I love talking to people! I learn so much from them, and some conversations really warm my soul. I wanted to share some warmth and good energy from one I had today with you in this post. The first week back of this zoom term has been quite chaotic, to say the least and adjusting to working from home full time has been a challenge. This evening however I got some of my life together and (finally) got round to calling one of my friends. I’m glad I picked the phone up today because, I don’t know how to explain this, but I was really impacted.
Imposter syndrome hits everyone at some point I think. For me it has been this past few weeks, strangely despite being away from Cambridge I still felt its effects. I have ambivalent feelings about ‘Imposter Syndrome’ as a label because since it is such a widespread feeling I don’t think its something that warrants the label of a ‘syndrome’ for most people rather, more often than not, its a normal human emotion that we all have to work through in our own ways. Not to reduce the emotions in any way, as much as anyone I know how much they plague people, but for me at least acknowledging that it is a normal experience helps me process things more calmly.
I think this second hard lockdown has impacted people quite harshly. So I thought maybe some of you may be able to relate/take some motivation, from some thoughts from my discussion with my friend.
She reminded me primarily that the world is bigger than the one I inhabit. I think a lot of the reason why I become overwhelmed is that I allow negative things in my life to become more important than they actually are, due to a loss of sense of scale. A few weeks back, in a sisters circle, we did an activity where we listed the bad things in our lives and the good things ( dear reader I encourage you to do the same), and indeed our blessings do outweigh what plagues us.
Another note is that I am so proud of my friends. They may be few, and infrequently contacted by me ( lol sorry I’m working on it guys), but really I wish I could explain how much I value them. It sucks, I wish words were sufficient. COVID gap years, personal problems and they still keep going- talented, openminded, warm-hearted and tolerant people. Aaaaaaw I’m gushing, but seriously I take strength from knowing they exist!
Finally, the need to keep your heart soft. It stuns even me how much space this degree is taking in my life (and mind) . In the thick of the moment it’s hard to get out of such a subsuming state of mind. However, there is so much more to the world, so many more important things than formal education. In a way it is a form of control, work so hard that you don’t have time to think creatively- creativity and questioning are forms of struggle, I think, a sort of everyday small scale praxis, railing against being homogenised into a non-feeling world.
“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” –Audre Lorde
What my friend said made me reassess my priorities, and I’m glad she did because she pulled me out of a self-inflicted quagmire of academia and brought me back to the real world a little. For that, I am very grateful.
There really is a much bigger picture that we all mustn’t lose sight of 🙂