My friend La Touché aka Mr Hat is one of my biggest inspirations. He’s a badass superhero with an unfailing determination to achieve…which is super empowering and exciting to be around. (I’ll be interviewing him at some point to impart his wisdom, don’t worry).
Just the other week I was on the way to work, reminiscing about the weekend and suddenly something hit me. A tiny snippet of a tiny conversation we’d had at some point on Friday night, made perfect sense in the cold Monday morning light.
And it’s all about the c word I hate the most….confidence. Something that I pretty much suck at.
In steps La Touché. My confidence guru! He has natural confidence and is the poster child for positivity – something that he tries to draw out of me every time we speak.
Bu! He has something else too. He has a comfort blanket.
I’m not talking a real blanket. He is not five years old with a scraggly, mothballed old rag hanging from his hand at all times.
I mean he has something that makes him feel at peace. Something that gives him a voice when he needs it, but is also a source of vulnerability.
So no, it’s a not a real blanket.
You see, he goes by the name of Mr Hat for a reason and that’s because he has an unconditional, unfathomable love for all things hat. From a young age, this love came through his Grandfather and now he’s never seen without a hat on his head.
So ask him to take his hat off…and you’ll get a resounding no.
And it’s not because “Mr Hat” is a character that has to be in play at all time. Sure, he’s created a self-branded treasure chest through it, but it’s deeper than that.
The hats that sit on his head represent something more.
When he’s wearing a hat it means he’s got a constant reminder of his Grandfather. And that gives him an enormous amount of pride, life and love. (And if you’re ever in this guy’s presence then you’ll know that life and love resonate through every fibre of his being.)
So to take off the hat – to take away the comfort blanket – becomes a bit of a contradiction.
Because it means his vulnerability levels are both at their highest and lowest.
If you’re present in a hatless Mr Hat moment it means he’s truly comfortable with you.
It makes sense right?
So, this particular Friday night, I was having drinks (crashing boys night) with La Touché and his lovely friend Ki and it was during the evening that I came to the realisation of what my comfort blanket is.
The boys were having the time of their lives dancing around…and I was having the time of my life watching them. But I regularly denied their invitations to get up and dance.
I couldn’t really explain it at the time. I really loved the fact that I was just sitting and watching them. I was super happy.
And so come Monday morning, there I was on the 91 to Trafalgar Square, when POW it hit me! (Not the bus). It was all so obvious. The reason I didn’t get up and dance. It wasn’t because I’d had a truly terrible week at work. It wasn’t because I don’t like dancing. It wasn’t because I wasn’t having fun.
It’s just that dancing is my comfort blanket!
And this was a strange thing to realise at 8.15am. And stranger still because I feel like I dance ALL THE TIME. I dance in my bedroom. I dance around my office. I danced down the aisle in Tesco the other day. I feel like I’m always spinning around wiggling my butt.
But put me in a situation where I’m happy doing what I’m doing (watching two fools having the best night ever for example) and remove me from it when I’m not expecting it (pulling me up and away from my gin and tonic when I just want to sit)…and my comfort blanket wraps so tightly around me that I just can’t do it.
I get the stage fright equivalent of dancing.
And it’s not to say I don’t feel comfortable enough around these guys. They’re magnificent. La Touché is fast becoming one of my favourite people in the world. And like I said, I was having such a great night.
But for some reason, in that moment in time, I wasn’t quite ready. I needed to be that five year old who wouldn’t let go of her scraggy mothballed old rag!
It’s a strange situation. It’s even stranger when you’re 27 and still feel like a child.
So maybe you see why I don’t like that c word so much? My confidence is all over the place. It’s the most temperamental thing about myself and something I know a lot of people wished I could get to grips with.
[Note to self: you’re 28 in less than two weeks… work on it.]
So I don’t know if I really have a conclusion. I don’t know how we get over comfort blankets. Or if we ever do? Or even have to?
What do you think? I’m interested in how this works for other people. Am I alone here?
For now I guess I’ll just start trying to let go…and make sure to dance whenever I can. Take a leaf out of Kevin Bacon’s book and find some blue lit smokey warehouse….mmm yes.
Until next time!