The Horse

A cold front blew in last night, dropping the temperature here in New Orleans to the low sixties/high fifties; it’s only 65 right now, in fact. I have some errands to run today, and it’s a late night of bar testing ahead for me, so I am going to try to get some chores done around the house, maybe do some reading, write a little bit, etc. (My inbox definitely needs to be emptied…) Maybe vacuum, etc. I want to get as much done today as possible so I won’t have to leave the house over the weekend; a strategy I’ve been enjoying. I do want to make it to the gym this weekend, though–which will be a start. I’ve lost almost ten pounds since Fat Tuesday, which is great, and I want to drop at least another fifteen. Another trip to the gym or two per week in addition to the slight tweaks in diet should do the trick, methinks.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around the notion of 200 pounds as a goal weight, honestly, but there you have it. ‘Tis what it is, you know?

I was tired yesterday–Wacky Russian did a number on me during our session yesterday–so I didn’t get as much writing done as I would have liked, but I did make progress on my short story, “Quiet Desperation,” despite getting a case of the self-doubts. I am hoping that was just because I was tired, you know? One would think, after all this time, that self-doubt would have been banished from the dark, cobwebby corners of my mind, but no. I suppose they will never, ever go away completely, no matter what happens with my writing and my career.

I’m always a little suspicious of self-confident writers, frankly; although I suppose suspicious is a rather strong word. I don’t get it, really. My mind is constantly at war with itself. You can’t become a writer without believing in your own ability to tell a story and to write; you certainly can’t submit work to be considered for publication without having the confidence that your work is worthy of being read, and liked, by others. Yet we–at least I was, at any rate–are trained almost from birth to not be humble; pride in one’s self is okay, but only to a point. It was so ingrained into my psyche from earliest childhood to always be gracious and self-deprecating; to accept compliments graciously but never, ever do so without shrugging off the accomplishment. It has, over the years, become so reflexive and automatic for me to be dismissive of any talents, abilities, or accomplishments I have that I sometimes wince when I hear the words coming out of my mouth.

And when you’re in the lifelong habit of dismissing your achievements, it also has an effect on the subconscious: I’ve pretty much convinced myself over the years that I am not special, not particularly talented, and that if I can do something–well, anyone can, really.

This, I have come to realize, isn’t healthy. It also keeps me from being ambitious, or talking about any deep ambitions that I might have–this sense that well, of course you don’t have an agent and of course they rejected your work, there are so many others who are more talented than you are…but at the same time this defeatist mentality doesn’t remove the sting of the rejection, either. I fear rejection of my work.

I am working on getting out of this mindset; but it is work. I’m always afraid of seeming arrogant; that’s a trait I despise in others, so it’s not something I want as part of my personality.

Self-confidence. Someday I might get there.

Here’s a hunk for you for your Thursday.

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