Lately I've been feeling like I don't belong.
I'm not sure when this started. I just feel...like an odd thumb sometimes. When I'm with fellow artists, I know without a doubt that my art isn't good enough, that I don't belong here. I catch myself wondering when they will see my imposter status. I know they will sneer at me soon, and ask me to leave.
I catch myself wondering this even when it's been several months--and even when people praise my art.
I wonder why I feel this way.
This feeling of not belonging invades other aspects of my life as well. When I'm with other women my age, I feel like a child. I know I don't fit. I don't have an job like them. I don't have children like them. I don't dress like them.
Honestly, I don't feel like an adult. I feel like I'm playing pretend.
I know other women my age treat me with respect, and value my opinion. Why does this shock me? Why do I think my voice does not matter? Why do I hesitate before telling people what I do for a living, as if what they do is somehow better then me? Every job is important. Every life choice matters.
It's hard for me to put myself out there sometimes, in the real world. I feel I deserve the laughter that comes when I describe my passion for knitting, writing, and fashion photography. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that the blank stares and "well, I have a real job" comments hold more value then my meager existence.
But what is value? Just a scale, a scale constructed by people who have their own goals and their own ideas. A messy sum, a game of compare/contrast--nothing concrete. I mean, I have my own ideas about value. And I like them. I talk about them here, in this space I call my own where I, honestly, feel most like myself.
I guess the difference is I try not to force them on others. I don't need to justify myself; I like the choices I've made.
My life isn't pretend. But I still fight the feelings inside me that tell me it is.
Some days it feels like a battle, a fight to be recognized. Some days the fight isn't worth taking, and I let others just assume what they will.
I know I belong somewhere. With my husband, although he also sometimes feels a stranger. No one is perfect, but with him I feel loved, respected, and most of all cared for, deeply in a way I can't explain--not in words, anyhow.
But sometimes I feel more at ease in a room full of yarn then a cacophony of talking heads.