The funny thing about the impostor syndrome in writing is that we often forget that it breeds itself and proliferates.
At my day job recently, I was nominated to help our Union (Join the union, pay the dues, unless you aren’t into things like sick leave, 40 hour work weeks, health insurance, vacation). So I have to go to the employer who will surely be bringing a lawyer to the table.
Why am I intimidated by a lawyer?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. For some reason, lawyers have always had a place in my mind as the pinnacle of modern professionals. They dress nice (I have nice clothes, too). They have a fancy degree (I’ve got one of those, too). And they have confidence (uhmmm…).
To be frank, I have considerably more education than required to be a lawyer (I have more education than is required to be a surgeon), so it’s not their intelligence. So why do I feel like a complete fraud going to talk to them?
Part of it is that I have always viewed myself as the underdog. I have never come into a situation and thought for sure I would win a fight. I didn’t feel adult enough to buy my first home (or my second, to be honest). I feel like most people got off the train when they were younger and started believing in themselves as adults long ago, and I somehow missed the stop—honestly I was probably playing D&D at the time. In fact, I’m sort of terrified that someone will show up with a clip board and say “Rena, you enjoy things too much to be on this Very Serious Panel That Discusses Very Serious Things. Go home, impostor.”
So here I am, a little shocked to find that everyone at every level experiences some impostor syndrome. And for me, my impostor syndrome is tied to me feeling like an outsider. I have never fit in, and I’m not going to start now just because the other side of the table has lawyers.