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Note to Self

Recently, I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome” which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Since I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything yet I argued that it really doesn’t apply to me (“that’s the point” she replied in silence). I am, however, quite intimate with the “fraud” part.

There’s so much I want to say. So many things I want to write about. I have a passion in me that has been ignited in a way that is impossible to extinguish. Nor would I want to extinguish it.

But the words won’t come.

Instead all I hear is:





How can I write about those things I feel and the lessons I have to share if I am unable to create and maintain them in my own life? Why should anyone listen to me? Why do the people I know continue to come to me for advice? I have had no success in love (or in life, really) to point at as an example and what I have learned I have learned painfully.

Rather than expose myself as that fraud I have written nothing but in doing so I prove that sense of failure because what I write about most often is hope and gratitude.

Some time back I read an article in the Buddhist review “Tricycle” by the Zen monk, Shozan Jack Haubner, who says:

“The only thing worse than trying to look younger than you are is trying to look wiser than you are.”

So I remind myself that my only failure is in thinking I’d be wiser by now and forgetting that I am only as wise as I allow my experiences to make me.

It is the suffering that has taught me the things I write about and though I don’t write about them in a “woe is me” manner does not mean I am pretending, it simply means I am learning.

Today I recommit myself to sharing what I have learned and to expressing the fire that burns in my soul because to hide it, or to hide from it, would truly make me a fraud.

As Shozan says, “…we all must commit wholeheartedly, moment after moment, to the life we have…”

This is my life. I will live it to the fullest. Even if that means pretending a little.


      • I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a counselor. When talking to my clients, we talk about how it’s not screw ups, fuck ups, or whatever they call it. We refer to those times as learning experiences and growth. So there … That’s my counselor moment! It might be a bit of a speed bump, but it’s growth, James. 😊

      • I get the impression you are very good at your calling 🙂

        Its just that I have built this image with my writing that can be difficult (impossible?) to achieve (but always worth striving for) and sometimes I forget that success isn’t built on achievement or accomplishments but on attempts and how I handle life’s inevitable setbacks.

        So I Superman’d over the handlebars and face planted in the mud, I need to get up, get back on the bike, and try again. And again. And again.

        Learning these lessons doesn’t change the fact that I am human and therefore flawed. It’s all good. I have much to learn yet.

  1. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    Franklin Roosevelt

    I have a lot more to say, but I will start here. 💚

    • It’s been said that we all fail from time to time and we well fail again. It’s okay. Fail better. But I came to the conclusion that I am only failing by not doing what I should be doing. In the effort there can be no failure.

      Thank you 🙂

  2. Im comforted and grateful to hear you/others go through stuff similar to me. Thank you all for putting in the effort.
    J, … I really cant find the right words here, so…just gonna say…at great risk of being misunderstood! You are a diamond 😊

    • I never knew there was a name for it before but I know it’s something many of us feel. It’s important to acknowledge our value and worth despite the somewhat Puritan culture we seem to have been raised in that tells us to overlook our achievements and to believe that pride is a sin. Yes, too much pride can lead to hubris but knowing our worth is never a bad thing.

      No misunderstanding. It’s high praise. I’ll do my best to accept it as long as you accept mine: you are a bright star in a too dark night, Shelley. Your comments always make me smile 🙂

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