I’ve written this in response to a blogging relay about hope my friend Abby reeled me into. “No offense to anyone, but I hate being tagged for things in the blogging world, mostly because it feels chain letter-y and those things creep me out.“ Apparently, she decided to share the love and creepiness with me anyway. I’m not sure whether to be annoyed or grateful. But, she did inspire me to write something after nearly a month.
Confidence is a funny thing. It’s not something you really notice until it’s gone. One day you’re plugging along, making things happen, setting your little corner of the world on fire and the next you’re not. Something has changed. Your confidence has disappeared.
In reality, confidence losing generally takes a bit of time. It seeps out of the leaky vessel that is the psyche with each perceived failure, side-ways glance, and criticism. It’s fluid, ebbing and flowing depending on the day and the circumstance. If only it worked like a car’s gas tank so that you could know when you were getting dangerously close to stalling out on the highway. It would make life so much saner.
The problem is that most of us treat confidence along with such things as happiness like it’s a set of car keys that gets misplaced. The question is always some variation of “Where did your confidence go?” The answer is never “I looked everywhere for it, even under the couch cushions, and still couldn’t find it.” A simple question deserves a simple answer.
Instead, we make excuses and parcel out reasons. We tell ourselves all we need is a pick me up to make it all better. In an ideal world, a new pair of Spanx and full head of highlights should do the trick. The reality is that life isn’t ideal no matter how much those women’s magazines tell us it can be.
I am no exception to the collective “we.” If all it took was going on the occasional scavenger hunt to locate a much needed dose of confidence along with a happiness chaser, I’d be leading the search party. In fact, I’d be the one packing the snacks.
I woke up one morning not too long ago and realized that my confidence in so many things had waned. It wasn’t sudden. I had allowed it to seep out bit by bit. It didn’t matter that there were signs. I didn’t want to look at them. It was so much easier to turn a blind eye and let it happen.
And, then it hit me. No amount of overturning cushions was going to get back what I no longer had. Intellectually, I knew that all along. Deep down most of us do.
Confidence along with happiness and fulfillment have to be built and stockpiled. They take work to maintain. Hard work. I know that I want it to be easier. I want to pretend that at times I’m not my worst enemy. I want to believe that a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and reading the latest Cosmo Magazine is all any of us needs to perk us up and get us back on our A game. I am human, after all.
I’m also not totally delusional. So, I’ve set my nose to the grindstone and started stockpiling again. Maybe one of these days it won’t be so hard. Hope springs eternal.