I question my self worth daily.
Really, if I think about it hard enough, probably hourly. It’s especially exacerbated when you’ve got imposter syndrome, but when you’re coming from a marginalized community AND you’ve spent a lot of time outside of that community, well, it can be a little worse.
As I’ve continued my little journey into embracing who I am, I have found memories, little blemishes of moments where that self worth was always challenged in microscopic ways. Extra questions or looks. Strange exceptions made to process when in my case that would not have happened otherwise. A lot of times I chalked that up to issues with esteem or the imposter syndrome, but as I grow older and more assured that I should be very proud of who I am, I’ve begun to realize that there’s a level of gaslighting that happens to all of us that deeply makes its mark on us in utterly unknowable ways.
Then I get the bright idea and start writing. That’s a big help.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of constant worry when you write. You worry about the quality of your work. You worry about whether people will enjoy your work. You worry about whether anything you put together is sellable. And honestly, those are all valid concerns that should be considered. What isn’t normal, is whether you should worry that being yourself is a cause for anyone to, for lack of a better term, write you off or look down on you for entirely superficial reasons. You shouldn’t worry that the worth others see in you is entirely reliant on whether you enhance their worth. That’s inane and hurtful to everyone involved.
Because this happens. I see it first hand and I see it more now that I’ve really begun to find comfort in my identity. And as I find comfort in that identity and I find ways to bridge years and years of being ashamed of something because I was told I should be ashamed, I find myself questioning other aspects of the world I see around me. Questioning, though, is exhausting for all the wrong reasons. I don’t want to be tired from thinking about everything anymore. Posturing isn’t worth it.
I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do next, but it won’t be words and it won’t be thoughts. I’ve spent enough time trying to convince people of my worth when it’s been utterly useless as minds were already made up. The time is right to focus on the things that make me happy and the things that I can be proud of doing for others.