I confess that when I’m talking about you to my friends I call you my inner mean girl. But, to be honest, I know you’re not really mean.
I know that hurt people hurt people. And you, I, we have been hurt.
We’ve been disappointed, embarrassed, picked on and taken advantage of. And you don’t want any of that to happen again.
You tell me I’m not good enough. You say I’m too old to still be going after the same writing goals I had when we were kids. You tell me I’m not smart enough. You say I will never figure out how to make See Jane Write into all I dream of it being. You tell me I don’t have the personality or the looks to influence people. You say I’m boring, I’m corny, I’m ugly, I’m fat. You say nothing about me stands out. You try to convince me that no one cares what I have to say.
When cancer came along you tried to convince me to give up, telling me I wouldn’t be around long enough to make any of my dreams come true.
But I know you don’t mean it. I know you’re just scared. You come off as a petty pessimist. But really you’re a protector. You’re trying to protect me from ever getting hurt again.
You say all these things hoping my imposter syndrome will overcome every wish I’ve ever had so that I will never take a chance again.
And yes, my imposter syndrome is strong. But I am stronger.
Sis, I see what you’re trying to do but I’ve decided it’s time to stop playing it safe. I’ve decided it’s time to stop playing small. I’ve decided the risk is worth the reward.
My vision is so vivid sometimes I feel like it’s already my reality. I wrote the vision. I made it plain. So I will not perish.
I see the books I will write. I see the magazines I will write for. I see the media empire I will create. I see all the women whose stories I will help tell. I see the trips I will take, the home I will build, the love I will share.
I see the confident and healthy woman I long to be every time I look in the mirror because I am she and what is for me is already mine.
So, girl, you can join my cheering section or you can shut up. Those are your only options because I’m not listening to your nonsense anymore.
I’ve decided to be brave. I’ve decided to take a chance after all. And I know when I bet on myself, I can’t lose.
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