My ego

I thought I was better. I thought I was important. That’s often how work and specifically international business travel made me feel. Valet parking, Business Class lounges and air travel, interesting cities, a four or five star hotel, smart colleagues, meetings with senior and often great people, fancy dinners, more Business Class felt good, especially after a successful meeting. Then home. Jane had the kids. Life was similar most days. Even before kids, it was me who did the travelling with work. I tried to be back down to earth, but looking back, it took a while after each trip. I was sometimes somewhere else when I was just in the office, and again got lost in it all.


It was part of my job that I got to travel, and I saw a lot of the world at someone else’s expense. We understood that is what I did. Looking back, I can see I became too caught up with work and everything accompanying it.

Of course you need self confidence to succeed in work. I learned that the challenge is to adapt to the other reality. I was often short on self confidence, so perhaps I held onto the trappings and compliments more when they came.

I didn’t think I had an ego, but I did. Over the last few years, I’ve met many people doing what would be described as normal jobs, where Seat 1A of a Qantas 747 is replaced by any seat on the number 312 bus. It has taught me a lot, and I can only say sorry to Jane for what she put up with. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying amazing opportunities presented by work, but I think I let it define me too much. If this post helps just one person caught in their ego, then I will be pleased.

What about now? Of course I like it when someone compliments a piece of my writing or says something positive about our family. I last flew in March 2016 and now everyone I know, except for the lady in Room 26, travels more than I do. There are times now however, perhaps due to the morphine and anti depressants, when I am more at peace than I have ever been.


Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

5 thoughts on “My ego”

  1. Hi Andrew, I have been reading your posts, and although I have not commented on them, I thought I send you my thoughts on this. I have always considered myself to be lucky. I thought that the cards dealt for me were pretty good so far and I would think you did too. I had loving parents, great opportunities to explore the world, and an open door to education.Most of all we were also mentally and physically fit and possess a few unique skills. These were certainly promising provisions for us to achieve anything we wanted to. At least this is what I personally thought when my career started to become more and more promising. Unfortunately, as time went by, instead of flying free and reach for the impossible and making the most of these lucky preconditions, I found myself face to face with an invisible enemy, which in my view is social order. This is an environment, a chaos, in which we lose our own voice, and as most people in similar situation, learn how to imitate what others believe, feel, do, and even think. Eventually we find ourselves hovering over our lives, and stop developing and growing, as individuals. Thinking about it now, I know that over time, we become a living flesh on autopilot who is doing nothing but trying to fit in. It is not a great place to be. We all learned how to be driven by our social constitutions and without any doubt, by the fear of being rejected or isolated from the norm. This is the norm that I thought was the ultimate place to be. This is also the place where my values and beliefs became almost identical and somewhat the manifestation of those people, in my environment. I simply learned how to follow social rules, customs etc. and by that I lost the most important asset of my being, my free will. I believe that you feel peaceful now because you found your own voice again, despite of your physical limitation. Having said that I would love to hear and read about how you really feel. Please take care of yourself, and I look forward to your next post. Love Marianna

    1. Hi Marianna, I hope you are well and it’s good to hear from you. We get caught up in the rat race of corporate life. I agree with how you see it. Take care, Andrew

  2. Always good to hear from you Andrew. I am also amazed at how much my ego fools me … as much as I think I know better. You’re in seat 1A. I’ll take 1B.

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