segunda-feira, 5 de outubro de 2015

Being a successful failure. Or a failing success?

Hello. Long time to write…I haven't been in the mood with so much going on, the idea of stopping just to write about ME has not been appetizing. But now it is again, because every so often I get the urge to speak out about things, especially things that I feel I can't normally say or tell people, out of shame or just awkwardness. 

Everybody who know me knows that in general, I do pretty well with whatever I set my mind to do. And it all seems to come so "naturally", effortlessly..that is half true, it is easy for me to do lots of things, but the emotional part behind it is everything but. 

Do you know what it's like to be successful failure? It mess that whenever I get something right - I don't think, wow, yes! I think, whew, relief! THIS TIME I GOT LUCKY. AGAIN. It always seems to be a matter of luck. And then the FEAR of being discovered as a failure gets worse and worse with each "success". The bar gets set higher and expectations as well, and the fear of disappointing is so great. And any time something does NOT go so great, I take it really hard because after all, it just confirms what I've been trying so hard to hide - i really am a failure! See? When something doesn't go well, I freak out because to me, it feels like I'm being exposed for the fraud that I feel like. This especially applies to the areas of "I'm not really an adult", "I don't really know English THAT well" and even "I'm not a real American…or I'm not a real Brazilian" - and when I got my degree in Psychology, the idea of being an impostor of a psychologist was so terrifying I absolutely abhorred the idea of practicing that profession. The stakes were way too high for me. 

What is this "fraud" syndrome thing? I've read it is a real thing, as in, lots of people feel this way. "Imposter Syndrome" if I'm not mistaken:

“The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: ‘I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!’ So you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.” – Tina Fey
“The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: ‘I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!’ So you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.” – Tina Fey
“There are an awful lot of people out there who think I’m an expert.  How do these people believe all this about me?  I’m so much aware of all the things I don’t know.” Dr. Chan, Chief of the World Health Organization
“I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented.  I’m really not very good.  It’s all been a big sham.” – Michelle Pfeifer
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this.  I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslett
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’ “ – Maya Angelou


This feeling haunts me, sometimes stronger sometimes almost gone, but always there…It is emotionally draining, one drop of perfectionism at a time, which is not really perfectionism, it's just an attempt to not be discovered. It's really neurotic, totally neurotic - I mean, who are "THEY" and what will they "DISCOVER"?  That I, like everyone else, can make mistakes? That in the back stage of doing "a good job" I actually am an ocean of insecurity? How can anyone take me seriously if they find out how much I doubt myself? 

I guess this is just a beginning for me of discussing the issue, no conclusion of epiphany. Maybe a start of a conversation with all others who feel like this. Do you feel like a successful failure who just gets lucky a lot? How do you deal? How don't you deal? 

segunda-feira, 17 de agosto de 2015

Being pregnant is tough. There.

So, week 10 into pregnancy #2. Many things different, many things the same.
First of all, there is nothing very new about the experience, been there, done that, even if each pregnancy is unique, I feel very calm about it, not researching every single development of every single week, or even caring too much about what week I am in, or my tests, or my doctor's appointments. They are details.
And then, many things are the same. The fatigue, the overwhelming feeling that takes over when I realize I am not in control of my body, or that it is reacting in unpredictable ways. The speed of my weight gain terrorizes me, makes me feel ashamed, like I should be doing everything different, or like I just can't get pregnancy right. It really messes with my self-esteem.
I get resentful a lot of the time. Like, why do I have to deal with all of this and everyone else just gets the cute baby to cuddle in the end? And I'M the one who has to see my body morph, vomit, feel sick, stretch, contract, bleed, have mood swings, lose sleep, leak milk, etc. AND listen to endless comments/advice/cautionary tales/opinions/reprimands/what I should do/what I should't do, it is an invasion, a very very culturally accepted invasion. What is it about pregnancy that says "HEY, I AM A PUBLIC BODY NOW, please feel free to comment!" :(
It makes me VERY protective of my own self. Like it's me against the world. I'm trying hard to work with this feeling, so I don't get too hostile or down on myself, but it's tough. Engrained in my cells. I feel like preserving this baby and myself as much as possible, for once it's out in the world, it gets harder and harder to preserve a baby, especially as they grow and make it a point of getting muddled in the world. That is the whole point, after all, and it's great when it happens, but for now, you are deep in my insides and I hold you close as if holding myself close, for that is the nature of the symbiosis that we are.

I hope I can get into a less messy place, but something tells me that pregnancy was never meant to be "clean" or all pink and rosy. But maybe just a little more peace and inner calm?

terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2015

Back to School...

My daughter will be starting preschool in four days.
Several strange sensations come and go.

My first-and-so-far-only daughter will be starting preschool and I realize it is the dawn of a whole new chapter in our lives. As simple as preschool seems, I am already inundated by a plethora of school requirements, and I feel like I am the one being evaluated here, the kids are just a distraction while the real test takes place: Can you face school all over again, from the very start? Will you pick the right clothes? Will she have the “right” brand of toothpaste? All these comparisons, taken to the mommy-level.  
I thought this was a done deal when I grabbed my high school graduation, but I see it all coming back in little increments. 
Furthermore, it's a whole new level of parenting choices exposed: the food I send in her snack bag, the shoes I chose for her, the way she deals with separation, with rules, and other adults, other children.
We'll be ok, right?
I am at the least, very, very curious.

Oh my god, what if the teacher is mean?


domingo, 11 de janeiro de 2015

No Rush

No rush, no rush,
Hush, hush!
No rush.
I am tired of the rush, and I promise, after my body came to a screeching halt this weekend, I realized, this is a sign. I might have eaten something that intoxicated me, but it was a sign nonetheless.
What is the rush?
Cherishing the moments with Cora, her view on life, her kisses and silliness, what's the rush? It'll change on its own, so don't wish it away. Let the other stuff fade away into procrastination, into the "I'll do it later", but not my life, her life, the sound of the wind in the trees, the nice feeling of lying on the floor with her watching her fall asleep by herself and her blankie.