It is one of the weird things of my generation that we are so full of anxiety and imposter syndrome. As I write this I realise that you might not feel the same but feeling like an imposter, terrified of getting caught out or someone saying “Excuse me? Why do you think we should listen to you?” is a constant terror. Especially as I work with children…
For a long time I have worn metaphorical masks. I have given presentations shaking in side but pretending on the outside to know what I am talking about. I do not think that this is ideal so I began to read books to try to resolve what I thought were my issues and found that this is actually very common. In “How to Make Friends and Influence People” I discovered that most people in bars are desperate for someone to talk to them. That people WANT contact with others but are normally too afraid to say a simple… “Hello”. Now for me that piece of information was a God send because what is the worst that is going to happen? Someone blanks you? So I started walking upto people and saying “Hello” and if they wanted to chat, chat and if they didn’t, I went away. I acquired the nickname, Icebreaker, which I am very proud of.
There is a word “Sonder” which means the realisation that people passing by on the train, on the street or overtaking you on the motorway are having as vivid and profound an experience as you are. What is going on in your mind is the same as what is going on in theirs. There is a great danger in our age to see life as a movie. A movie where we are the star, everyone else are extras and we get the girl/prince/gold/firstprizeinthe1937olympicsthenpunchhitlerintheface. Two dangers are that the other people in this world are not zombies but people as valid and as important as us. The second is the sense of entitlement that this thinking brings and then the disappointment that, no you are not James Bond, no you can’t drink all day and still operate and your car is a van.
Look at these two. These two are irritatingly attractive, young and apparently successful. Its enough to give you a trauma and then when you compare yourself to them you know that you would never get the girl/man because you haven’t been airbrushed (if anyone discovers that these two have not been airbrushed don’t tell me. That would be enough to push me over the edge.)
Montaigne lamented in the 18th century that people were reading novels and preferring the fiction to reality. In the 21st century we must reject the fiction, or at least keep it in its place, and embrace the real life. Real life isn’t perfect, it has spots, wrinkles, stretch lines and sometimes smells strangely of feet. I made the decision a few years ago to really pursue a career as a writer and after a few years of hiding under the blankets I have finally decided to have a go.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I have set up a Patreon account which I will now shameless plug. Please please please support my Patreon. This is the link.
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