Confidence is the Only Cologne That Matters

The great thing about becoming an adult is this: the more knowlege and experience I accumulate, the more confident I become. And confidence is the only cologne that matters.

Arrogance and pride are the imposters, covering up for the insecurities that lie within. Both these identities can be replaced by knowlege, action, experience.

Confidence is the only cologne that matters.

Being Poor in a Rich School
Let me tell you story. In high school, I was shy. I attended a private Christian school and most of my classmates appeared to be rich. My parents were middle class. My dad was an insurance salesman and my mom was a nurse. Because we didn’t have a lot of money, and because I couldn’t afford to participate in after school activities with my classmates, I lacked confidence. Looking back at the it now, my classmates probably didn’t care one way or the other. But I did. And I let that affect me. My confidence was the size of a grain of rice. And these feelings of insecurity spilled out into other areas of my life.

Me in 1994. Downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. I was living in a one — bedroom apartment, 2nd floor walkup, above O’Shea’s Irish Pub, with 4 other roommates. My monthly rent was $67.25 a month. This inexpensive rent allowed me to do what I want. So, I worked a few days a week as a busboy at the bar/dance club across the street. I journaled almost every day. I started ‘the FLO’ (Flying Low On the radar), an alternative ‘zine (small magazine) that featured artists, musicians, writers in the downtown West Palm Beach, Florida scene.

It was only after high school, when I become a drummer of a local alternative music group, did my confidence begin to grow. People were dancing to the music. Dancing to my drum beats. Oh yes.

the FLO, the ‘zine I published from 1994–1997, in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida

the FLO (Flying Low On the radar)
Later on, after dropping out of journalism school, I published a ‘zine (small magazine). My confidence grew. Eventually, I started a small film festival. Confidence growing dot com. :D

the FLO (Flying Low On the radar) Film Fest / illustration: Pat Crowley (The Palm Beach Post)

Confidence is Fluid
Once you become confident in an area, that confidence spills out into other areas of your life.

Confidence doesn’t come from that girl you like or that you think you like when in reality it’s just the feeling-of-being-with-that-girl that you actually like. This gets into “means-values versus ends-values”. There’s probably easier ways to get that feeling than pursuing someone, anyway. But that’s another topic.

Me, Kris Kemp, and Christina. Palm Beach, Florida.

Confidence comes from within, the accumulation of knowledge, transferring that knowlege into action, and the creation of some situation wherein you inspire, motivate, and challenge others.

Cinema Refuse’, an alternative video screenings that I ran at a local pub on Clematis Street, WPB, Florida.

At the end of the day, confidence is the only cologne that matters.

It does not matter what you look like. Because, if you have confidence, you will look good. Why? Because that feeling of confidence will inspire you to dress better, eat better, become the best physical/emotional/spiritual/mental version of yourself that you can be.

The Beauty of Taking Action
And the beauty of this action is this: As you continue to move in the direction of your dreams, the confidence will only become stronger. Like a root that spirals downward for the best minerals and the best soil, it will anchor your identity and strengthen your ideals. When the winds of insecurity howl all around you, you’ll hold firm.

Corrie Tatham (cousin) and Allison Hall, for an ad for ‘the FLO’ zine. 1994. WPB, FL

If you’re feeling insecure, indecisive, fearful, that is okay. You’re not alone. The way to overcome those feelings is not the advice of “don’t think about them”. Rather, it is this: Focus on learning a skill, developing that skill, taking action, and creating something cool: music, film, book, event, experience.

Michelle. 1994. Sitting in a tree in front of an art gallery.

It’s literally that simple. And, from doing that, you will get confidence. That confidence will provide a foundation for you to grow as a person. And your fears will ameliorate to the point of non-existence.

Action eliminates fear.

Confidence is the only cologne that matters.

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Be sure to check out my novel, the rails

Christina and Kelly. Palm Beach, Florida. photo: Kris Kemp