Modesty is an honourable trait. After all, no-one likes an arrogant show-off – if you can see them as the opposite ends of the same scale.
However I think sometimes being a little proud of yourself doesn’t hurt.
In fact I’d go so far as to say I want to actively encourage it.
That and being able to accept compliments.
Too often I’ve heard, and uttered, a lengthy response to something like ‘that dress looks nice’ – which explains it is old/bought in the sale/has some kind of flaw.
Whereas I think a ‘thanks’ followed by a smile and swish of the skirt would be nice.
Part of the problem, when it comes to allowing ourselves to feel chuffed, is that our mountains might seem like molehills in comparison to other people’s achievements.
I’ll give you an example, or three, but let’s start with going to the dentist unaccompanied. Big deal, some might think. But for me it was bordering on massive.
Some people fear spiders, the dark or clowns. While for me, masked individuals who want to stick sharp things in my mouth are pretty high on the list.
My fear led to avoidance, which meant my mum was often the one to keep me on track – or rather book appointments for me along with hers and announce them casually over dinner the night before.
Flying the nest means such things are now on my ‘you’re an adult’ list and she sadly isn’t sitting in reception waiting for me afterwards.
So it was up to me.
Granted, if you boil it down, all I had to do was lay there and say ‘ah’ but it felt like climbing Kilimanjaro.
Only I suppose hikers aren’t tempted to ask for a Minion sticker afterwards proclaiming their bravery.
I didn’t ask for a sticker but I did feel chuffed – even if I did have to drink with a straw for the rest of the evening until the anaesthetic wore off. Nothing says ‘I’m a big girl’ quite like that.
If I can do that, I thought later in the week, I can drive an unfamiliar car. It is not something I’ve ever embraced – having learnt in the trusty VW Polo I still drive ten years later.
The request came on deadline day last week, as part of our pothole campaign, and I was the only person free.
So it wasn’t just a case of driving, it was driving while a colleague filmed out of the backseat before then doing a little piece to camera where you can tell I am thinking ‘eyes on the road Cartledge, eyes on the road’.
When it was wrapped up – out of kindness, or humour, or both – and the cameraman suggested we send it to Chris Evans as part of his quest to find Top Gear co-stars, I felt great.
Mostly because it was over, and partly because I was pleased as punch I’d done it at all. So I am proud of letting myself be proud – who knows what’s next.