On growing up

My good friend Kristen mentioned “impostor syndrome” the other day, it got me thinking.

I’ve often mentioned that I live in constant fear that I’ll wake up someday and people will discover that I’m not nearly as cool or funny or talented as they think I am. And while that Is somewhat exaggerrated for comic effect, I do feel that way, to a point. A lot of my seeming confidence is bluster, covering insecurities that I want to keep at bay, or struggles that I don’t have the courage to share.

It’s something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older about growing up: there’s not that magical moment where it clicks, and you figure everything out. I remember when I was a kid, and figured that when I turned 18 I’d be confident and assured and know what I was doing, like my parents did. Or seemed to, at least.

My thinking now is that the uncertainty doesn’t fully go away- the problems just get bigger, and our skills to handle them grow somewhat in proportion. I’m certainly more capable and confident than I was ten years ago, or five years ago, or even one year ago, but I think I’ll always be thoughtful and uncertain about anything I do. I believe this to be both a blessing and a curse: the humility to know that you’re not always right, the curse of not just jumping right in and doing something when you’re certain it’s the right thing.

But maybe we’re all that way, not as cocky or sure as we make ourselves out to be. That’s been part of learning, too, is realizing that maybe others have some of the same fears I do. And from knowing that, we can connect, and grow stronger.

I hope I don’t ever fully “grow up”. I want to always learn, to always grow, and will never be finished.

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2 thoughts on “On growing up

  1. DaveC Post author

    Forgot to put this one down- someone emailed me this in response back when I wrote this post, I’ve added it here because I liked what they said:

    I was born with certain disabilities that for the most part don’t allow me to have any sort of veiled meanings when I approach an issue. I tend to be honest regardless of the sensibilities that keep others from saying things that sound wise and well considered. It also made me think of how disconnected I am from the average person when it comes to fears. I’m not sure I actually fear things, which has been both a handicap and a blessing in many situations. It drives me mad though when people shield themselves for saying what they actually mean, and wrap their words in some sort of diplomatic-speak meant to prevent themselves from offending others so completely that they forget the difference between right and wrong, claiming shades of grey, which even they don’t honestly believe. They remove themselves from their core beliefs and build walls around their hearts to contain their real feelings, just because someone they unjustly admire might be offended, and they’d rather be an appeaser than honest due to the convenience it affords them. I wonder what God thinks when he looks at people that do this?

    I guess the trick is, to only speak out about something when you are right, and shut up otherwise. A difficult trick to be sure, when offering an opinion on everything and trying hard to offend no one seems so sage to others. You are only as cool or funny or talented as you allow yourself to be. When you start building walls of separation around that, you start becoming disingenuous, and lose the respect others have for you. When you later wake up to what you’ve done, you’ll find that others moved away long ago. Nothing really happens overnight in matters of the heart, and that is where God looks, if that’s of any importance.

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