I can't find it, but I've talked about Imposter Syndrome on this blog before. I deal with it constantly. I feel, at almost all times of day, that I'm a fraud, that somebody's going to call me on it, and that I'll end up living up to the negative things I say to myself. And I know intellectually that I don't need to do this, but it's still hard.
This summer's been particularly bad for it. I've had a lot of time to myself. A day after my last entry, my car's motor gave in on me and I had to replace it—with my parents' gracious help. I've spent pretty-much the rest of the summer at home, or occasionally taking trips down to Vancouver, just to save money so I can get by for the summer and hopefully pay them back at some point. I don't know if I got a good replacement vehicle, but I tried. And I've spent a lot of time at home as a result of this change.
I've tried filling my time with activities: learning Hindi script, trying to write some more songs, trying to learn to read music, reading a couple books, and whatnot. But still, it's been way more time to myself than I expected. I've had way too much time to talk to myself, ruminate on the past, and ream myself out for my numerous mistakes over the last 20 years. It's been tough.
And now I see myself anticipating a new school year and I feel like more of a fraud than ever. I have no idea how to make this curriculum work. I used to be able to get the steam going, but the last two summers, nu-uh, and this summer's no better.
This leads me to the real core of all of this. I think it's safe to say that I'm a creative person. I love creating things. I love creating music, lessons, photographs, etc., but I'm just not feeling it. I can take artsy-fartsy photographs like I have this summer, but I can't really say my heart's in it. I'm going through motions, but with weak results. Same thing with songwriting... of all the songs I've written this year, they're OK, but geez they're just not enough. I'm going through the motions of a creative person while not really being creative.
*Imposter Syndrome kicking in hard there.*
I set high standards for myself. I expect to bring meaningful curriculum to my students, music to my listeners, photos to my viewers, and parenting to my children, but right now I just don't feel like I'm living up to any of them. I'm a fraud. I want to believe I'm good with money, but then how come I needed help to replace the car? I want to believe I'm good with relationships, but then why did I spend so much of my summer alone? I want to believe I'm an adequate teacher, but then why did I end the year feeling like my students learned nothing from me? I want to believe I'm a good songwriter, but then why don't I seem to want to share my songs? Because I'm a fraud, nobody cares, and...
... fricking Imposter Syndrome.
I don't know where it stems from. I'm old enough and professional enough that I shouldn't be stressing about authority figures coming through the door and yelling at me. But between the constant "You are nothing" messages I got from religion, and the "We don't really know what to do with you" messages I got from childhood, and the messages that I embraced from my marriage that lead to its demise, it's tough to break out. I keep doing the things I'm supposed to do to keep the Imposter Syndrome at bay, but it keeps coming back. And I know it shouldn't, but it keeps sneaking up on me.
That's all. I know it's stupid. And this isn't a reaching-out-to-the-void thing. I know I'm a competent, creative person. I know people care about me. I know my kids love me and that I'm not the world's worst person. I know I'm not a fraud. But deep-seated beliefs are tough to shake. And I'm getting tired of fighting a mindset that's so childish.
Enough. Here's to hoping I can get that creativity bug before the school year starts.
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