On not belonging

San Diego Zoo

Events happen in our childhood – these events, along with genetics, can shape who we might become as adults. There is always latitude for us to develop in different ways, those events or experiences don’t define us. Some of the experiences I had growing up left deep scars on my psyche. The sum of which leave me occasionally (about once a month) feeling a deep sense of discomfort with who I am. This feeling is very difficult to explain, the best I can do to describe is much like impostor syndrome. That feeling that you just don’t belong to/in the circumstances around you. Maybe disassociation?

Even with the knowledge and confidence in the moment that this is MY life – not allowing this feeling (in the moment, when it happens) to have ownership or give it any legitimacy – still it takes some time, usually hours, to work through reaffirmations that I am who I am. I am proud of who I am. I’ve worked hard to become the person I am with the responsibilities I have. When I have this feeling come on I share it with Ian. He’s very understanding and helpful when I’m processing through the emotions.

This mood tends to happen around major events or decisions in my life. For example, before we flew out to start our vacation in Hawaii earlier this year. Tomorrow I depart to Southern California for a final round of interviews. It’s an opportunity I am very excited to learn more about and am honored to be a candidate for. If I were selected it would mean major upheaval, not in a chaotic negative manner, in that we would need to relocate and leave the beautiful home we just built. We are not adverse to this in fact we’re excited about the potential. With this turbulence though it leaves the smallest crack for those scars to get through – and that’s all it needs.

It will be okay, tomorrow will come and I will have the opportunity to shine. Scars don’t define you.

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