Photo by Caleigh Mayer
Let me just preface this by saying that if you came here to read something well written and thoughtfully expressed you probably came to the wrong blog. This was written in one sitting session, barely edited and in a way that is reminiscent of how I used to write in my diary in junior high. Just non-stop rambling and writing my thought process in real time.
I'll be honest with y'all, this post started off as something much different. I had something all set to go for October 17th outlining why I haven't been blogging as much and giving a bit of a rundown of what I've been doing this summer instead of focusing on creating content. Since I ended up deleting that entire post let me give you the cliff notes on what that post was:
Yep. I had all that and more ready to go. Saved in my drafts, set to automatically post at 12PM October 17th. Was going to use the same photo, wrote a witty Instagram caption, the works. It was all set to go and I was excited to dip my toes back into blogging. That morning I woke up, went to work at my office job, was feeling a bit hungry so I stopped by a restaurant nearby to grab a breakfast sandwich and about half way through my breakfast sandwich I was terminated from my job.
Yep. You read that right. I lost my job earlier this month. Most people mean well, but also want to pry. The most common questions were "what happened?" and "how did they do it?" and if that's what you want to know you might as well stop reading now because this isn't about talking shit or feeding you gossip. I am sharing the fact that I got let go from my job because I personally think it's important to talk about it without shame. I could sugarcoat it and say that I am no longer worker there or Gwyneth it and call it a conscious-uncoupling but that's not what happened. What happened was that I went into work at 8 AM with a job I had been working at for nearly 2 years and by 11 AM I was at home unpacking my personal belongings.
UGH. THAT FUCKING SUCKS. HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Since this happened, I have felt an entire range of emotions but overall, I'm doing better than I think most people would expect. I compare the entire experience of being dumped by a guy you were kind of always on the fence about. Kind of like a "what do you mean you're not sure about ME?! You would be lucky..." mixed with a major ego bruise because now it's like some guy is out there living his life thinking that HE decided he didn't want to be with you.
Truth be told, the first few days I was hurting really badly. I was embarrassed and felt like a fucking loser because all of my decisions since moving to Vancouver have centered around what was best for my career aspirations. Here I am, 30 years old, barely making enough money to pay more than my minimum student loan payment while still paying all of my other bills, now unemployed. I laugh at the former employed version of me that thought she was poor then. She's about to get a whole lot poorer.
I often think about the Lady Gaga quote, "Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore." Well it felt like my career woke up and told me it didn't love me anymore but unlike most romantic relationship break ups I go through, I didn't get to call the shots on this and while I am someone who knows I thrive when single, I haven't been unemployed since I first moved to Vancouver for school.
Telling my friends was always a flip of a coin. Sometimes it would be a cheery "haha - guess who's funemployed?" and other times it was a soft "I lost my job" while holding back tears. So much of being let go from my job fed into so many of my insecurities and fears. There is the obvious financial hit I was about to take but I wasn't emotionally prepared for all the self doubt and feelings of rejection I would feel as well. (Also, the part of me that hates surprises was having a fucking meltdown. Not only do I always want to know what's next I also need to know when what's next starts.)
THE TITLE ALLUDES TO IMPOSTER SYNDROME THOUGH?!
(I'm getting to that part. Cross my heart. Also, for any of you that have gotten this far I am impressed that my rambling hasn't scared you off yet.) So before we delve into how my imposter syndrome is doing now we might need to backtrack a bit and talk about what imposter syndrome is.
Simply put, imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
I have felt this way for a very long time and prior to learning about imposter syndrome I had a hard time vocalizing how I was feeling. Every time I was invited to an event or received PR I would tell myself that I didn't deserve any of this and it was just dumb luck that all of this fell into my lap. I didn't go to school for journalism and blogging was something I just started doing just for the hell of it. I'm not a writer and I believe (still) that anyone can write like I write because my writing is usually just my thought process.
I didn't even realize I had imposter syndrome until one day I heard someone else say that they had imposter syndrome and something in my head clicked. As soon as I heard the words "imposter syndrome" (without knowing the definition yet) something inside me said "fuck, that's what you have." Later that day I went home and did my own research and it was as if a weight had been lifted off me because I didn't know how I felt was common enough to not only have a name but that a lot of other people have it too.
When I realized that imposter syndrome was very much a part of my life when it comes to writing, blogging and being a gal that posts on Instagram occasionally, I realized that it was also very much a part of my professional 9 to 5 life. One co-worker in particular would always ask for my input saying that she knew my "big beautiful brain" would be able to figure it out and those few feet to walk over to her desk the only thought running through my mind was "what if I don't have the answer? What if today is the day that they find out that I am not as smart as they think I am?" So naturally all that self-doubt came flooding in once I was let go because it felt like that's what happened. Like they finally realized I wasn't as smart as they thought I was.
Truth be told, I'm not really sure what's next. Luckily (I use that term loosely) because I was let go from my job I get to collect some of that Employment Insurance I have been paying into since I was 16 which gives me a bit of a cushion to decide what's next. I recognize that a lot of other people don't have the financial footing to take time for themselves after a termination and I am trying to enjoy this time. I may never be granted time to be still again tbh and I am constantly reminding myself that not every day has to be a productive day.
I had been contemplating leaving the fashion industry for some time now because I found it increasingly more difficult to turn a blind eye to the fact that the industry is extremely wasteful, harmful to the environment and driven by chasing trends and convincing people into always wanting more, more, more. The industry can be a lot of brands preaching strides in sustainability and female empowerment for the sake of brand image but they often do not practice what they preach. At the end of the day, more often than not, being sustainable is usually not the most cost effective option hence why clothing is made overseas, out of plastic and at the lowest cost imaginable.
This might also be the only time in my life where I am able to see if I have what it takes to be a blogger/writer in a more consistent (and in a paid) capacity but that imposter syndrome keeps pestering me. Before it was easy for me to equate not being able to make more money writing with a lack of time and the financial instability. Now I have both (at least for the next little bit) and if I can't make it work now I'll have to admit that that I am the reason why it never happened for me.
I wish I could wrap up this post nicely for y'all but I don't know what's next. All I can say is that I'm trying my best to grow through what I go through and send me money. The second part is a joke, but like, if you want to wire me money I won't be mad about it.
I am currently walking through my life like that shrug emoji.
I don't have a conclusion to share with you because the rest is still unwritten.
(Cue The Hills theme song)
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