I can relate to this post on so many levels. As a writer. As a teacher. As a performer. As a director. Sometimes, even as a decent human being.
I may have proven myself time and time again, but it doesn’t stop that sensation that maybe I’m not any good, nor does it quell the fear that one day someone will expose me or my work as being rubbish.
Fear isn’t rational.
Anxiety doesn’t care about track records.
And Impostor Syndrome is relentless.
I don’t know why it happens, but I know it plagues creative people and sometimes renders them unable to keep going.
I haven’t given in to it yet. I don’t ever want to. But my goodness, trying to resist it is tiring.
The blogpost ‘Only Way Out’ by Allison Marie Conway moved me powerfully.
This is me. This is the power writing has over me.
It is my therapy.
And yet, lately, a deep, overwhelming sadness that has wrapped its weighty fingers around me, constricting my thoughts and paralysing my creativity.
“Give yourself time. Breathe. Be kind to yourself. Be patient.” I keep telling myself these things, hoping to make myself small enough and relaxed enough to slip from its grasp.
I will get through this. I will write my way out of it yet.
Perhaps this confession is the beginning.
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I found this discussion on the Nerdome blog about the nature of true satisfaction very interesting.
I fully agree with it for the most part.
And yet, the past three weeks would have been a lot more satisfying and a lot less sucky if my car would quit jerking me around, the garage door would open and close as it’s supposed to, and if the costumer for my show had not done a “no show” on me seven weeks out from putting my school’s musical on stage.
I’m independent. I’m resilient. But golly gosh, sometimes satisfaction does come from outside oneself.
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash
It’s not over there — it’s right here
Before dying at the age of 68, Seneca the Younger made vast contributions to the school of philosophy, most notably in Stoicism.
The influence of Seneca’s work, however, would reach far greater than the school of ancient philosophy, and many of his principles and letters have moulded the landscape of the modern self-help world.
During his retirement and not long before his death, Seneca spent his days writing letters to his friend Lucilius, which have since been collated into a series of 124 letters known as ‘Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium’— Moral Letters to Lucilius. (These are summarised in the modern-day translation, ‘Letters From a Stoic’.)
Seneca’s letters detail his innermost thoughts, offloading his lifelong wisdom before passing. These writings contain a wealth of thought-provoking and insightful material…
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Believe it or not, I’m one in a million.
A million authors writing to entertain others.
A million poets bleeding their souls onto the page.
A million people trying to help others.
A million people who are actually loyal.
A million teachers going the extra mile for their kids.
A million people caring for someone they love.
It might be easy to get lost in the crowd.
It’s easy to feel insignificant.
One tree among a million in the forest, so to speak.
But I know I am one in a million.
We all write and grieve and serve and give of ourselves differently.
Each of us is unique.
Each of us is a distinct blend of personality, talent and substance.
Not a single one of us is worthless.
I may not stand out among the million.
I may never strike it rich or become famous.
I may never be someone else’s ideal.
I cannot be perfect.
The truth is, I don’t have to.None of us do.
What matters is the contrast with some of the other people on this planet: the hateful, the cruel, the greedy, the selfish, the power-hungry, the narcissists.
What matters is that I stand against the things they accept.
What matters is that I am true to who I am, to my priorities, my values, my faith.
What matters is integrity.
That’s what stands out in this world.
That, more than anything else, makes me one in a million.