I’m not sure how much of it is me as I get older and more independent, or whether it’s the zeitgeist.
Increasingly, I find myself as something of a “professional schizophrenic”
Two people, who used to compete but who now get along quite well together.
The first me is the one I was brought up to be. From a family somewhere on the cusp of working class and embryonic middle class, approval was all about achievement, acceptance and conformity.
He seemed reasonably bright, could learn things, and get by in most subjects and areas. Good at a few things, adequate at many, the weaknesses carefully hidden out of sight.
It took me to a scholarship into the R.A.F. at the time when such things were about as common as rocking horse droppings, so achievement, acceptance and conformity were all really happy.
And on it went, till the second me turned up. The one of questions, curiosity and an unwillingness to do the stuff of acceptance and conformity.
The one willing to sacrifice what others wanted me to achieve in order to keep second me tolerably happy.
We needed a compromise. First me had obligations, personal and financial that made revolution a risky exercise, so made a pact with second me to collaborate.
A half way house. Out of the Air Force into something with a little more flexibility – business.
Which worked quite satisfactorily until many years later, when we (now a family built on rock) suddenly realised that the obligations had moved out.
So, it became second me’s time to drive, but the collaboration continues happily. A sort of tag team.
All the stuff the first me has learned is valuable, its just that now it’s being put to a different use.
Whereas first me looked after the interests of business, second me is much more interested in the individuals who are the business.
To use what I know, who I know, and what talents I have to help them steer their own path, not follow the beaten track. Not to break the rules, but to bend them to their will.