All posts by XingfuMama

Amateur photographer seeking beauty in both the memorable and the mundane. Sharing pictures, stories and meditations from here and there.

No Confidence

I am not confident. The funny thing is that I no longer value confidence.

When shopping downtown this past Christmas, I walked into a clothing store and saw a sign that advertised to the sexy and confident, thought “I am neither” then walked out. It was not a melancholy I-wish-I-were sort of feeling, just a matter of fact, this is not for me.

The lack of appeal of the word sexy didn’t surprise me, but the total lack of appeal of confidence did. After all don’t we all try to hone our skills and become knowledgeable so we do not have to dither? Doesn’t confidence help give us the courage to act?

I do not feel worthless or lacking in skill or knowledge. It is just that I have seen so many confident seeming situations derailed, often by folks who are just plain wrong insisting they are right. If ignorance is their only source of bliss I suppose it is okay…so long as it does not impact me.  I do not strive to be one of them.

My problem is how to respond in those situations where I am impacted. How do you let folks take the natural consequences for their own actions?

In parenting “natural consequences” were all the rage when my child was young. Problem was that the natural consequences for things like running into the street can be pretty dire, and not just for the kid. Most situations are not that dramatically clear, but where do you draw the line?

How do you respond to the request for assistance when the person is in a mess of their own making, but it impacts everyone around them? What do I do to protect myself? With all these questions how could I feel confident?

Today, I think, I am seeking wisdom, understanding and discernment, where in my youth I admired and sought confidence.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”

Reward

I had jet lag. We arrived in Nairobi at 10:00 pm and had prearranged to meet the “boys” (actually men, I call them boys because they are about the same age as my son) at a bookstore in the Sarit Centre at 10:00 the next morning. Nairobi is an eleven hour time difference from Seattle and it takes about 24 hours to get there.

They call traffic in Nairobi “the jam”.  It took over an hour for our taxi to get to Sarit Centre from Gigiri but the boys bus ride was closer to 3 hours.  If I had realized how challenging the shopping trip would be I would not even have tried.

We had raised and brought with us $500 for them to use to purchase library books they thought would benefit high school students and young adults. Never has $500 been so carefully spent. They spent hours carefully picking, conferring and doing sums. I sat on a stool with my head on my knees, not comfortable enough to doze. I thought we were done, when the owner of the bookstore gave us a 10% discount so they could buy more books!

After shopping we had lunch in the food court and parted company. I was toast, but the reward:

African man smiling
African man smiling

Of course I would do it again…Just maybe on the second or third day.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Reward.”