I was told the other night I should be more confident. This is not a thing I disagree with. I should be. I would love to be. Sadly, it is not that simple. What, after all, is confidence? A belief in oneself? And where does that belief come from? Achievement? Goal attainment? If one has certain goals, or certain ideals for what things should be and does not match them, wouldn’t that be cause for a lack of confidence? I am such a case.
There are three core issue for my self image and my lack of confidence. The first is achievement. Irrelevant to anyone else I had one of two goals for my life. Either be heavily involved with a career in film -for richer or poorer- or be married with a steady office job. I have neither of those, and neither seem terribly likely for my upcoming future.
I have without question lead an interesting life. I have a story for every hair on my head. But this was never the life I intended for myself. Is this a bad thing? No. I simply need to readjust my course. Make new goals. Force myself to pursue them. That last part has been tricky. I have no idea what I want to do or what direction I want to go in. And I am not a person who is fond on uncertainty.
The second issue is women. Or I should say woman. No matter what course my life takes, I have always wanted to have someone to share it with. I have rarely been good at that goal. Meeting people? Having fun? That’s never been at issue. Making and maintaining relationships unfortunately are not my strong suit. Acquaintances and friends are easy. I am a good guy and fun guy (or at one point I was.) I have known some amazing, beautiful, enchanting and fun women. Not just beautiful physically but with engaging personalities. Women that all men want to know. Women that men want to meet. They call to us like sirens amidst the rocks, and they were in my confidence. All who wanted to hang out with me. Yet just as friends.
That drives a man crazy. When you are good, so good, but not quite good enough. Sorry, but let me tell you about the other guys I like, who treat me like crap, who I’m concerned about. I want a guy who treats me like you do, but more attractive and not you. Let me get drunk and flirt with you and then tell you how I’m glad we’re only friends. Sometimes I am happy for these friendships. Sometimes. They can be very good people; they can be fun to be with and can make excellent friends. Sometimes. They also often have hot friends they can talk me up to. Throw me a bone. Even without this I like the attention.
I like being part of peoples lives and caring for them and hoping they in turn care for me. Maybe they won’t care to the same extent. I might want that but it’s not realistic. Yet some of the more admirable women I have known seem to view me as less than themselves. I am not as they are. They do not treat me the same as they treat others. I find much of my value in how those I care about view me and treat me- men and women both. I want people to view me in a certain, positive way and that is often not the case. Secretly, I want to be one of the cool kids.
A sub issue from this is physical appearance. I have always been tall and skinny. I am a bit lanky and awkward as such people can be. I don’t quite fit in the norm and I’m not sure where to go. I enjoy the ability to reach high things, but would rather be smaller and fit in with the rest. Hitting my head on low doorways in this country also gets old. Really fast. Subconsciously I slouch and crouch down as a result. It makes me look even more awkward and worse: weak. I don’t own my stature like I should. I’m not even sure I know how to. Neither do I grow muscle mass quickly. There’s more space to spread it over I suppose. But no matter how much I work out, I stay my lean self. I want to be bigger, stronger, more fit and attractive. I want women to look at me and want me. I suppose everyone does. And I’m working towards that now. I tried before half-heartedly. Now I’m putting in much more effort. I worry it may be too little to late. None of this comes easy to me. But no matter how hard I work out I can’t change some aspects. I’m losing my hair. My nose is kinda long/big. I’m a hairy mother fucker. Some people don’t like that. What can I do about it? For all my work, will I ever be ideal? No one can guarantee. There will always be others more attractive than me. I suppose that’s true for everyone. It would be nice to be number one for a little while, though.
In the realm of dating I have more failures than successes. My success are often short lived and end poorly (to put it lightly.) More frequent are failures to launch. Girls I will go on one or two dates with that will go really well and then they lose all interest. And I am left baffled. Sometimes they met someone else. Sometimes not. In any case I get left in the lurch. It tears a man down.
I am human and I need to be loved. Just like everybody else does.
The third and final issue is stability. I have a job for the year. If I want I can have the same job next year. It is not much of a job. It provides enough for me to survive. Not much for savings. Not much for a future. Not much for others. There was a time I had a good job that paid well, set a nice nest egg and gave me security. A combination of the economic downturn, unemployment and my foolish actions have garnered me a notable debt. I’m working hard to nullify it, but it is a constant concern. I don’t know what I will do for my future and what sort of security I will have. I am a skilled, moderately intelligent and adaptable individual yet without a career. I imagine I’m not alone in that but it is certainly not comforting.
I want to be able to provide for myself beyond my basic needs. Fiscally I want to be comfortable and never have to worry. I want money to be a non-issue, but I don’t seek to be rich. I want to be able to provide for whoever is in my life: family, friends, a girlfriend, wife or children. I do not like not being unable to do that and I am lost on how to achieve that goal with the current state of my life. Uncertainty is my greatest enemy. Were I to take a set path with some assuredness, I would be better. As in days of yore when I cast aside these regards and dived into life with full force. These times were mostly in San Francisco. But I don’t know that I can find such liveliness again. Largely because I don’t know where I’m going.
Going back to women, there are two things they seek in mates whether they realize it or not. The first is fitness, generally viewed as physical attractiveness. Does the person have features viewed as attractive by the viewer and society? Is the person fit, muscular and in theory virile so they would produce good offspring? Whether or not we are conscious of this, lust (the physical desire and draw to be with someone) comes before love. It’s the spark, the chemistry that drives things at the beginning. Biologically all people are driven to reproduce, and to do so with the ones that seem most fit.
The secondary thing a woman seeks is support. If something goes wrong, can this person support me? Someone who makes good money or has the potential to make good money does well here. Will they be available emotionally? Will they help them when they hurt, give them a good life and make them happy? The ability to do this is less important than the appearance to be able to do so. It creates a sense of security.
I don’t fit into either of those categories right now.
I can end with cliched child psychology. Spend enough of your life being bullied and told you’re not as good as everyone else and it sticks with you. You start to believe you are not as good as everyone else. Sure, my parents and friends tried their darnedest to be supportive and counteract this. There’s only so much they can do, though. Toss in a few betrayals from former friends and your trust begins to fade as well. Of course I am not blameless. There past actions I regret and I am ashamed of. Things I have tried to learn and grow from.
Why don’t I have confidence? Right now what do I have to be confident in? Physical appearance? Nope. While I am not ugly I am far from highly attractive. Accomplishment? Not really. I have no accomplishments I can tout. Stability? No. My life is far less stable than I want. It at times feels like I am treading water. Relationships? Barely. I’ve lead too nomadic a life to form many close bonds. The ones closest to me I’ve failed to keep contact with. A big penis? Well, yeah but that does me no good given my failing dating prospects. I see the way I want to be. I see the kind of life I want to have. I don’t have that, and I don’t know how to get it. That is why I am unconfident.
I hope all this is temporary. I am a worrier. Really I wanted to be a warrior but my personality has a speech impediment. The upside is it makes for better writing. Despite my worries and my lack of confidence I am trying my best. But it can be hard to keep your head up when you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Once I build my life in the direction I want things should get better. I just need to find how to take that first step.