In the last few weeks I've embarked on what I'm calling a Secret Project. It's one of those things where I'm worried if I talk about it will go the way of all my other projects, and it's important to me that it doesn't. I'll say it concerns my health and my confidence, and leave it at that.
But speaking of confidence, I have thoughts on that today.
To me, sometimes, confidence is a switch.
In reality it's something you build slowly, over time. It's built by quieting those voices, by replacing them with others. It's built by doing things, by feeling things. It's built in therapy, often.
Occasionally, though, I find something happens in my life. It's like I've found the switch to a light in the basement and it just goes "flick."
And suddenly I am Thomas Fucking Fromhr. I am tall, confident, and can take on whatever the universe throws at me. Often, for me, it means I let a lot of that roll off my back. I let it slide off me, and stay still.
I've found a few meditative moments lately. I've been outside and had a free moment, so I sit down. I feel the cool air around me. I close my eyes and let my mind quiet, and almost immediately chastise myself for not doing this more often. I often find a fair bit of confidence in those quiet moments. When I can quiet my mind, the voices telling me I can't do X or Y, that I'm too A or B, they go quiet. All I'm left with is awesome, wonderful, in control me.
I feel that way right now. Part of it was buying a new shirt today that makes me feel like a million bucks. Not the act of buying the shirt (though I won't pretend I don't enjoy that a bit) but a nice fitting, slimming thing. A thing that reminds you of who you are, even if the body doesn't fully cooperate right now, even if you look in the mirror the wrong way sometimes and see something you don't like.
Part of it was simply reading a good book, Anansi Boys. In it one of the characters in supremely confident. He's a God, after all, he should be. And in some ways it's wonderful to remember, to realize, what life will let you get away with if you ask, if you expect. It's amazing what comes to you, and I don't even mean in a law of attraction sort of way, when you have no doubt about it.
How perfect life can be!
I need to feel like this more often. I need to find this switch, this little thing today that clicked in my head and left me without a doubt that I am powerful. That I am worthy. That I am able.
I feel like I remember a friend of mine who always seems to be up on trends using the phrase "FOMO" a year or two ago, but I'll admit I'm just noticing it now. Perhaps I'm missing out on modern slang?
Ha! I slay me.
FOMO, for those not in the know, refers to the Fear of Missing Out, a concept that drives many of us to go out often when we wouldn't. It's the idea that pushes us to do more, to run around, to try and go to every party, for fear that you'll miss the event your friends will talk about for years, the hilarious laugh, that special person.
This is a lot of what drew me to go downtown to clubs, to go out and about, and to do…well, a lot of what I did when I was younger. Things I didn't enjoy, but I did for fear of missing out. This feeling was instilled in me by some friends, who seemed to feel it very, very keenly.
Lately it's faded for me, for the most part. For one, most of my friends don't do stuff like that anymore. I don't miss out on much, I don't think. It's kind of turned into a different animal for me, though.
It's become a fear of missing out on some aspects of life, really.
I've started to realize that I'm likely never going to be the guy who drives the Mercedes. I may have the nice cottage, but it won't be a giant one. I'll have a nice house, and be comfortable, but I likely won't ever be overly rich. I'll work my way up at a company, but I'm not sure I'll ever be in the C-Suite. This isn't because I couldn't, to be clear. This isn't out of lack of ability, or a lack of work ethic.
It's, simply, out of a lack of wanting.
I feel like this sounds a little cocky, and perhaps it does, but call it a belated burst of self-confidence in the last few years. I think I could do this if I wanted to. But I think, in my field, the price would be too high. I think working my way up there would involve long hours, weekends, and unbalancing my home life. It would mean less time with my fiancée (yes, engaged, if you missed that, but that's a whole other blog post that I'm kinda waiting on pictures to do).
I'm not saying I don't work hard at my job, put in the extra where necessary, do my absolute best at all times. I've proven I'm happy to stay later and check in on weekends as the work demands it.
But I also know that, for me, that work life balance is important. Most days, if I can, I will work my full hours and leave. I won't check emails in the evenings or weekends unless there's something pressing. To me, that balance is important. That balance is a very, very important part of my life. And lately I've felt a little pang when I've realized it's decently likely I may never have the corner office, I may not get the same respect the lawyers or the bosses get, I may never have the large house, the Mercedes in the driveway, the giant cottage, the boat or the Saville Row suit.
And there is some FOMO about that for me. There is something that doesn't like missing those things, and I get the occasional urge to try and revamp my life to focus more on work. And the realization that those things, those experiences I want do come at a price was kind of a humbling one.
But, then I get home. I cuddle my cats. I cook a nice meal. I bring my fiancée up on Google Hangout. And then I remember that some others won't be home for a few hours. And I think, this is okay. This is a choice.
I may be missing out, yeah. But not on anything that's important to me.