I’ve been married for 22 years, been a parent for 18, yet I encounter situations every single day that baffle me.
I’m winging it all the time.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one that feels this way. I suppose not, my guess is that this feeling is why adulting jokes are a thing. I’m 44 years old and I still think that someone should probably be supervising me a bit more.
Should a woman well into her middle age still make decisions using “eenie, meenie, miney, mo”? If not, I’m woefully under-qualified for this role. I show up and say the right words and try my best to make it look like I’m qualified, like I know what I’m doing, but I’m always afraid that someone will call my bluff; that someone with insight will look me in the eyes just long enough to see that flummoxed look that I’m desperately trying to cover.
Outwardly, I can see that I’m doing pretty good. My children are well-cared-for, my home is reasonably clean, I cook scratch meals almost every day, and my pets are in good shape. Why do I feel like at any given moment someone is going to stop me in my tracks, take me by the shoulders, and say, “honey, we need to talk” and proceed to tell me just how inept I am?
I feel like an impostor.
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
*Slowly raises hand*
That’s me. Constantly trying to appear as if I know what I’m doing, and plagued by fear of someone hauling out one of those stage hooks like they used on Sesame Street and pulling me aside to call me out.
I feel like I’m never enough, never worthy, never quite competent, and I always suspect that just around the next bend is that colossal failure that will prove to anyone and everyone that I never actually had my shit together in the first place. Here I am, going through life just whistling in the dark.
So there. I admitted it. Now what?
Frankly, I have no idea. I suppose there are articles and books and I’m sure I can track them down, but for now, I’m just leaving this here.
(It kind of feels like having that dream where you realize that you’re naked in front of everyone.)
Deep breath, close my eyes, click “publish”, go for a run and pretend there’s nothing to see here.