Thursday, May 29, 2008

Imposter Syndrome

The past few weeks I have been given a few extra projects at work. There once was a time when I would have craved more responsibility. Those days are long gone! I have so many other priorities outside work that just the idea of added work overwhelms me. With an existent full plate, more responsibility goes hand in hand with more anxiety.

Needless to say, it's been really difficult to stay afloat.

I've also noticed that with added responsibility I've started to mess up a bit. In my hast to get things done in a timely fashion some pretty crucial steps have been missed. Each mistake is worse and worse, and they are starting to reflect badly on not only myself but my department. I haven't been written up or scolded, but for someone who is their own worst critic, I may as well have been. Each morning on my way in, I am asking myself "how I can possibly screw up today?"...

It's as if a grey cloud follows me to work in the morning, pestering me every step of the way. Today I learned what that grey cloud is. I have Imposter Syndrome; the internal experience of one who has a secret sense they were not as capable as others thought.

I feel as though my supervisor thinks very highly of me. He's made it clear since I was interviewed for my position that he knows I will not be in the role long. I've been given a "promotion" and a pay increase already and I haven't even been here a year. He obviously has some level of faith in my capabilities...and while that is very reassuring, I (unfortunately) don't feel the same way. So every time I mess something up I am consumed with the thought that this is screw up where he'll realize I am just not as smart as he thought (or worse as smart as the girl who had the position before me).

Now that I have a concrete definition for this fear, I've realized that it is with me all the time. The syndrome plagues me. Not just at work but in my personal life, in my entrepreneurial endeavors, in every aspect of my life. It's a huge question mark looming over my head. When is that day coming? The day every one will stop laughing when I tell a joke, stop praising me for my bright ideas, stop thanking me for my advice. The day they'll all think "wow, she really isn't all that great is she?".

So what now? They say the first step is admitting there is a problem. I've admitted it...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bringing Home the Bacon

“I didn’t think I’d have to serve the bacon and clean the pan, too.”

The new role of the female

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Training Wheels

Security isn't something I can say that I've always had. Growing up I think the only time I felt truly safe was in my grandma's arms late at night. I distinctly remember being curled up in her bed, engulfed in her arms, forcing Grandpa to sleep way on the other side...I was always warm, always safe. It's funny because I still look for that feeling. At night I find myself curled up in my KB's arms, amazed by how loved I feel all over again.

Feeling secure, reassured, and safe is almost indescribable. The only experience I can remember being remotely close is riding on training wheels.
Think of how confident you were when you hopped on your bike and took off...always knowing they were beneath your legs holding you up. Do you remember the day that security was threatened? The day your parents (or older siblings) said "we should take off those training wheels, I think your ready" how did you react?

I read an article in which the author suggests that the way you handled that experience may be related to how you hand most changes; particularly in times when your security is at risk.

Personally, I remember being TERRIFIED to ride without them. And in a lot of ways I am just as terrified of change. I've never transitioned well; middle school to high school, high school to college, single to dating, dating to single, independence to co-habitation. The jog down memory lane alone has my palms sweaty again!

I am at a place where I feel like the kid who had to transition by taking them off one wheel at a time. I know what's coming (marriage, mortgages, parenting) is best for me, and I also know that it's necessary for my own evolution as a woman. Yet, I feel like I want to hold on to what I had just a little longer. Just in case it doesn't go as planned; in case I need to revert back to that other means of support.

And maybe my boyfriend is the enabler. Unknowingly KB fills my ears with "one day", and "as soon as"...making the goal seem attainable without any insight as to how I'll reach it. He's willing to be my security but -like the mother in the story- he is careful not to get involved and watches from the sidelines. Unfortunately, I need KB to be more like Dad, running along side me and encouraging me every step of the way. During the day, when I am trying to figure out how I'll get there, I need the same reassuring feeling I have when I lay in his embrace at night.
I think I'm ready to take my training wheels off...I only hope he's ready to show me that I don't need them.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The 100 Calorie Snack Pack

In my recent efforts to preserve my sexy, I joined the 100 calorie snack craze. The girls in my office all pull out theirs at about 2:30 in the hopes of re-energizing mid-day. Seeing all the empty foil packages line the common area trash...I thought to myself "surely they know something I don't"

On my next trip to the grocery store, I made it a point to check out the options. As a cruised the snack aisle, I saw all the snacks I'd given up in these new 100 calorie packages. I was beyond elated! I bought the Smartfood, the Lorna Doones, the Hostess muffins, and a couple others. And just about everyday since then... at 3:00 I'm back at my desk munching on a snack pack.

One particular day a light bulb went off. The snack tastes exactly the same as it did before...when they remove the bad stuff it usually tastes different. I flipped the package over and gazed at the ingredients curiously. Same damn shit. To further explore my theory, I grabbed a $0.30 bag of Doritos. 120 Calories! So really they prettied up the package, gave me 4 less chips, charged me a couple extra cents, and led me to believe that I was making a SMARTER choice. I'll be damned!

Once I finish off the ones I have in my cabinet I am resigning from the 100 Calorie Snack Pack bandwagon. I cannot condone these companies ripping off the hungry-with-healthy-ambition-club (I am not just president, I am also a member). This blog entry will serve as my two weeks notice!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Skin You're In

I realized today that my lifestyle change is more about control than being healthy. It is about wanting to change something (ie. my weight) that very well may remain the same. I have started running, walking, taken stairs in lieu of escalators. I've obsessed over calorie in take and taken dietary supplements. I've prayed religiously and I've been on the verge of tears more often than I can count.

Nothing has changed...

Today when I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought about what my actual goal is. What is it that I really want? More than anything I desire to be happy in the skin I am in. That does not equate weight loss. That isn't about toned thighs and a tight rear end; nor does it mean I should overexert myself for abs of steel.

Being happy in the skin you are in is a mental change. And from this day forward...I'll be getting just as much mental exercise as physical.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dorchester's Daughter

Dorchester is the Boston neighborhood where I grew up. To say you are from Dorchester often has negative connotation because it is known as a violent community. I cannot count how many times I have gotten "the look" when I tell someone (who has most likely never even driven through inner city Boston) that is where I am from. It's always been one of my pet peeves.

When I started my publishing company I wanted to name it Dorchester's Daughter because I am not ashamed of where I grew up. I am in every sense Dorchester's Daughter. I wanted to take the shame out of the word ...hoping that through my company, and the literature I publish, Dorchester would now be associated with positive things.

I have since moved out of Dorchester (though I am less than 15 minutes away) but remain committed to changing the perception of my community. Unfortunately I am one of very few. This past weekend a friend and I went to a small dancehall in Dorchester. As we were parking the car we ended up smack dab in the middle of a shoot out!

Yes they chose to have it out right in front of the girl who is oh so committed to changing the way people look at me... at US as a community.

But you know what? It just means I have to work harder!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day

Every year I go through the same agonizing process of choosing a Mother's Day card. I am a sucker for a heart felt greeting card and I spend time trying to find there right one. I am always sure to choose a card worded so true to the nature of my relationship with that person, that I could have written them myself. I want the people I care about to KNOW how special they are on that day; birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation, etc. The problem is I don't have those heartwarming feelings for my mom..."mom without you where would I be", "mom I can only pray that I am as good a mom to my children as you have been to me", "mom I have nothing but fond childhood memories and I owe that to you". I cannot relate.

So I always go for "mom, I am giving you the greatest give a mother can have-me as a daughter", "I wanted to send you on a vacation but with my allowance all I could afford was this card" know the shoebox greetings! This becomes problematic when my brother gives her these gushingly emotional cards making me look like the rebellious bad seed (and for anyone who knows us, it is clearly the opposite). My thought is;
a) he clearly isn't reading as much into the card giving process as I am
b) he definitely has very different childhood memories
c) he can see past the pain and manage to give her a happy card because whether or not she is a good mom she is OUR mom.

My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship;because of some of the things I went through as a child the relationship may never heal. That does not me I do not love her; it just makes it hard for me to reach for that emotional connection. Hard for me to shop for a truly heartfelt gift. Hard for me to here a song like "A Song for Momma" this time of year without longing to feel that way.

But I digress...

In the meanwhile, I am hoping that over time I will learn to accept the things I cannot change. And prayerfully, one day, something as simple as choosing a Mother's Day card will be such a battle.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The loss of Sean Bell and many others

It saddens me to think that; PETA will protest the cruelty of animals, Mike Vick will get jail time for dog fighting, there will be investigations and protests into whether or not a horse should be euthanized after injury....yet we should be ok with a man being shot 50 times by law enforcement.

I am sorry, why is it that I should be outraged over a dead pit bull? Or a fur coat? But I should feel at ease knowing that an officer of the law can shoot me 50 times without punishment?! I should be comfortable with Mike Vick in jail and officers who thrive on the use of excessive force parading the streets?

This is ri-damn-diculous!

This is the country that raised us to believe that everyone has a voice. We are educated on the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence as early as elementary school. They told me I could be whatever I put my mind to. Justice, equality, innocent until proven guilty...I was born with these freedoms, right?

So why don't I feel free? Why was he unsafe?...why does his family hurt? Where is justice and consequence?

Right now a dog could get shot 50 times and the shooter would be punished, ridiculed, isolated, reprimanded, shunned. Something! But a man?....a black man?

Friday, May 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Are we ready? 6 quirky, interesting, unimportant things about me! Well I suppose number one is that I am not that interesting! I am a regular Boston Girl...and you know what they say about those Boston Girls, don't you?

Tidbit#1: Contrary to popular belief not every Bostonian is a roaring Red Sox fan. I love the "idiots" as much as the next guy but I am more of a bandwagon fan; we win, I am at the parade. They lose, I don't lose much sleep (please note the distinction "we" win, "they" lose). In fact I didn't know much about them until about age 17 when my high school moved to a building right behind Fenway Park. That's when I learned what a TRUE Sox Fan was...and when they say Red Sox Nation, they mean it! It is a community in and of itself. But me? I am not a resident!

Tidbit#2: I am, however, a football fan. And it's not just about the tight ends (though we all know there are some NICE booties out on that field). Most females think it's "too rough" and kind of barbaric. Sadly, those are the things I love the most. I tackled my boyfriend in high school and it was the best feeling in the world. Ran straight at him and just grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Loved it! NFLers get paid to do that...that has to be such an adrenaline rush. I'm jealous
Naturally, I am an NE Patriots of champions baby! All day!

Tidbit #3: I found out I was visually impaired (needed glasses for those who aren't interested in being politically correct) in the fifth grade. Upon receiving my first pair of glasses, I promptly tossed them out my bedroom window. In my defense they were HORRENDOUS!!! I went outside to retrieve them and told my mom they broke in my backpack. She hasn't paid for my glasses since, lol

Tidbit #4: I have a tendency to dance when I am anticipating a good meal. It's an odd phenomenon! I have no control over it! I just get really excited for food. It's that simple. Someone will make dinner, or I'll go to a restaurant, and when the mealtime approaches I do a little shimmy.

Tidbit #5: I am a pop culture junkie. I have oodles of useless pop culture factoids in my head. Celebrities names, who is dating who, movie/album release dates, yadda, yadda, yadda. I watch Access Hollywood, Extra, Daily 10, The Soup, TMZ, Black Carpet, all the celebrity gossip shows. I paroose sites like TMZ,, and, daily. Ask me anything pop culture related...Britney or JamieLynn's baby daddy name, how many children Eddie Murphy has, which Sex and the City star is gay, how many times has Carmen Electra been married, Team Heidi or Team Lauren.

Tidbit#6: I am a writer working on my first novel. It will be published through my publishing company Dorchester's Daughter Publishing. Visit for news and updates. Yeah...shameless plug I know. PR it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it!!!!!