Sometimes I feel like an impostor.
In school, for example. I don’t actually know what I’m talking about most of the time - I’m just making it up. But if other people accept it, then it comes to be real. And maybe everyone is making it up and I just think they know what they’re talking about? I have a colleague who seems made for academia. She loves this stuff - the reading, the discussions, the language. She speaks “academic” better than almost anyone I know - she already sounds official. When I speak up, even if I have an interesting thought to contribute, it comes out like I’m 12 - with a lot of “you know” or examples from pop culture or television. It doesn’t show as much in my writing - I guess because I have more time to polish the wording. But I still feel like an impostor - like this is an act and if anyone pulled back the curtain they’d laugh at what was really back there.
I feel it, too, in my fertility. Either I’m pretending to be normal or I’m pretending to be infertile. Or both. In my public life I’m wearing the mask of normalcy - when people ask if or when we’re planning to have kids, I make something up. I have a couiple of stock answers, depending on who’s doing the asking. Sometimes I say something about needing to finish up this stage of my academic work before we can have kids. Sometimes I change the subject. Sometimes I say, “we’re trying” (usually not, though). But then, when I do tell someone what’s really going on, I feel like my situation isn’t bad enough to warrant how I’m feeling about it. I mean, we haven’t been trying that long, and I’m so young and maybe if we just relaxed and take a vacation... (We tried, really we did. It was a nice, relaxing vacation. But without an egg, let alone any olympic-swimmer sperm, it was just a vacation.)
Sometimes I feel like I’m faking the blogging thing, too.* I want to be part of this community of people who write better and think more clearly and have had it much harder than me, but I feel like I’m tagging along. I’m not nearly poetic or creative enough to be here. My story isn’t nearly interesting enough.
I’m not sure what things I feel I’m not faking anymore.
This reminds me of a time at summer camp (I went to a UU camp, so very laid back and open) and in a women’s discussion group the whole bunch of us were in a funk about our bodies, and somehow we decided to go around the room and everyone had to say one part of their body they liked. Mine was my feet. It was a good exercise, but looking back I think how pathetic it is that all I liked was my feet.
I still do. My feet aren’t fake.
*Just to be clear, this is not a request for indulgent pats on the back saying yes, of course you belong here. While that’s nice to hear, I suppose, I’m just working out this weird feeling I’m having right now.