I suspect Europeans think of themselves as more cosmopolitan, more ‘connected’ than Americans. After all, we’ve so many countries and so many people jammed in together, so little room per person, that we have to be cosmopolitan don’t we? Yet in the hotel restaurant over the last couple of days I’ve heard languages – European languages – that I didn’t recognise. Were the guys on the table nearest me just now from Estonia, or Latvia, or Lithuania..?
More importantly I also saw a couple of people who may well contribute to one of the major characters in the story I’m working on. That’s how I build people sometimes; to steal from someone real, to create a composite. Human Lego models. This morning it was one woman’s hair (though it needed to be just a touch shorter), and the way another sat in her chair; it was a lazy lounge that was inappropriate for breakfast and I probably won’t steal the pose as such, but it was the aura she was giving off. A kind of belligerence.
That takes confidence or guts, depending on your point of view; being able to state “this is who I am” or “this is what I do” and telling the rest of the world to go hang. I suffer from being too willing to compromise, I suspect. How you tackle the ‘this is who I am’ question defines the kind of course you take through life. It’s not illogical to think that those who are less willing to flex – are more ‘driven’ – take a more direct path, are more likely to be successful.
I may have my own opportunity to define myself professionally later on today. “This is the deal”… If I do so, I hope I am able (in multiple senses of the ambition) to factor in the who and what I am outside of work. As I get older, I feel less and less inclined to compromise something that is becoming increasingly precious.