Slaying Dragons

The goal for today was to slay two dragons and, by mid-afternoon, I had slayed three. These are metaphorical dragons, of course, but they're just as real us as those that battle the heroes in works of fiction. For years I have been told that I can't do a thing. This was always said with two meanings: (1) I do not have permission to do a thing (2) I do not have the ability to do a thing. Listening to this sort of denigrating comment will wear a person down over the years to the point where trying becomes a challenge. If a person believes they have neither permission nor ability, the goal may as well be guarded by a fierce dragon. So it is with great pleasure that several of these mental blocks were shattered and goals achieved. Now I have more reasons to smile when I look in the mirror.

The last few months have been quite challenging, as many of the posts on this site will attest. What I find interesting, however, is the fact that each challenge was met head on and vanquished. There are more still to conquer, of course. Yet the number of "impossible" tasks that lay ahead are far fewer than the number that have been overcome. Years of negativity are being overturned, one dragon at a time, and it's exhilarating.

Why did I let myself forfeit agency? Why did I believe the disparaging statements? Why didn't I fight back sooner?

One of the questions I have been thinking about lately is the difference between who I am and who I want to become. There's no denying that my confidence has taken a hit over the years and this has directly impacted other aspects of my personality. This is something that will need to be rebuilt carefully, as too much can lead to an insufferable ego. With a higher degree of confidence, taking risks will hopefully result in less anxiety. By taking risks, I will push myself to learn new skills and become slightly more competent. And a higher degree of competence is certainly better than the alternative. But is this all I want to be? Competent?

No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd … Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead; For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
– Alexander Pope

Competence on its own can lead to foolishness. I have been a fool for many years, and wish to change this. Without good sense or judgement, people will not hesitate to rush into a situation that someone wiser would avoid. As such, this is what I want to compliment competence: wisdom.

May I stop making the same mistakes over and over.