Why am I telling you this? Do I think you care about it? Well I HOPE that you do, but I am insecure enough to worry that you don't - and that's something which at a level removed (or more accurately; distanced) from my emotional involvement, I am interested in.
I wonder, you see, if the feelings of insecurity which rattle around my head are even remotely unusual, because one of the by-products of such insecurities is that by default I feel inferior to most of the world, and therefore by further default, my insecurities are a sign of weakness and genuine inferiority. It's a (not very) nice little circular situation - what my lovely wife and I refer to as a 'bind'. But it's also something which interests me, because if I am not alone in these thoughts, how much insecurity is there out there?
Life is, for me, a series of role-plays. Very few people get to see the real essence of me, and the older I have become, the more difficult it has been to not lose sight of who I am and to stay in touch with the person I remember being. As a child my roles were, perhaps unsurprisingly, not particularly complex; I was always shy and so I had to invent a personality to allow me to not disappear completely. I became someone who had a quick one-liner for almost every occasion, and with whom (and equally AT whom) people could laugh. Making people laugh became - and has remained - something which gives me great joy.
I value it as a personal quality, and i tend to withdraw rapidly from an acquaintance if it becomes apparent that my sense of humour is not compatible with theirs. Conversely, I warm to people who can make me smile, chuckle or guffaw. Humour seems to me to be a safe haven in terms of creating rapport; it is a beacon of friendship or the potential for such.
Back to role-playing; so as a kid my main role was as a clown, with an almost equal division between that and being an obedient and well behaved son. As an adult the picture has been much more complicated (can you tell I'm a predominantly visual person?) and my adult roles have included; fiercely faithful boyfriend, emotional martyr, principle care provider, financial provider, police officer (oh yes, that's a role!), manager, single parent, invisible provider - all alongside the clown, which I have brought with me into my adult life. Those are just some of the roles, of course - there have been a great many.
These are all things which I have either done or still do - as opposed to things I have BEEN or am BEING. There's a massive difference; for example if I say "I AM a police officer.", there is a vast chasm of meaning between that statement and saying "I work as a police officer.". Just for the record, I am no longer employed as a police officer...
The roles of my life have given it structure when I needed it, and meaning when I was searching for it. Now, I am choosing to face who I may be without that structure - I am finding out who I am without the comfort blanket of a label, and it's a little scary. This blog is a major part of that process - here I speak honestly about my feelings and observations in the hope of beginning a dialogue with anyone,and including myself. Having written about them, some of my opinions have subsequently changed, and I expect that they will continue to do so - I find that rather exciting.
As I approach my forty ninth year, I'd like to know me better, but I'd also like to know more people better, and for them to know me. And, perhaps as an example of my vanity, I am intensely curious about how others perceive me - but that kind of feedback is, I have found, extraordinarily rare. I find that very frustrating but I won't give up trying to connect with people and therefore trying enrich mine and other's lives simply by making those connections. I look forward to experiencing the thoughts and opinions of my fellow human beings for the rest of my time on this beautiful blue marble hanging in the cosmos. After all, isn't our journey through life at least in part about how we interact with others of our species?
Let me know if you have an opinion!