This is embarrassing.
It’s so embarrassing I am stopping to make a phone call I can easily put off so I will not have to face up to it so soon.
And now I’m back.
And ready to confess.
THE WRITER TAKES A DEEP, SURRENDERING BREATH.
Sometimes I think about “The Secret.” Why some people succeed in their selected lines of endeavor and others don’t succeed or sometimes even make the attempt.
What is it that allows some people to surmount daunting obstacles and attain their objectives, reaching pinnacles of accomplishment that are seeming unlikely bordering on impossible to achieve.
What distinguishes, I have often wondered, the heralded goal-reachers from the “We kind of wanted to do that but somehow we didn’t”? (The “kind of wanted to” maybe being a revelatory “giveaway.” The “maybe” being a revelatory “giveaway” concerning the certainty of the “kind of wanted to” explanation. I have trouble, you may have noticed, saying anything unequivocally.)
The “embarrassing thing” was something I blurted. Which, for me and possibly others as well arguably ascending to everyone, is a recognized indicator of truthfulness.
Some of the truest things – and funniest things, because they were concomitantly truthful – that I have ever uttered were unpremeditated blurts. (Is there really any other kind?)
I believe implicitly in those blurts. My biggest laughs by far came from blurt-related pronouncements. I think I will stop and enjoy a couple of them right now without relating them to you because they would take too long to set up and besides, with blurts, to truly appreciate them, you had to actually be there.
There are two of them that pop to mind.
THE WRITER CHUCKLES TO HIMSELF.
Those were really funny.
You know, there’s this ancient aphorism, “In vino veritas”, which for the “Latin deficient”, I say translate: “In wine, there is truth”, which I am not convinced is actually accurate.
I think, “In wine, there is a truth you would more sensibly keep to yourself if you were not at that moment drinking wine.” Which is not necessarily the only or definitive truth, simply the, often malevolent, unmitigated truth, which, although true, is also invariably mean. There are numerous other “truths” that aren’t mean and you do not need to be drunk to communicate them. It seems to me, however, the “drunk truth” has gotten an unwarranted reputation.
Let me tell you something. As far as “insight minus malevolence” is concerned, I’ll take blurted truth over inebriated truth any day of the week. (And I just blurted that so you can take it to the bank.)
Anyway… have I stalled long enough?
I believe I have.
Time to courageously face the music.
THE WRITER TAKES AN ENBOLDENING BREATH.
The embarrassment in question took place years ago when I was a nobody living in Toronto. I mean, I was a somebody – I was me – but that somebody was a nobody. Unexalted. Unrecognized. And, save for a miniscule stipend – for a weekly column in local a newspaper written under a pseudonym so nobody knew it was me – unrewarded.
Here’s the story, with apologies in advance for unavailable details that have faded from memory.
A good friend of mine had recently purchased a top-of-the-line, reel-to-reel tape recorder. The purpose of this high-priced technology was to be able to tape “broadcast quality” interviews with various “notables” in the vicinity, providing them, for a negotiated fee, to local media outlets interested in such newsworthy material. Somehow – and here memory fails me – I would collaborate in this documentarial undertaking.
My friend was very enthusiastic about our prospects. “We can interview anyone we want,” he jubilantly proclaimed.
And here comes my blurt. Unanticipated. Unsolicited. And hideously inappropriate.
To my friend’s exultant, “We can interview anyone we want” remark, I spontaneously replied,
“I want people to interview me.”
My friend reacted to this inexplicable assertion with compassionate silence, and, to this day, I remain gratefully appreciative that he did.
“I want people to interview me.”
Where did that come from? And what exactly did it mean? There was no reason to interview me. And yet that’s what I blurted.
Upon serious consideration – and this could be way off the mark – it seems that buried within me was this irrational pocket of confidence that I somehow had something that, if not immediately then in the future, would be worth interviewing me about, although at the time, that belief lacked all manner of evidentiary underpinning. (Read: What the heck was I talking about?)
I think that belief is called optimism. Although coming from someone else, were I within earshot, I’d have hootingly called hubris.
“A powerful belief lacking substantiating evidence.“
That sure smells like optimism.
Which exiting my lips is incongruously bizarre because I am habitually – if not genetically – a card-carrying pessimist. (I mean, we were going to have cards but then decided “Why bother?”)
Bottom Line: I said it.
And, concerning “The Secret” I was talking about earlier…
Although disconcerting to others, and possibly even to myself…
I think you need that.
Aspirations, especially in highly competitive ventures where the chances of prevailing are maddeningly minute, requires an unproven conviction that those daunting aspirations can be ultimately achieved. That, I submit, is one and possibly the most important ingredient in “making it.” You have to somehow, consciously or unconsciously, believe that you will.
Before I did anything, someone had to confidently believe that I could.
It turns out, to my retroactive surprise and startled amazement, that someone
Was a glimmering fragment of me.