Confidence and Paranoia

Been busy the past few weeks with everything and yet nothing in particular, but busy enough to keep from writing.

A few weeks ago we had a last-minute project at work where we needed to visualize incident locations on a map. I put it together and it was presented to the agency administrator and he loved it, so that was good for me and my team.

Later, my boss called me over to his desk. I was worried at first (because that’s how I roll, just immediately assuming the worst) but it turned out that he just wanted to chat. We got to talking about running and he wanted to know about where to go to buy running gear and what marathons I’ve run, stuff like that.

Flash forward to yesterday, my boss called me over. Again I immediately thought it was going to be something bad (I woke up late and was late getting to work because of bus and train issues), but remembered that that’s how I immediately react and started calming myself down by thinking it was going to be nothing serious after all. Turned out that as a reward for building trust with the client and doing a good job my boss was surprising me with a gift card for $200 for Georgetown Running Company. That was definitely a surprise!

Speaking of running, I haven’t been running lately because my foot has been bothering me. I keep meaning to call this sports medicine doctor I found to get it checked out but I guess now I definitely need to get it checked out since I have a gift card to spend, haha.

After last week’s therapy session I bought myself an iPad Mini to use specifically for work. I had been keeping track of work projects in my OmniFocus account, and though I’m pretty good about keeping work and personal parts of my life separate, finding work projects mixed with my personal life and vice-versa kept bugging me. Since I’m taking on more responsibilities at work now (one of my coworkers is moving away, and I’m taking over his projects), I wanted something to help me keep track of things, and since Micro Center had a sale on the 16 GB iPad Mini 2 ($50 less new than what Apple was selling it for) I went ahead and bought one and fixed it up for only work use to keep work and personal electronic records separate. I also started moving some of my work notes into a work-specific Evernote notebook to help me keep track of everything as well. I think that using note and reminder systems that I’m familiar and comfortable with and have been using for several years will help me keep tabs on things.

We had a system release at work this past weekend so I ended up working 12 hours on Saturday and another four hours on Sunday which meant that I didn’t have much of a weekend to speak of. Worked Monday through Wednesday, and another three hours today, making 43 hours this week. At least I got the rest of today off, and I’m off tomorrow through Sunday, so I’m ready to enjoy this three-and-a-half day weekend.

At this weeks’ therapy appointment we got to talking about reasons why I might try to hold myself back, and how I used to be a lot more carefree and now I’m a lot more reserved and serious. “Party Glenn” and “Serious Glenn” we called my personalities and we wondered what Party Glenn would think of the current Serious Glenn, or what they might say if they were to have a conversation. It got me to thinking about the Red Dwarf episode “Confidence and Paranoia”, actually. I need to sit down and think of how I’ve changed and why I tend to play things more safe now than I used to. I mean, I used to go to Howl At The Moon all the time and had no qualms about jumping up on stage and being the crazy guy in the bar, but now I can’t imagine doing anything like that, as if I have an image to project or a reputation to maintain. Even things like going on a road trip somewhere or travel somewhere on my own I’d find difficult to do now. It’s as if those are things that I’d have to find a reason why I should do them, and if I can’t come up with a reason then there’s no purpose. I’m not even sure if it was a sudden or gradual change from Party Glenn to Serious Glenn, only that there has been a change, and that current Serious Glenn plays things much more safe and cautious than Party Glenn ever had.

Serious Glenn

I wonder if I secretly feel like I have something to prove? I kind of feel like I would have been farther along in life than I am now, like people I know from high school or college are farther along in their careers than I am or making more money and I need to catch up, like it wasn’t that long ago that I was still living at home with the parents and meanwhile I have friends and family members starting families and buying houses. It’s like I’m trying to apply myself as hard as I can in order to play catch-up, but there’s no finish line, no concrete goal, nobody competing against me other than myself. If I get a promotion, if I buy my first home, will I feel fulfilled? I don’t know. What would I do after that? I don’t know either. Could I relax? Would I be able to relax? I’m sure I’d find some other shortcoming I’d want to rectify and start fixating on that.

Party Glenn

I remember when I used to do things for the fun of it. I did things like going to England for a weekend. I went on multi-state roadtrips to visit friends. I’d go to visit girlfriends. I’d go out to bars with friends or coworkers and would sleep on their floor if things got too party. I snuck up to NYC on the train and met the Secretary General and a movie star in the UN. I’d fly to visit old coworkers and go to Spring Training baseball games. Fun stuff like that!

Serious Glenn

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older? My priorities have changed?

Party Glenn

Your priorities might have changed, but you still need to make time for fun.

Serious Glenn

What I’ve been doing is fun. I like learning new things and trying new hobbies.

Party Glenn

But it’s not fulfilling. You’re at home all the time. You need to get out more.

Serious Glenn

But… a lot of the stuff that I enjoyed doing before on my own, I’ve found how much more fun they are to enjoy with someone. And it’s hard for me to try to meet people now.

Party Glenn

You need to be more confident. You need to work on that list of things you’re good at like Dr. Connell told you to do. You’ve started to find some Meetup groups to join for different interests, and you’ve joined that social sports league. Those are good starts! You’re not going to be the only one at events like those who feels intimidated about meeting new people.

Anyway, that seems like a good enough start of a conversation. I should really get to bed about now.

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