Imposter syndrome is a real thing. Almost everybody I know experiences it to some agree, fully expecting someone to swoop down on us and cart us away for impersonating a person who knows what they’re doing. We’re our own harshest critics; ask me any time and I’ll tell you that my friends are the most hardworking, incredible, intelligent people on earth and that they deserve every good thing that might come their way. Ask me that question and I’ll pause, not just because I feel a need to be humble, but because I’m genuinely not sure.
I’ve written about this before, but I still grapple with thinking that anything I say or do has any value. Logically, I know it does. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I’ve had if my work didn’t have any kind of meaning. I wouldn’t get such nice emails from podcast listeners if the things Merri and I say didn’t matter.
But still, I wonder. I pick what I do apart and assume nobody’s listening, nobody’s reading, nobody’s caring. It’s bullshit, frankly. I know it is. I just have to keep up that daily mantra loud enough that I don’t hear the thoughts that tell me otherwise.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Adjective) From Latin aureatus, for covered with gold
Golden. Also, grandiloquent, flowery language.
It wasn’t always this way. She used to be able to speak her mind, to sing, to cry, joke, or laugh without fear of what else would come out of her mouth.
She kissed a boy once and he turned to gold. She read a poem aloud and golden words spilled from her mouth, thunking against the stone floor.
Maybe a fairy cursed her with a golden tongue, maybe she brought it upon herself with a misplaced wish. Perhaps she’ll break it someday and find herself free to speak and sing and joke again.
For now, she bites her tongue.