An evening of pontification: clear self-perception and compassionate self-understanding have not come easily to me. It took me a lot of time and often painful effort to untangle the Gordian knot of who I am, who I want to be, and who I thought the world wanted me to be. It’s taken pretty much my whole life up until now, in fact.

During my youth I often wished I could be the life of the party, the ladies’ man, the friend who always knew the right thing to say, the witty putdown artist, the star athlete – so many things that I’ve never been, and never will be. I didn’t try to be all of those things, but I tried to be some of them, and those experiences were…well, many things. Frustrating. Discouraging. Humiliating. It’s a relief to have finally arrived at a psychological place where I have this much clarity about who I am.

On a professional level, I’ve found my life’s work as a children’s author, and I’m phenomenally lucky to have done so. On a personal level, I’m a pretty good friend, at least to people who can accept my incomplete social skill set; a committed, future-minded spouse; and a devoted (if noticeably flawed) father. Those are worthwhile things to be. They’re not all exciting in a way that our often superficial society tends to value, but they’re valuable nevertheless. I can feel good about all of them.


One thought on “Self-perception

  1. I’m feeling very much the same way, Mike. Finally, at 42, I’ve been able to say to that insecure kid inside, “Look, kid,, this is who you are. And a lot of wonderful people love you. Now it’s your turn.”

    P.S. I think of you as the life of the party. At least I always smile a little when I see your name because I know my day will be brighter for reading what you post/tweet. Thanks for that!

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