Tag Archive: confidence


This week’s unique achievement was some DIY.

I planed a new interior door to fit the doorway, and managed to complete the task without any splinters in my testicular area, so it counts as a great success!

The Good Lady Barljo chipped in (ahah!) with excellent planing of the foot of the door, and I finished off with some sawing, before hanging to prove our work, and varnish to finish.

There was a power tool involved in drilling holes for the handle and latch (sorry Neil, I should have included a trigger warning on the post!) but that passed without incident.

I class myself as not particularly practical around the house, but the more I do, I surprise myself at what I can actually do. Things I build tend to stay built, things I put up stay up, and things I take down seem to get taken down with very little drama.

It’s a talent hidden so well, that it’s even hidden from myself- I don’t have faith in the project before I start it, and I am oft amazed when it works.

What’s a thing that you’re good at that nobody (including yourself) expects? Hit up the comments, tweet me, email me. Anything, I’m genuinely interested!

“If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the daytime. I’d hammer in the nighttime. I’d hammer all over this land.”
If I Had A Hammer – Pete Seeger

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Do you want the truth…

…Or something beautiful?

One of the suggestions from the postaweek tag last week was “Why did you start blogging?”. Also, a general tweet appeared on my twitter stream from a Journo student friend a few weeks ago with a very similar request of “please share with me the reasons you write”.

So, it seems I should answer this before the universe goes to such extremes as freak cloud formations or to keep asking that question…

When my last relationship ended, one of the things I learned was that I keep my thoughts and feelings inside too much (well, was told, but I was actually listening so I feel I learned it!). Since then I’ve heard from someone different the words “closed book”, had some verbal feedback on my blog of “well I just can’t write as vaguely as you do”, and my best friend has used the phrase “well- it’s JB. Who knows what’s going on there!”

So, the blogging answer is simple- it’s to try and get me into the habit of saying what’s on my mind in a frank and open way. I like that people are reading the witterings I put out there, and feel able to feed back to me. It’s always a challenge to write stuff that I know isn’t just public but that I know people who I know will read, and know about me.

But (and isn’t there always a ‘but’?)

I was asked something completely different this week. What I was asked isn’t really important to this blog, but I gave an honest response (equally personal) and I feel good that I felt able to, and also that I did. The ‘but’ kicks in here in that this progress doesn’t feel good, because it was negative answer to a personal question.

Sometimes you’re making progress, sometimes you’re taking two steps backwards… I think I’m making progress in being able to talk about things, and share my vulnerabilities & feelings, yet it seems that progress in other areas will be slow and rocky at best. Maybe I run my life better with the security that only I really know what I’m feeling, but that’s clearly unhealthy as far as all forms of interpersonal relationships go.

So next time you (whoever you are!) ask me a question, I may respond with lines from Paloma Faith’s song and debut album title:

I can be who you want me to be, but do you want me?
Do you want the truth, or something beautiful?

Barljo

i thought it was over but it’s not

The year did not start well- I’m not overly well (still battling proper flu having got over manflu just in time to enjoy it properly!), but I set my alarm to wake up for midnight. As I texted to my friend Emma earlier that evening “I haven’t missed a New Year’s Eve for 23 years, I’m not starting now”.

But also, I’m feeling rubbish. I won’t bore you too much with how or why I think, or what I should do about it but clearly won’t as I’m a wus…

I’m wondering, as I’ve only picked up my guitar a handful of times this year. Does any playing I do come from a level of self-confidence or the other way round? It seems that the less I gig, the less able I am to stand up and gig.

Case in point- I met a new friend this year. So we’ve swapped stories, hung out, all the normal stuff you do whilst getting to know someone. She’s never seen me gig, never mind just been around the me that is playing ‘tomorrow’. I don’t know how (or indeed if!) she can believe the stories I tell of what StoneChase get up to or playing in front of 3,500 people at a mini-festival when the only John she’s known is barely capable of dealing with social interaction more complicated than “medium cappuchino, vanilla shot please” without flashcards.

So gigging may turn it around. On the other hand, I would find it very hard to stand up and play in front of people. Unless I was allowed to play in a different room. In a different pub. In a different town.

People who know me are astounded at the confidence level I consistently fail to have. “But you look so…” Is usually how that conversation finishes. And putting my guitar on makes me look like I could take on (and sleep with) the world. But this isn’t a performance based anxiety, it’s The Other Guy who has the problem: the guy who would love to smile and say hello, the guy who you probably don’t notice, the guy who holds your door open, and the guy who just about manages to make it through each day.

So from The Feeling: “I’m spinning in circles I can’t stop, I thought it was over but it’s not”

Stay safe this year people- the world appears to be getting fuller of crazies (I’m aware of the irony of my typing that!) that even my dear home gem-of-God’s-Earth Island appears to be called home by some of them. Just be careful out there.

Barljo