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.