Earlier today I posted a comic about the 'imposter syndrome'. It's when you feel like you had nothing to do with all your achievements, like they were a fluke or just pure luck, and that you are just the sum of all your failures. So even when you are doing really well, you feel like you don't deserve all of your achievements and accolades. And when one negative comment comes your way (negative comments will find the best of us) you feel like you have been caught red handed. You feel like an imposter who's been finally exposed.
I want to tell you, the one reading this who feels this way, that this feeling is completely normal.The best of us, the most successful of us, the high flying amongst us, almost everyone of us feels this way. Except of course the Donald Trumps of the world who are good for nothing but think the sun shines out of their backsides
Three years back I was pursuing a master's degree in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. My family and friends were uber proud of me. I had made it. Yet I felt like I had reached there by mistake. I felt the admissions people had accidentally chosen me. It also didn't help that i was studying with some really bright and articulate folks who left me tongue tied with their brilliance. This feeling messed me so much that I felt depressed most of the time. I was working part time and studying yet I looked down on myself
Then I graduated. I didn't rush to look for a job, I was taking it slow. Then I couldn't find a suitable job. For a few months I didn't take it seriously, then I started getting worried. I was applying to a lot of places but was being met with rejection after rejection. Sometimes not even a response. Two years passed like this. I did a lot of things in this time. I got married, moved to a new place, travelled to different countries, started writing seriously, got published in different places. But I just couldn't see these things. All I could think of was that I didn't have a job. Period.
I spent a lot of my time in self pity and tears. I have sobbed for literally hours, curled up on the bed. I have wept in my husband's arms countless times and asked him why this is happening. He'd console me but would not allow me to wallow in self pity. He'd push me to search more vigorously.
The only outlet I had in this period was my writing. I started this page as a way to keep my mind off things. Writing is the one thing that makes me truly happy. And here I put all my energy. It's kind of sad but the likes and shares and comments gave some kind of validation. That I am not all crap. It pushed me to write more, produce more. It became such a drug that I'd be always thinking about what to write next.
Over the next one year of starting the page I slowly came to terms with the fact that me having a job or not is not the end of the world. Yes it sucks that I can't be financially independent, but I had so many great things going for me that I really didn't have the right to complain. Over the months I became more relaxed, more content. Occasionally the snake that is self doubt would try to sneak in, but I'd hold it by its head and chuck it out.
The funny thing? When I'd reached that place where I was comfortable in my situation and accepted the way things are without overthinking every second, a job fell into my lap.
Alhamdulillah. That word encompasses the feeling in my heart for everything that happened and what it led me to.
I will not stretch this further. I just want to let you, the one who needs to hear this, know that this dark moment you find yourself in, is just that-a moment. But time being relative and all that, the moment will seem painfully infinite. Trust me, it gets over. Then you will look back in awe and marvel at how you needed to go through that pain and tears and heartbreaks to get where you are now. Hold on, you will get there.
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