Dear Me…Can We Talk?

8 Nov

Dear Me,

It has come to my attention that we need to do some readjusting on how you perceive yourself. Yesterday, you were informed that how you see yourself is not necessarily how others see you. You had quite the shock in this statement. Especially because the statement was from someone who is quite intelligent and you admire. We need to look into this more and do a bit of group therapy between me, myself, & I. Let’s look at how this came about and try to change it, shall we?

OK, first of all, you need to stop feeling like a loser because you are 34 and still working on your undergrad. So what? As MANY people have pointed out, at least you are doing it! And, if you think about it, they say that 30 is the new 20, so you really aren’t THAT far behind. Yes, yes I know, by the time you finish with your graduate work, you will be close to 40. But hey! 40 is also the new 30…see where I am getting at? You rock! You know you do…hmmm, ok, you don’t, but we are working on that.

Also, you need to stop comparing your high school career back then to your college career now. Yes, it is true, you did really shitty in high school. But, ummm, do you remember why? Yes, that’s right, YOU WERE NEVER FUCKING THERE! Remember that time when someone asked you what you had studied in high school? Remember your response? “Hmmm, studying…yeah, I should have done that.”

Ya know how you are always amazed at the people with all the self-confidence? The one’s that love their careers and are good at them? Ya know how you feel small around them? WELL STOP IT! I bet over half of them are alluding to that. Wait, we will get back to that one in a bit…

Now, back to the origin of this letter. You were in a meeting with your advisor and had just found out that you got an A in the class you took over the summer. You screamed, you cried, you were shocked! Now yes, in college you have been a fairly solid B student with just a couple of C’s and you are quite proud of this. But this…THIS…this is your first A. Sure you had gotten a few A’s on papers, but never in an entire class!  When you explained to your advisor your reaction, it was her turn to be surprised. She assumed that you had received many A’s in the past. It was then that she told you that how YOU see yourself is not how your professors saw you (and hey! they have Ph.D’s!) This truly was an accomplishment you can be proud of.  But you don’t feel quite right about it? Hmmm, why not? Is that because you are dealing with…dun dun dun…IMPOSTER SYNDROME???

Yes, yes, that’s right…Imposter Syndrome is quite a dangerous syndrome…of the syndromes. It can be characterized as basically faking everything and feeling that you are just skidding by in EVERYTHING with a nod and a smile. You feel that you are on the outside looking in, really having no CLUE what you are doing, just sort of floating around, hoping no one notices that you are skimming the edges, hoping to get it right. But dear sweet Gen, here is the kicker…you are not the only one to feel like this! We read quite the interesting post yesterday from Lydia on and you were quite intrigued. You thought you were the only one to feel this way. But Lydia totally changed that, huh? Lydia showed you that pretty much everyone feels that way at one time or another or always.

So, GenX, please, for the sake of our sanity, let’s work on this, ok? You may feel like you are faking it…but your not! You may feel like you are treading water, but that’s ok! You have a great support system in the GenX family to pull you out of the water! You are not a loser. You are not a fake. You are doing exactly what we were meant to do. YOU. ARE. VERY. SMART. Stop belittling us. Frankly speaking, it’s getting quite annoying and all these other voices in our head is giving us a headache!

Get that confidence up! And yes, on the inside you may feel like you are faking it, on the outside you are shining!


Gen X Mama

Addendum: This is so me. SO. TYPICAL. ME. I am taking a class called Women’s Music Across Cultures. I have a paper due tomorrow that is about a female musician in South America. I wanted to do the paper on Selena Quintanilla and the impact she had on female performers in the Tejano music scene. She was from Texas though. Not Mexico. Called my professor to see if I can still write the paper on her. Yeah…Mexico is part of NORTH America, NOT SOUTH America. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. How on Earth can I gain that self confidence I need when I make such a stupid, simple geographical mistake like that? Seriously? I mean…SERIOUSLY??? Obviously, I need to sign up for a flippin geography class next semester! AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHHH

4 Responses to “Dear Me…Can We Talk?”

  1. Iris November 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Indeed you are very smart, intelligent, articulate, passionate, caring, vibrant, and fun. And, I you are someone I miss greatly.


  2. Kirsten November 8, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Absolutely Chris!


  3. Amy C. November 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Well it’s about damn time! 🙂

    Imposter syndrome is rampant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a compliment on something I did and thought, “Hope they don’t figure out I’m really not that good.”

    I’m finally starting to shake it off too…maybe that’s just one of those things you figure out in your thirties?


  4. Jennifer November 9, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Dear GenX Mama,
    Stop for a minute and just stand in front of the mirror. Take a look…truely look. Realize that the reflection that you are looking is that of a beautiful, intelligent, amazing person. You have succeeded in life. You have a wonderful husband, three great children, a community that you are happy and safe in. You have been given many blessings in life. Reflect on those. And now you are moving onto another phase in your life…college. You are doing this because you are smart and capable and, most importantly, ready to take on this challange. You may not have been ready in your 20s and you would not have reaped all the benefits that you are obviously taking in now. You are committed and wanting to do this with your whole heart. It doesn’t matter when you start or complete it…but the amazing thing is that you are doing it, and doing it well. Be proud of what you are doing, be confident because you can, and are, doing this. Now I beg of you to start looking at that reflection in the mirror and start seeing what we are seeing!!!!! If you don’t see it yet…re-read 😉


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