Slice #10: Searching for Confidence…

John Tenniel’s illustration, “The Jabberwocky”

One of the books I am currently reading is a compilation of Siri Husvedt’s essays, Living, Thinking, Looking. In “Searching for a Definition” Husvedt defines ambiguity in all its uncertainness.

The passage, “Ambiguity, is what I want most…And because it is at once a thing and a nothing, the reader will have to find it, not only in what I have written, but also in what I have not written,” led me to thinking about my story. What has life written for me so far, and what stories remain to be told? What is it that I need to discover? Reveal?

My answer – confidence. I search for its definition…

Confidence: hails from the Latin root fidere, meaning to trust, which, over time, moved into Old English meaning to have faith. Its prefix, <con-> adds an intensifying effect to this trust – connoting a blind faith of sorts. A leap that is necessary if you are to live with confidence.

Confidence requires balance – just the right amount. It is not quite self-assured; it is not quite arrogant. Too much, and you are left with a false sense of confidence. Too little, and you are left paralyzed. Confidence can’t be found in a command, a dream, hope. It springs from a desire to grow, a motivation. As illustrated in faerie stories, Confidence dons its armour, with poise and composure, facing its nemesis head on, “…be bold, be bold, but not too bold.” Confidence recognizes that the enemy is to be appreciated and respected if it is to be defeated.

The lucky ones are born with confidence. The rest of us battle doubt, sometimes for a lifetime. But if armed with our “vorpal blade,” existing dragons can be slain and confidence won. I swear an oath of allegiance; I trust and have faith that life’s monsters can and will be defeated.

Confidence is what I desire – for myself, for my children, for my students, for all.