Do you ever feel like a fraud?
Are you worried that everyone is going to discover the real you and you’ll lose everyone you care about?
Today I was having a good day. I felt happy, even to the point of skipping around the house when I got up to get something. And as soon as I laughed at myself for doing so, my giggle was immediately replaced by the guilt of feeling like a fraud. See, I feel like a fraud when I have a good day or tell someone I’m having a good day, because what they don’t see is that fact that I have nothing figured out. I’m happy about a life that could very well crumble at any given moment because I’m still living somewhat as a child. I share my excitement with the world about my new life and my new home in a new state, but I don’t pay bills to live here. The job I have that I love I would have to leave or cut back on to get another job, if I actually had to pay all those adult bills right now. On days that aren’t good, I feel like a fraud for telling people on good days that I love my life, because is that really still true on days I can’t get out of bed or am paralyzed with overwhelming sadness or anxiety? When I have moments I feel good about myself and how I look I feel like a fraud because I don’t always feel like that, and the truth is I criticize myself on a daily basis even on good days. I boast body positivity, but if I have my shirt off, I can’t not look at my stomach in the mirror as I pass. When I talk about having confidence, I feel like a fraud because I’m still riddled with insecurities. And when I’m being insecure, I feel like a fraud because I know I’ve come a long way from who I used to be so I feel like I’m doing a disservice to all the work I’ve put in. I feel like a fraud just for saying I’ve put in work, because some days, actually most days that’s not true.
Most days I just exist.
Today I feel happy, but today is also just a day of existing, so I feel like a fraud for celebrating the happiness of the day because I didn’t do anything to earn it. Is happiness earned? I don’t feel like a fraud for asking that question. In fact, it may be the most honest thing I’ve asked in a while. People say happiness is a choice, but I think on some level we all actually believe unless we’ve done something to earn it, we don’t deserve to be happy. It’s easy to look at someone else and tell them they deserve happiness, it’s harder to visualize and embrace it for ourselves. Perhaps I am a fraud, perhaps I feel that way because it is true.
But perhaps we all are, and acknowledging that is in itself a way of being truthful.
A way of unmasking the fraud within us all.