I’m lying in bed listening to the beautiful, soothing sound of heavy rain through the open window. There’s a lovely cool breeze coming in too. I’m also lying here wondering why I feel guilty for being proud of myself. I don’t know if it’s just me, or a gendered experience, or a universal phenomenon, but I nearly always feel bad about feeling proud, as if I’m tempting fate for something bad to happen. Or that people won’t like me if they perceive me as boastful. Or they’ll mock me by undermining my pride by recalling all the occasions where I wasn’t so successful in whatever particular respect my pride relates to. Funnily enough, specific people spring to mind in relation to that last point. Certain people, and this specific area that I’m feeling proud of now – navigation. I can think of several instances where they have belittled on this issue, but I no longer care. I am proud of my sense of direction. I am good at knowing where I’m going, or at least figuring it out. This evening, I negotiated a totally different route through places I’d never been to in order to avoid traffic queues of at least an hour. Without a sat nav or a map, I figured an alternative out and avoided the queues. I felt strong and powerful and independent and proud. Two fingers to my detractors. And a big thanks to my dad, who gave me the genes for navigation and encouragement to believe in myself.

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