Ordinarily, I love Amy Poehler, and on any other night I would probably be totally into her RTing tweets from accomplished women, recent grads especially. But lately, I’ve been feeling what Ben calls impostor syndrome, and what I am loathe to call anything other than cold realism when I get like this.
On paper, I’m great. I’m reaching goals, I’m on track in every comparison to similar business plans, I’m looking good. By my own principals, just the fact that I don’t have to work in an office, and my rent and bills are paid is everything I could possibly want.
In reality, that news from the accountant is hitting me harder than it has any reason to. It’s only an adjustment that needs to be made, but I’m so tied up in making this work that I don’t even realize it until I hit one little snag and I want to die of shame at how horrible I am. Then there was the mirror, which highlighted further the fact that I don’t have the kind of funds to deal with emergencies right now, even small inconsequential cosmetic damage to my car. And, to top it all off, I have to revamp my late payment penalties because they clearly are not a deterrent, nor do they make up for the damage late payment does to my whole entire life.
So, I’ve worked my ass off, I’m tired as hell, I just want to watch Star Trek and eat dinner, which is when this adorable bullshit started showing up in my newsfeed.
I started thinking about all these young girls with educational stars in their eyes. Just like me, really, before the world turned to shit. Here I am, an abject failure, at the end of her rope, with nothing to show for all the effort I put into this. Empty, lacking substance, a miserable sack of looking good on paper and nothing fucking else.
So I had my own little rant:
But I pretty quickly realized that what I was mad about had nothing to do with those girls being more awesome than me in 140 characters or less. What I’m really mad about is what I’m doing right this very second. What I have done for the majority of my life to no good end. This depression is just the down side of a really stupid habit I think a lot of us have. It’s materialism dressed up as personal nobility, and it’s shit.
I feel so empty, and I’ve been given this message that I’m no good, that I’ll never be anything, or do anything worthwhile, and I believe it. With the best of intentions, I thought that if enough other people thought I was great, then I would also think I was great, but I was wrong. I’m doing it right now. I feel like shit when the business is underfunded because it’s not just a livelihood, it’s my worth on this planet. It’s my pass to the rest of humanity. That is so not the point.
I realized this years ago. One of the things that helped me to recover from anorexia was the idea that my worth didn’t equate with a number on a scale. Instead, I thought, it should equate with grades on a report card. Then it was titles on a business card. Then it was any little piece of bullshit I could lay my hands on that would shore up this gaping emptiness for even one more miserable fucking day.
I always forget. I’m like a magpie. I think I’m fine, that I’ve learned a lesson, and then one little piece of shiny has me completely off track again. I don’t think I’ll ever really learn that I don’t have to pay to be here.
I thought that I needed a degree to make me human. After college, I spiraled into one of the worst depressions of my life because it didn’t work. Considering what I do, and what I like to do, it’s good I got the degree, but I doesn’t validate me. I tried to make it. It still didn’t.
Only one person can give me value. It happens to be the same person that can take my value away. Of course, it’s me.
I tend to shy away from the intangible. It scares me. So, eventually, I’ll gravitate back towards the material for my immaterial needs. That’s just how I’m wired. At least it seems like I remember why that’s a shit idea faster than I used to.