It’s here – it’s finally here! It’s the first day!
A nervous excitement courses through my body. The energy flows through my limbs and surges up to my brain as my thoughts race in the rising energy of excitement.
Wow the first day of a creative writing group! I wonder what is going to happen – I wonder who I am going to meet – I sure do love meeting new people!
And then the nervous part takes over…
But what if they don’t want to meet me?
What if they figure out that I don’t belong here?
That I’ve joined a creative writing group to BECOME a writer, not because I am a writer…
Oh my gosh, what have I done? Thinking I can be part of this group… I’m way outreaching my bounds… I wonder if I can get a refund?
Or maybe… just don’t show up? That way no one will see what an imposter you are.
And there we have it – the truth – I’m deeply entrenched in an internal war.
My mind is both my opponent and the battle ground in – The War of the Imposter Syndrome.
This 6-week Creative Writing Group is one of many giant steps that I have taken this past year, and it all began with the most difficult decision of my life.
In June of 2017, I resigned my position as an administrator in public schools after serving 13 years in public education – primarily as a high school math teacher. I had earned my Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist’s degree as well as working for Departments of Education in two states.
Resigning was beyond a giant leap for me, it felt like a giant loss – like chop off ALL of your limbs and rip out your heart kind of loss!
I was losing my entire identity and everything that I had worked my whole life to achieve…or at least it felt that way. Regardless of how it felt, I knew this was the right choice.
As a child who survived witnessing my mother’s murder one month into kindergarten – right or wrong, I tied my healing and identity to education – specifically public education.
I thought that if I learned enough and helped others learn enough – I could heal the trauma of my mother’s violent murder and make my peace with humanity.
Though this served me well for a significant chunk of time, the time to resign came when the trauma I was carrying from my past coupled with the stress and complications of my present, the panic attacks began.
Panic attacks, uncontrollable crying, constant anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension, joint pain, digestion issues – to name a few of the effects of not processing my trauma in the midst of ‘doing-it-all’ for everyone else.
It took intense support and planning to get through that difficult time. And even more to make that final decision to resign my position in public education in order to focus on my healing and supporting my family.
In this year since resigning, I have embraced fiercely healing my trauma while living vibrantly as a mama, an educator and a survivor. I have embarked on rewriting the stories that I have told myself of my past and my potential, and with it – discovering who I am becoming.
This intense work has challenged and grown me beyond what I could have fathomed one year ago. And through it all – I thrive.
I must remind myself of that. Every. Single. Day.
And especially now, right before stepping in to my first Creative Writing Group session, while feeling all the reality of the ever-present War of the Imposter Syndrome.
Once I recognize that I am in another battle of the Imposter Syndrome War – I quickly grab my best weapon – my mantra.
Every day and in every way, I am getting better and better.
I repeat this over and over, and over. As the words circulate in my head, I feel the energy begin to both shift and build.
But this energy is different.
The anxious energy that had been growing in my belly no longer is there. And now there is a growing energy in my chest…coming from a sacred, strong place, deep within my heart.
It is the energy of courage.
The courage of leading with your heart in spite of struggle – the true energy of strength.
Armed with the energy of courage, the Imposter Syndrome has no power over me now!
Time to battle – time to write.
If you have experience with the Imposter Syndrome – please leave a comment below!
Follow MamasMomentum on Facebook and Instagram to watch as I turn my pain into purpose by building MamasMomentum – a soul-based business delivering inspiration, education and support on vibrant living for those who need it the most – mamas.
MamasMomentum is inspired by Robin’s personal story of turning trauma into triumph coupled with Robin’s passion for activating the fullest growth potential in others.
[A note you, my reader – I set a goal on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Day One of a Creative Writing Group at ModernWell – to finish writing what I began during our first 20-minute writing and sharing session. I am proud to share this piece with you – though it is DRASTICALLY different from the original and it proves to myself that I am not only a writer, I am a blogger. All it takes is writing and blogging to be a writer and a blogger – even just one time. That’s how we begin – with just one time. Then we grow by repeating that process over and over until the one time becomes all the time and habits are formed. I also want to share that the struggle to do something that leaves you vulnerable is beyond real! Always remember that with the accountability and support of another/others and setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-lined goals – ANYTHING is possible! Namaste.]