Friday, October 27, 2006

My life as a braggart.

This new, (not so) secret life as a confident woman is beginning to feel suspiciously like the life of an extroverted braggart. Perhaps living in a country that is renowned for its Me First Capitalism is having more than one kind of broadening effect on my horizons.

I'm finding it all very unsettling actually, if a little liberating.

You see, I grew up in a country where the tall poppy syndrome is not only alive, but thriving. It's not enough for one to be gracious in success, one must be almost downright arse backwards in proclaiming any hint that you might have actually had something to do with your own achievements. Unless you're a sporting superstar of course. But even then, you have to be careful not to seem too uppity, lest the media's darling all of a sudden become yesterday's hero.

Religious types have it easy, they can lay their success at the feet of whichever higher being they happen to believe in. What do the rest of us do? Thank our mates, our spouses, our coach, everybody else involved rates a mention, but as soon as you say "Yeah me!" you're labelled as a conceited prick.

Somehow there has to be a healthy middle ground between cockiness and self-abasement. Or maybe it's just a Catch 22 situtation. Ever-shifting ground that no matter where you tread, or how carefully, you always end up on your arse with people standing around jeering.

The tall poppy syndrome really is well ingrained. It's like I've supped at the teat of overweening obsequiousness for all of my formative years and now all of a sudden I've realised how much of a reverse snobbery it is. Isn't it just another form of competitiveness to see who can be the most laconic about their own success? Even with realising that though, I've had to work bloody hard to share my success these last few weeks.

And I still feel like I've got tickets on meself every time I brag.

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