I was watching a person the other day go about their life. I was envious from the beginning because of how he presented himself. He seemed so confident in everything that he did. At work he seemed to have all the answers or knew where to send people to find those answers. He walked with confidence and people seemed to respect him. It was not overly confident, just someone who knew where they fit.
I know I am not like that at all. I question myself at every turn. I know at work people come to me constantly and while I give them guidance and information I never seem to know why people keep coming back. I keep my head up and walk with a fake confidence in order to not draw any undue attention to myself. I wish I could be that other man.
The other man seems so fearless. He goes without worrying about whether or not he is wrong. He does not seem to hesitate when things need to get done no matter how challenging. He will speak out in meetings and shows no signs of nervousness when speaking in front of large crowds.
I am not that way. I am scared of everything. I constantly worry about my decisions. I worry about being right or wrong. I speak up in meetings only to show that I can add something to the group but I know everyone questions what I say. I jump into projects so people think I am productive. I do it so they see value in me because I know that I am not that important. When I speak in front of people I run through what I am going to say a million times in my head. I pretend that I am just speaking to myself and hope no one sees my shaking legs. I wish I could be that other man.
I watch the other man help others and he seems to take joy from it. He will stop and help someone with a flat. He will hold the doors for people going into buildings. He seems to enjoy working with people who are in need of a helping hand. Those people must be thankful for his help. They must see him as a bright spot in their day.
If only I could be the same way. I do try to help others but I can only seem to help a handful of people. I see so many that can use help but I don’t have much to offer. Sure I can change a tire and I do stop and help, but I know that person would be able to change it as well. They probably let me help just to be nice. They won’t even remember me 2 seconds down the road and that is good with me. The less people remember me then the better day they would have. I wish I could be that other man.
This man is the center of his family. He shows his love for his wife and kids. He is so loving and you can see it in the way the rest of his family interacts with him. His wife sends him loving glances. His kids love his attention and crave it. He is there to help with dinner or dishes or homework. He is there to listen to the problems of youth and often solve them with a kind word and a hug. You can see the difference he makes in his family, you can see his importance.
I am no where near this type of man. I do love my wife and kids but I do not show it near as often as needed. I doubt they eve know it. I try and interact with them but often I feel awkward and out of place. I see my wife steal glances of me trying not to laugh at my inadequacies. My kids seem to want my attention until they remember who I am and then they move on. I try and be somewhat useful by helping around the house. This way they can see a little value in me even if it is only as a caretaker. When my kids come to me with problems I normally do not know what to say. Instead, I listen and just say something nice, something to make them feel good about themselves because my kids are great people. I always think I should say more but I don’t know all the answers, so instead I just give them a hug. I know my family would get along fine without me. They would move on in life and hardly remember I existed. I barely make a difference. I really wish I could be that other man.
I sit here thinking about the differences of me and the other man. I think about how I know so much about both of these men. And then I realize that I am both men. They are me. One is the fears I fight within myself every day. The other is the one who pushes through just to get through the day. I am sure most people will never know the thoughts that go on inside my head. The battle I fight just to keep going. They will never know how I see myself because I only let them see the better man. I just wish I could be one man, not two.