A pat on the back

I have over the last few days I have taken time to take stock of what I have done so far and what I have ahead of me. I have only been away for six weeks but that in itself is an achievement, in the trip so far I have not really done anything superhuman but I was never expecting to do so. What I have not really done is say to myself well done, and I wanted to start to do that in various ways.

It’s always been very difficult for me to feel pride, I used to think that pride was dangerous and could turn me into a self obsessed human being so I stayed really far away from it as an emotion, in fact I actively stopped it. It began back on the Amtrak train when I was forced to stop and take notice of what I had done so far and what I was about to take on. I already wrote that the journey with it’s sprawling mountains provoked a huge emotional response from me and I recognised at the time that one of those feelings was pride. I find it difficult to explain how pride makes me feel, part of me still tries actively to stop it to avoid turning into that idiot that is so proud they cannot learn. Counselling I think has helped me recognise pride in a way and yes it does help if somebody looks into your eyes and tells you they are proud of you and you feel that. At the time of the Amtrak journey I had the time to do that myself and because it is such a foreign emotion for me I don’t really know how to cope with it. When I was working for various companies there were only small fleeting moments that I would feel proud, followed closely by the deep sensation that I could of done better, more and faster. I have lived with internal disappointment for a while but it is shedding, slowly being replaced by the ability to recognise things I have never done and still take on.

I don’t really know where I got this aversion to pride from, be humble was my motto for a long time, there was no room for pride in me and now there is. It’s a pretty fantastic feeling and of course I still struggle massively with the ability to feel pride once I know there is a valid reason for that pride it’s a lot easier to accept. I often sit and wonder how many people know me know that I have struggled with this for a long time, and being this honest with myself and the rest of the world out there puts it in the public eye and for me gives it less power.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I just want you to understand that those moments when you see me withdraw into myself and even expose the facts about my confidence and vulnerabilities that I am doing so out of habit most of the time. It takes a lot of concentration to pick myself up off the ground, dust myself off and think more of myself than I usually do. Feel pride like the powerful emotion it is, accept it, be with it, allow it into my body and into my brain and let the euphoria wash over me. So it’s time to reward myself, time to step up onto my soapbox and tell the audience of one (me) that you are worth something, you have done good, you will do good and it is possible to pat myself on the back and say well done.

I know that this feeling will return again, and the next junction of flying to Australia where I have nothing but a plane to stare at for 15 hours I am sure when I think about what I have done the emotional wave will hit me again. I look forward to it.