“I don’t feel comfortable doing that,” she replied.
“I won’t bite,” I said.
Some people are shy, so they hide themselves away. Not literally, by staying at home, or not socializing. Actually, many go out regularly, and some even want attention…but they can’t handle it. The exposure of their vulnerabilities is too much for them, a challenge that they’re not quite ready to face. Many of them are strong in other areas and passionate about things. But not the people right in front of them. Or maybe they’re too passionate about them?
“When was your last serious relationship?” I asked.
“About a year and half ago,” she replied.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I think that’s personal,” she said.
I thought nearly a half hour conversation with me would’ve made her more comfortable. There was a silence, then she said:
“I don’t know. I always end up with effeminate, sensitive ones.”
“You need a man,” I said without hesitation.
“Maybe I’m just sabotaging myself,” she replied, resignation in her voice. After a moment, she got up from the couch, and I watched her walk off.
We all probably know, not after too long, what we’re doing wrong. In our hearts we know this. The question is, do we have the courage to change?
It’s warm and comforting not mingling with the other tribe, like when we were cavemen.
The echo-caveman-chamber is constructed by our unconscious doubts about our self. Leaving it means being challenged, and even being told we are wrong. But what’s wrong with that?
The ego doesn’t like it.
This chamber is like the mother’s womb that the ego wishes it had never left. But it would never admit that.
The umbilical is the chain that keeps us there and sustains our ego, but it holds us back from getting out of our comfort zone to grow.
Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.
As I prepare to move, I’m taking an inventory of my stuff, and I’ve spent some time in front of my closet. It’s my self-imposed purging time. Will these slacks make the cut and come with me? I hold it in my hand for a minute, then lay it down, undecided. Then I stare at a shirt, and put it in the trash pile. A minute later, I pick it up, thinking again. Life is ticking me by, and I’m deciding on what I’m going to carry around with me, so I can spend more of my mornings debating which pants are really going to make my day.
My wardrobe has been my armor. It pumps my spirits. My identity was in that microfiber shirt. Those fashionably marked up jeans. The hipster button-down. The time I spent on what I would wear may be much less than most people, but it was more than is necessary for someone who wants to just live his life.
An actor has a wardrobe. Are we actors?
Actors follow the script and have left nothing to chance.
No, we are not actors.
With a strong enough identity, your wardrobe becomes secondary to your personality
It’s time I start being more comfortable in my own skin. They say the clothes make the man. I say how you wear something makes it or breaks it. Who you are will overwhelm everything, because people may be attracted to appearances, but a dynamic and engaging personality will almost always win in the end.
In a complicated society, we give up to the God-complex, listening to the authorities who have all the answers, instead of facing the task of fixing the problem. Tim Harford tells us that when a problem persists, the method to fix it is simple: Trial and error.
Experimenting helped me find my perfect running gait. Maybe we can use this method to improve bigger systems, on the scale of societies. Communities can be different and each type needs the leadership and experience of its citizens. If only we can use our humility to admit that we don’t have the answers and our strength to face our problems, fail, and try again. And the confidence to challenge the authorities who tell us they have the answers. By acclimating, we can continue to exist. By reasoning and experimentation, we will thrive.