Since the release of my first book it feels like my Imposter Syndrome has come alive stronger and more often then ever before. Receiving mixed feedback of praise and love to criticisms about typos, flow, and how novice my writing ability is. It's left me feeling lost and shaken to my core on a constant basis. Recently though, while the imposter syndrome quakes and leaves my soul trembling as it lurks beneath the surface, I feel as if I've found an old part of myself. One that allowed me to walk more freely even amongst the chaos ravaging my insides.
A memento or relic from my younger self, whatever you want to call it. It helped reawaken memories with close friends and mentors telling me things like:
"Even though I don't like you, I actually respect you a lot. You're one of the only people that just tells it like it is. Regardless of whether that makes you popular or not. You're just honest and I never have to wonder if you have ulterior motives. Its refreshing and honestly, really calming. Even if you are the loudest person in the room."
"You're so full of life in a world full of gray. It's why I was drawn to be your friend. No matter what, promise me you won't let the world take away your color."
"Seeing the beauty in the world isn't something everyone can do. In fact, you're most likely to be ostracized and kept at arms length by most people. That's just because they can't see what you see. They can't comprehend life on a grander scale like you do. It'll be lonely, but, we need people like you to pave the way for everyone else, despite how lonely it'll be."
As I take a seat in the theater of my own mind and watch as my life's film plays by I see clips of my younger self. While I was a confused, angry, and lost child. I also had so much passion. I was filled with a strong will and regardless of the outcome I always stood by my moral compass. Even if it made my friends angry or caused fights with family I never strayed from who I was. For all the things I was naïve about as a teenager, my tenacity and strong will was unmatched. I would've thought as I grew this power would continue to course through me, but, ultimately it quieted until it was nothing more than a candle flame easily placed behind glass. Transitioning from young into adulthood I started biting my tongue more, being more agreeable, and falling in line behind the standards society laid out for us all. It didn't happen over night, but throughout the years my "rebellious spirit", as some would call it, went to sleep.
Walking through the neighborhood of memories and peering inside each years' and moments' building it's interesting to see how the events went. Thinking back on them, how many of these moments, if things had just slightly been different, how different would my outcome have been? Would I still end up here where I am today? Would fate, regardless of the route, always bring me here? To an insecure, broken, remnant of who I used to be? A shell of a person? Maybe that's too harsh. While I might've lost my rebellious spirit I gained empathy and compassion. I can analyze and speak freely about my emotions and feelings which was something I never could've done in my younger years. I can openly cry with people now. I can tell you why I'm sad, and what I need as a person. That too is a strong power, just in a different way.
I may never have the same tenacity, or blindness, to my own values as when I was a child. But I can combine who I am today with the good lessons of my youth. I can remove the glass from around the candle and allow my rebellious spirit to once more be free and ignite the distractions around me. That is something I can do.
I hope you'll read this and reflect on your own experiences. Don't let other people dictate what you can and cannot do. Don't let someone stop you from pursuing what you want because "you're not good enough." "people won' want that." "who is going to want something from you?" "who are you to talk about that?" Let your rebellious spirit be free and burn brightly. Follow your heart and believe in yourself. And if that's too hard. Remember I believe in you and let that be your help until you learn to stand on your own again.
For me, I'm late to this occasion, but, as of today I'll let my rebellious spirit free once more.
"Crush the obstacles in my path and soon they will know our names. Ravage them."