It’s been almost a month since my last post. No, I’m not really that busy. I’ve started and stopped a half dozen posts but always got intimidated by finishing the research, organizing the links or even establishing my position on the topic.
This is really unlike me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of an all hat, no cattle dreamer. I LOVE to think of big ideas, get people all excited and then move on to whatever the next thing to catch my attention. I’m not much of a “sticker.”
But having an opinion? Expressing it?
I’ve got that down pat.
Or so I thought.
It has occurred to me over the last few days that I’m suffering from an uncured case of imposter syndrome.
In college, I reached a little too far. I remember being corrected by my beau about the proper way to eat soup while out on a date at a fancy restaurant. I felt constantly unqualified to keep the company I did. Exposure alone had made my peers cosmopolitan and wise. I was constantly in fear of being discovered as the simpleton, scholarship kid I was.
Fifteen years later, I find myself engaging with women whose professional accomplishments dwarf my own and I feel the creeping fear of discovery cast a cold shadow.
Maybe not on my interactions with them, but my actions reaching to join them.
I have been invited to write with a professional blogger. She’s completed one book and makes her living as a writer. While I would LOVE to be a part of this project, I feel paralyzed when I think about whether my contribution would actually be worthwhile.
Another women I’ve known of for years, suggested we meet for lunch. We share many friends but have never had occasion or commonality to strike our own friendship. I felt myself apologizing for myself because she is so effortlessly rebellious and cool. Where I try too hard, she wouldn’t have considered trying worthy of her attention. Yet, somewhere within the span of our lunch there were some raw honest moments that might grow into a mutual respect. She too, offered up the idea of collaborating on a writing project. The boldness of the idea, the nakedness of the truths she proposed we would tell appealed and repelled me equally. I don’t even know if I’m healed enough to revisit the experiences that would have taught me the lessons I’d share for the project. Like Forest says of Jenny’s childhood home, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”
Finally, I discovered a really great potential friend almost by accident. She’s my peer in years only. Her career path has been nearly vertical, while mine has strayed from a flatline only to plunge occasionally.
I’m the first to promote the idea that life, love, and work are not competitions.
But my weaknesses have been baldly revealed by these new friendships and my self-consciousness makes me pause before proffering my opinion as anything other than the silly musings of a woman trapped by her own limits.
And so I’ve been silent for the last three weeks.
I just thought you should know.