I have spent my life trying not to appear pretentious.

I have also spent my life trying to play small.

I suspect that these are two sides of the same coin.

Pretentious: “Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.”

What’s the opposite of that?  “Attempting to remain invisible or unchallenging by affecting lesser importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.”

Which is the worse error?   is it worse to be too arrogant or too self-effacing?  Is it worse to be too ambitious or too meek?

If we are not full of ourselves, are we empty of ourselves?   Which is worse?

Should Baby put herself in a corner?

I need a new voice.   And I know what it is, the full Kathleen Turner.  That throaty laugh I have spoken about.

But I fear that it is too pretentious, too much of a pretense.

But if we can’t aspire to be more or different than we are now, if we fear being seen as pretentious, can we ever transcend the pull of the conventional and diminished?   Can we ever play big, claim our own power?

I know that whatever my new life is, I can’t be playing down the importance, talent, culture, etc., that I do possess.

Sure, I need to stay humble enough to not dismiss real challenges and insights that others may bring.    That’s how we connect and learn.

But fearing being seen as pretentious just keeps me small.

And that doesn’t serve me, or my world.