though it’s only the first of a few. I found myself inflating to my persona, confident and articulate and in control, tall and stylish and direct. It felt my element, as if I knew the moves before they were made, aware of the impression I was making. It’s all performance, though largely unconscious. I left knowing I’d killed the interview and thinking how odd it was that so recently I had been touched by frailty – and now was a master of the universe.

Mum would be proud.

Beyond rational thought

I must one day write a book called The Rationalist. I realise it’s a theme of a bit of my creative writing, and harks back to my very own outlook on most things. I wrote yesterday about how things are changing with #metoo and so on, and while there’s a very strong moral angle on this I come to first from a rational perspective. In that case it’s pretty simple since I am democratic by nature and believe in the essential values of equality and equity. It just makes sense. People might come in different genders and in different colours and might believe in different gods but we all come out the same way and all start out equal. The diversity makes things interesting, but is no cause for one side of that equation to seek to oppress or mistreat an equal on the other side of the equation. Without all the nonsense people conjure up to excuse things there can be no other rational outcome.

I set my mind on things, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel. I have a hard crust of rationality within which is a molten core of feeling. My writing concerns itself often with what happens when rational thought fails, or when there is no rational response, or when – as it must be on occasion – when pure rationality is not enough.

Clearly I know that reason is not everything and have wrestled with the complexities of it on many occasions, but to others who don’t know me well they don’t see that.

Right now I’m at the point where the rational is insufficient for me. I am swayed by desire and hope and unrealistic expectation. It remains a private thing mostly, viewed only obliquely, but I suspect it does me no real favours. I wrote a note to myself before: I’d rather be too much than not enough. When I was younger I wouldn’t exhort myself to be better, I’d tell myself to be more.

Being rational means being reasonable, it means looking after others and doing the right thing. It means that sometimes I sublimate myself to that; the greater good comes before my own need. That’s being rational. It means that sometimes I miss out and I don’t know if I want that any more. And if I were to be truly rational I’d realise that sometimes you must look after yourself first. Maybe this is being expressive?

At the same time I don’t know where it fits in with my heart’s desire. I find myself weighing up different options. On the side are the options I’ve taken mostly where I flirt easily and well and enjoy the superficialities of life and perhaps fall into bed and enjoy my time with someone who ticks off some of the fun things, and why not in the absence of anything else. That feels an easy thing.

On the other side I want to find some kind of truth that contains both spirit and rationality. I feel myself yearning for this. I know myself well enough to understand that what I have I can give deeply, but not widely. My heart is a secret thing, guarded by my rational self. It is kept behind a door until it finds another heart it can speak to. It’s like a hidden garden untended for years that has grown abundant and wild and fertile. That is the other side – I want to unlock that door and let someone into that garden, but there can only be one at a time and even then, only the very select.

Of course it’s not as simple as either/or.

I feel myself restless with convention and rational, reasonable action. I feel in the mood to break the things that don’t work rather than persist with attempting to fix what is broken. I’m weary of being the reasonable man, it narrows you too much, cramps your movement and yes, inhibits your means of expression.

I don’t know. Right now that molten core is bubbling up through the cracks of that rational carapace. I’m about to declare an armistice on myself, absolving myself of any guilt and responsibility for the things that have gone before. If I did wrong I did not intend it, and have no desire to carry the can for it anymore. I want to be free to be myself.

Everything starts again. Slate is cleaned. A friend of mine said the other day I was like (his favourite) Kobe Bryant because I could create my own shot. I wasn’t sure I understood how that applied to my life, but right now feel as if the moral is: take the shot.

After the fire

I read a quote this morning which immediately stuck with me:

Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.

It seems very true, and apropos of much I have thought about in the last 48 hours.

Adversity strips you back to the basics. When times are good and easy it becomes customary to adorn yourself with accoutrements of good living and success. You become immersed in that persona, your true self buried beneath layers of extraneous and ultimately irrelevant luxuries. That’s not to say you can’t be an authentic person still, but it’s nearly impossible to be your basic self. When strife comes all that falls away, either because you can no longer afford to carry it, and because ultimately it is secondary to the person you are. Adversity, should you survive it, simplifies it.

What happens then when you survive and surpass the adversity? Hopefully, you’re left with a truer sense of self and a better perspective on what truly counts. I think that’s true of me, but it also has unexpected, even unintended consequences. This is what I’ve been pondering.

I took the decision earlier this year to open myself up. I chose to let go of the shame and the dark secrets that haunted me. That process is incomplete, but is making good progress. One of my hopes was from that I would become more approachable. For many years – even before my slice of adversity – I could be charming, but also seen as generally enigmatic by many, and intimidating to some. That never worried me too much, and to be honest doesn’t concern me too much now in principle. It’s what it means that I wonder at.

Since I made that decision I’ve succeeded in broadening the group of friendly people around me. I can still be a grouch, but I’m also often light-hearted, witty, generous. I hope and expect that most people within that enclave see me as kind-hearted and true.

Beyond that darkness still reigns. I’m still enigmatic at best, occasionally intimidating, and sometimes arrogant.

There are two sides of this. The first is that I don’t know it does me much favours. The second is that I’m not sure if I care if it favours me or not.

Having survived my hardships I find myself looking back at the time before with a different perspective. By and large, life was pretty good, even happy, and in general I was a success. I took pride in being my own man and doing my own thing. I sought experience over promotion, though ultimately experience served promotion. I travelled broadly, read widely, and considered myself an urbane intellect. I was supremely confident.

Then it comes tumbling down. Rome burns. Slowly I inch my way back over an extended period until I have some semblance of a normal life, though it’s been a torturous process – and it’s but a fraction of what I had before. What I have is a mindset.

I like the man I was before. I think he was a sincere character. He meant well. All the same, looking back I realise what I see are the delusions of the man of comfort. I convinced myself that I was leading an unconventional life, and so doing that made my life worthy. If only it were that simple! And only if it were true!

I’ve come out of that with few illusions. I’m subject to the same conceits as most people, but then I deal with them more harshly than most. I feel no need for admirers having survived what I have. I believe the true essence is being authentic to yourself. I miss some of the fripperies, and still have an indulgent, sensual streak, but I see them now for what they are, pure adornment.

Above all, I don’t want to delude myself that I am more than what I am. I want to be in myself, and in these moments.

I find myself unwilling to commit to the bill of sale presented to me. It’s like I’ve become more aware of the precious self inside and refuse to compromise it – I have one life, my life. Having experienced such hardship much that passes for misfortune appears trivial. Given I have limited time remaining to me, and hence, limited opportunities, I want to make them count, and to be sincerely true throughout. I refuse categorically to allow myself to be stamped by conventional expectation, and that informs behaviour. If I seem impatient it’s because I don’t want to waste time, and if I’m outspoken it’s because I refuse to be silenced just because that’s how people behave. Life is a vital thing – don’t muddle through it!

There was always time before, so I would tell myself. I was content in being a quirky character. Now I realise that time shrinks and there’s no excuse to put things off. I have an urgency now that I only ever applied selectively before. I see life in its pure essence, feel it pushing me forward, urging me to live it now, be myself now. That’s one reason I’m now writing the books that I might never have if not for my troubles.

Whether my life ends up being conventional or unconventional or something between doesn’t really matter as long as what I choose to do and be is true to my self. Ultimately the only arbiter is myself, and I’m glad of that.

With that said I realise I have a way to go. I could be softer. I could be less judgemental. Being honest doesn’t always make for a gentle personality – though I believe I am essentially both kind and gentle. I can be true to my principles, but in a more user-friendly way – and no-one would benefit from it more than me.

That’s the next stage for me, and in my mind I see my next relationship as being central to that. I have someone in mind, but it could be someone else. I realise the person I am drawn to appeals to me because I think she has the qualities to counter-act some of my excesses. Well, for other reasons to. And when I think about that I wonder what it is she sees in me that resonates so in her? It’s such a cliché, but really the best relationships are based on complementary characters, not identical, like two pieces of a jigsaw that fit together perfectly. I need what she can give me; hopefully, I can give her what she needs in return.

Much of this I considered as I sat having a coffee in a cafe in Hampton. I looked out over the street watching people walk their dogs and my mind ticking over. At the end of it as I began the walk home with my groceries hoisted on my shoulder I wondered if I was more complex than most people, or just more aware of my complexities? That led to the obvious question: does self-awareness lead to greater complexity? I might easily have asked if self-awareness simplifies things. It probably does some things, but overall I expect the scales are tilted the other way.

Self-knowledge means looking beyond the surface and beholding the depth and detail beneath. I think it is inherent that with that comes understanding, but so to complexity. Either way, I wouldn’t want to be any different.

Here I am

Sometimes when I tell my story I’m actually surprised how many things seemed to happen at once, and I wonder occasionally how I survived it. The thing is you don’t know the next thing is coming otherwise you might start shittin’ your pants again. When it does come there’s no time for that and you just deal with it. And so it goes – you keep going doing your best to survive and riding the blows and thinking to yourself it’ll turn one day – and it did.

In any case I compiled a list of things, comparing basically where I am now to where I was six years ago, before it all started.

Six years ago, give or take, my mum was still alive and healthy. I had a full and loving family about me. I had an investment property, a share portfolio, multiple tens of thousands in the bank, and a job earning me around $7,000 a week. I’d travelled abroad for holidays in each of the previous ten odd years, and some years twice. I had an excellent lifestyle, ambitions, aspirations, and hopes to settle down into a prosperous and happy future. Then it all came tumbling down:

  • Mum would be diagnosed with cancer, which would turn out to be terminal.
  • I was defrauded of about $100K.
  • The lucrative job I had would abruptly end as another, unrelated, project crashed. We’d been in discussions for a 12 month extension.
  • My shares crashed leading to margin calls and eventual significant loss.
  • Unable to find work and having used my savings I had to sell my property.
  • Unable to continue living independently I moved into mums.
  • Mum died two weeks later without ever coming home from hospital.
  • Her will led to dispute and a legal impasse. Eventually resolved, it left the family fractured and I’ve not seen or heard of half of them since.
  • Unemployed, near bankruptcy, battling the legal process and living in mums home under threat I became depressed and miserable. Dark times.
  • Will finally resolved I was able to move out, find a home of my own, and pay off the majority of my substantial debt. Time for hope.
  • Still unable to find work, invested in a massage shop hoping for passive income.
  • As the business struggled, still unable to find other income, was finally forced out of my home. Officially homeless.
  • Moved in with my sister initially sleeping on the couch, but not permitted to join in family meals.
  • My father let slip that he blamed me for the divorce from my mum about 30 years before. Relationship – never close – fractured.
  • Finally offloaded the massage shop at a significant loss.
  • ATO continues chasing debt of around $40K. Ends up in court, unresolved. Battle continues.
  • Creditors ringing daily chasing debt.
  • Having patched up with dad it comes crashing down again as he again tries to tell me what to do. Without ever a word of praise or encouragement from him I call it quits. That remains the situation.
  • Forced out of my sister’s home I shift between friend’s couches, house minding at different outskirts of the city, and making it up as I go along living out of the boot of the car with the dog.
  • More court action. More rearguard actions.
  • Just when I thought all my options had ended, including housing, received an email out of the blue which led to my first job in about 3 years.

That was about 3 years ago, and though there’s been much more since then, that basically marked the turning point. Still more court actions, still creditors chasing me throughout, I was at least able to find my first home in 15 months. Slow road since, but things are better, debts are being paid off and I have some life again.

Against that I have no real family any longer – my sister broke from me over a married man she was having an affair with. She believed I wasn’t sufficiently supporting her (having endured weekly updates in the 12 months prior). My sister is no loss – she’s a nasty piece of work – but she disconnects me from the remaining family. I now have but just tenuous connections with my nephews and niece. In basic terms I am without family, but I’m fortunate to have friends who are loyal, decent and caring. I can’t complain.

It sounds like a litany of unfortunate events, but there’s no enduring sorrow, and despite everything, few real regrets. In fact I feel buoyant more often than not and hopeful and confident. I’ve been stripped of all the material possessions I had accrued, and the security that went with it, but I understand that I’ve lost nothing of myself. I’m still just as capable as I ever was, still just as determined, and if anything stronger than ever before. On top of all that I’ve released myself from the burden of my pride and feel freer than I can ever remember, no matter what happens. I’m tied to nothing but my own beliefs and I take care to nurture them.

The only real loss is family, but the relationships I really care about I’m certain I can redeem. The rest I couldn’t care less.

Where I come from

A couple of months back I sent off some of my DNA to test my genetic origins. I got the results today.

It was no surprise to find that my strongest regional connection was with Europe. What was surprising that within Europe the top result – and therefore the top result of all – was Belarus, followed by Central and Eastern European countries such as Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bosnia, and so on, until we hit Ireland coming in at seven – Ireland I know I have definite ancestry. After that came Spain, Portugal, as well as the top result from the second strongest region, Morocco, from the Middle East/North Africa.

It’s fascinating to think about all the previous versions of H inhabiting a reasonably concentrated geographical area, meeting, mingling, inter-mingling. These results, I should note, are based on statistical probabilities. My DNA, for example, most closely matches those of people living in present day Belarus, and so on.

It took me a while to process and unpack this, and then I began to hypothesise. I’ve often been mistaken for German/Scandinavian, but those countries were 16/17/18 on the list. I can only imagine Belarussians – what were called White Russians – are of similar physical appearance. In case I speculated that obviously many hundreds of years one thread of my ancestors inhabited Belarus, before spreading. I know historically that some Vikings came from that area, and I would guess some long ago ancestor of mine headed off on a raiding party and ended up in Ireland, where the story is taken up. The other countries listed are false positives I would guess, reflective of the spread and influence of Belarussians into the eastern and central parts of Europe. (Interesting to note, incidentally, that England does not rate in the top 25 of possible ancestral connections – which explains my general resistance to English culture).

On the other side of it I know that my mum’s maiden surname was said to be French or Spanish, and I think we can probably presume that she is represented by those countries on this list, including Portugal and even Morocco, which is just over the straits.

Strangely enough of the remaining regional areas the Honduras is the highest rating in Central/South America – that will be the Spanish/Portuguese of my mother’s side of the family.

In Asia – the fourth ranked region – Australia itself comes out the top result. That’s no surprise given I live here and my family on both sides as far as I know have been here five generations at least. And it represents the multicultural polyglot Australia is – a bit of everything. The other Asian countries represented are those who were colonised by the west and therefore have some European DNA bred into them. Surprisingly New Zealand comes in number six in that region. It seems odd that the only real Caucasian country in the region would rank so low, until you consider that New Zealand has a strong English/Scots heritage – I have no English in my recorded DNA, and Scotland comes in at about 20.

There’s one family story, possibly apocryphal, which crosses over these different connectors.

My aunt was very dark blue-black hair, Spanish looking hair, or Irish black if you prefer. She was the anomaly in the family, the throwback. The story went that around the time of the Spanish Armada some Spanish sailor washed up on the shores of Ireland after his vessel foundered. He found some sweet Colleen and the rest is history.


The next stage

As I do every Saturday morning, I walked up to Hampton Street to do my weekly shopping. I visit the supermarket, the greengrocer, the baker, sometimes I pop into the newsagents and browse the magazines I never buy, or I catch up with Cheeseboy for a coffee. Regardless of what I do, it’s all pretty standard.

This morning was no different, except a random thought came to me. I live in a very civilised part of the world, perhaps even privileged in some ways. There’s always been a strong sense of a Hampton village, and the local community is friendly and warm, the sort of place strangers nod to you or wish you a good morning passing by in the street. I felt that close about me again as I crossed the railway line heading towards a cafe by it, and I recalled how in my bleak days I would sometimes make the trip to Hampton just to walk through these streets and feel a part of this community.

I yearned then for one of the many things I didn’t have – a sense of belonging. I’d lived in Hampton before and had strong roots in the suburb, but then by circumstance, it had been denied to me. It came to represent something warm and embracing to me, something I had to get back to, to prove a point, and to be part of the community and belong.

I made it back, and I’m grateful for that, but this morning I remembered those fleeting visits when I felt like an intruder, though I knew it so well. Thank God I had made it, I thought, but the memory brought back to the sense of those dark and despairing times.

It seems an apt recollection at this time as I feel poised on the cusp of something more. I have made changes this year, well documented, and the changes have been beneficial to me. I feel lighter, freer, more open. I am happier than I’ve been for years. It’s far from an end, but what I expected to be a steady change now appears to be a change executed in stages – and I have come to the next stage.

Something happened at work yesterday which crystallises in my mind what this change is. It was quite innocuous really. I’ve been working hard and pushing on a project for a while now and seeking a go-live date to work towards. I emailed the ops manager yesterday advising him of our status and recommending a go-live date Monday week if feasible. He gave his agreement. I then advised my manager of this, at which she went red-faced, exclaimed loudly and stormed off. Later she returned to apologise.

I believe she was upset that her manager had consented to something she believed was her decision was to make.

I thought about this as I headed home. I didn’t feel right. I’d been the unwitting instrument of her displeasure, but I didn’t feel entirely innocent. I should have been more aware of her feelings, and I wondered if in fact I was and did this anyway to sting her – my complaints about her are well known. I couldn’t answer that question – if there was intent then it was sub-conscious, but still, I should have been more aware. As I am always saying, two wrongs don’t make a right – and no matter my discontent with her I shouldn’t let that play a part in my actions.

On Thursday I had posted something on Facebook which summed up the philosophy I have adopted since the start of this year:

No point in trying to be something you’re not. No value in trying to impress others. No reason to act anything other than truly. It may be enough, it may not be, but it’s real. Reason enough.

After what happened yesterday I posted this last night:

Tonight’s learning is that though I mean no ill there are times I should stop to consider how others might feel about things which seem to be clear to me. That’s a fault of mine. I go confidently forward forgetting others are not so sure or strong, or see it differently to how I do. It’s a lesson in humility and perspective. Even if I am right

I post these to Facebook because it’s easy to keep these things personal and close, but by publishing them I expose myself – it’s a part of the process.

This has been a reminder that there’s still a fair way to go and I have to keep at it, but I feel at the same time that I’ve reached another level. I have opened myself up. Next is to become truly humble. I’ll need help with that.

PS – I’ve just posted this to Facebook, related to that event a few weeks back, and very apropos:

A little while ago I went out of my way to help with something. I was glad to do it and it was the right thing to do, and the outcome very satisfying. Then afterwards in the glow of a successful event, I was ignored, receiving neither thanks or acknowledgement or even a good night. I was surprised at how much it affected me, thick-skinned as I am. I felt hurt.
Over time it faded and I realise for all of us the reason we do or don’t do things are subject to a complex range of reasons. I have no control over what others choose to do, and I shouldn’t expect – and certainly not seek – something that must be given freely. Ultimately I do what I do for my own reasons, and they should be sufficient in themselves. This is what I have control over, myself, and what I do is what I believe in, without regard to fear or favour.