Thursday, June 2, 2011

The imposter

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

(Author: Buster Benson)

Today's prompt was a little difficult for me. On the one hand, I really believe I have surrounded myself with like-minded people. Even when one of my family members disagrees with me, it is not about a fundamental, strongly held belief.

On the other hand, I strongly believe in the purpose of this writing challenge. I read the prompt many times, thinking that the prompt was meant to force us to really think - to be honest with ourselves.

As a result, I find that I have to be honest with you, so here goes:

Yes, I surround myself with people who have the same fundamental religious beliefs as I do, or at least believe in the same God. Yes, I tend to friend those who have similar philosophies to mine about life, about education, about living.

And here is the honesty - yes, I hold beliefs that are seemingly not shared by those closest to me. Here they are:

I believe that I am not a very good mother. I think that I have stumbled through the role and accidentally created five superb young people.

I believe that I pose as an educator. The entire time I was in a classroom for my day job, I came home feeling like an imposter. Those days when the students or other faculty were especially kind to me in expressing what they believed to be true about me were the days I felt the most like a plastic version of the teacher I thought I ought to be.

I believe that I lucked into having such a great husband. I believe I do not deserve him, and I think every day that it is only a matter of time before he figures this out.

I believe that my life being in a state of goodness is not because of anything I have done, it is in spite of it.

I do purposefully live the realities of these beliefs. I don't take compliments well - I find reasons why I'm not responsible for the good things people say. I look at myself in the mirror and see a disappointing version of who I wish I really was. The spirit of the prompt today was to give us a chance to think about our convictions and how we live up to them, but instead it has caused me to realize how limiting these beliefs have been for me over the years.

I will work toward changing my beliefs, or at least forgive myself for them. I've often said that if I had to describe my life in one word, it would be "lonely." It is the "independence of solitude" I have built for myself over the years that makes me feel that way. I have people surrounding me who love me, support me, believe in me - I must try to believe, as well.

No comments: