The 5 Ways to Procrastinate

Hi folks!

Long time, no post! Isn’t that they way?

I have had the busiest couple of weeks. I was mainly busy because I am terrible at organizing my time and planning my actions. I fell super behind on my school work, even though that was the number one thing I had to do on my list!

I ended up with one extension for a 20 page policy paper, an awesome Strategic Plan, an infuriating non-profit budgeting assignment, disecting a narrative therapy session, and what I feel is a poorly written journal article appraisal. Guess we’ll see in a few weeks how those all turn out.

I started thinking of all the things I was doing that were really unimportant but were pushing school work further down the list. I thought I’d share and see if you can relate. But, I must admit, this blog post has been sitting in drafts for awhile now… so I even procrastinated this blog post about procrastinating.

5 Best Ways to Procrastinate 

Organize your Spice Cupboard
Yes, I decided to do this instead of write the paper that was looming over me. Ièm not sure why I decided this was important… I guess I was tired of digging around and having things fall all over me. However, it is  mess again and in need of organizing… guess Ièll wait til I have another assignment due.

Buzzfeed Videos
These are a huge time suck since they just keep linking you to more hilarious videos.


Date
Start dating someone. You’ll want to spend all your free time with him rather than solving social problems.


Old Series on Netflix
Find an old series you love on Netflix and start watching all the seasons for the 4th or 5th time.

Re-pot all your plants
After all, you have been wanting to do this forever. You have the soil, the new pots. Might as well!

Alright folks, there you have it. Five great ways to procrastinate… now get to it! 

One Year in YYC

Exactly one year ago, I arrived in Calgary.

I can hardly believe I’ve been here for a whole year. It really does feel like I just got here and I still tell people I’m new to town. I guess it’s true what The Magnetic Fields say: “Days go by too slowly and the years go by too fast.”

It hasn’t always been an easy transition, there were roadblocks, wrenches thrown in the mix, and some hard time blues. But, as I look back and reflect, It has no doubt been worth it.

What has happened:

IMG_8580
(+)  Classes, 1 year down! 
I finished up the first year of my masters with a 4.0 and some confidence in myself. For me, I thought the assignments, course load, etc was pretty easy. Which was surprising. Going forward into my second year, I am expecting some more difficulties as the courses get more specialized and my practicum gets more intense.

 

IMG_9826

 

(-)  Depression
My depression resurfaced for a bit in the past year and it was difficult to get a hold of. It resurfaced for a variety of reasons which I think are fairly average- feeling alone, feeling stressed, shitty relationship, shitty people in general, regretting the move, regretting the choice of school, etc. After losing about 30 lbs from stress and being unable to eat because of anxiety, my absolute best friend in the whole world stepped in. She encouraged me to get to the doctor and gave me some easy ways to tell the doc what was happening. That was a lifesaver for me and the moment things really started to turn around. That was about 5-6 months ago.

IMG_9945IMG_7542IMG_9161(+) New friends
I’ve made a bunch of new friends, which is strange for me. I’ve always found it difficult to make friends. But somehow, in the last 6 months, I’ve got a solid squad and they are all amazing people. I have beer friends, I have vinyl/audio friends, I have music show friends, I have bitch about school friends, brunch friends. I’m lucky to have such cool, supportive people in my life who actually like having me around and want me around.

 

IMG_7954

(-)  Obstacles
When I got here, nothing seemed to go right. I was denied EI, my apartment was a mess, my student loan took forever to come in. It was just one thing after another and it really frazzled me. I wish I had handled it better and it made me really negative about the move and the city. I felt like I had no one to lean on. But, I powered through as I always do on my own. Trying to not ask for help. However, some help did come in of its own accord and I’m grateful to those folks who decided to swoop in.

IMG_9683(+) Getting Back to the Things I Love
In the last six months, I have really enjoyed diving into the Calgary (& area) music scene. I saw some of the best concerts/shows I’ve ever been to in this time- Joel Plaskett in Canmore, New Bomb Turks at Dickens, Bob Log III at the Palamino, By Divine Right at the Ship, and Stars in Banff. Not to mention getting out to Bengough for Gateway Festival once again only to fall in love with Mo Kenney’s music. I’ve been to so many more shows, but these are the standouts.

 

IMG_7813(+)  Career
When I got to Calgary, I had zero jobs. Now… I have three! (1) I’m currently working for the City of Calgary as a social researcher. It’s just a summer term, but has it ever been a lifesaver as far as finances go. (2) My practicum supervisor asked me to stay on until next summer to complete my project. The project ends up with me having an academic article published. (3) I’ve become a sought after dog/house sitter. I started doing this for my brother’s girlfriend who has referred me to others, and I also gather clients just by chatting about my adventures in dogsitting. This income pretty much sustained me during the school year. I love dogs and I get to stay in fancy houses usually… it’s perfect.

IMG_8948My practicum supervisor sent me to Montreal for a conference that I usually would go to if I was working at the time. I got to see all my lovely young professional friends and hear about all the great things they are doing. I love those people and wish we got to see each other more often, maybe one day we will work together more closely.

When I got to Calgary, I had to come to the realization that no one knew who I was like they did in Winnipeg. It was humbling. But, I was determined to get my name out there. I made a significant cold call to a PhD in the faculty and sent her my CV. She instantly recommended me for 3 scholarships (one of which I won), made connections in the sector for me, and offered me a TA position (which I was unable to accept).

 

IMG_9480So… things have been looking up… WAY up over the last 6 months or so. I no longer hate Calgary. I actually kind of like it and I keep discovering new things and places that make it a bit more interesting. I do that through the help of a few people and a lot of curiosity. No more just sitting around watching Netflix and going to the SAME places over and over again! Change has been a good thing and there has been way more changes than I could have predicted. I thought my life would look a certain way when I got here, but it looked nothing like what I was hoping for. But, where I am right now is pretty excellent.

 

5 Things Learned in the First 3 Months of Grad School

In September, I began my first year in grad school. For me, the experience has been extra hectic having moved far away from my home, leaving my awesome job and friends. Then, just  things that have gone sideways in order to make my life harder than it needs to be.

Before starting school, I was really nervous. I was worried I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t have the experience required, wasn’t passionate enough. I felt like a fraud and it was only a matter of time before someone would find out. However, things are much different that I expected them to be.

So, here we are… 5 things I learned in the first 3 months of grad school.

There is no reason to be scared
The selection process is rigourous and they only select the best into my program. I received my acceptance letter the first week of January, I’ve been told that means I was one of the top picks, since I wasn’t expecting it until May or so. I’m occupying a seat because I’m good at what I do and I’m passionate. I didn’t lie on my application even a little bit, so I should feel confident that I belong there.

The course work is not as difficult as you might expect. But, it could be because I am a different person that I was six years ago when I graduated with my last degree.

What you did before matters, but also doesn’t matter
I say this because you bring your experience and knowledge to the class and can draw upon it to apply theory, assist with learning, and figure out exactly what you want (or don’t want) to do after this degree.

I also say it doesn’t matter because (at least for me), you’re not doing that anymore. I was kind of a “big deal” in the grassroots affordable housing movement in Winnipeg. I was an expert on something and people knew that. People talked about me and came to me for comments. BUT… they don’t anymore. It has been an adjustment for me and definitely a blow to the ego. But, you have to move on and continue forging your career and name, it’s just how it is. And if you’re lucky, that work you did before will catapult you into awesome things :)

The importance of networking
If you’re like me, you don’t fit into the tiny box of what your school wants you to be. This is frustrating and discouraging at times. If your immediate circle of faculty members do not offer you what you need in order to grow and meet your goals… GO OUTSIDE! I’ve connected with a prof who aligns well with my values and goals. She has been wonderful in connecting me to people in the community who can work with me and teach me what I need to know. She has also offered some other potential opportunities that sound promising.

Networking makes for a unique and rich experience. It’s also good for your career. Learn how to do it, then do it. Be professional. Get business cards. Shake hands. Attend presentations. Send cold emails. Ask people for coffee.

Create an excellent work space
I do not have a good work space in my home. My house is very dark and my desk is too small for how I want to use it; up until recently I didn’t even have a proper chair. So, I was doing all my work in my oversized comfy chair with big, flat arms… actually quite handy for working on a laptop. But, not ideal.

I’ve taken to working in our faculty’s student lounge. It is open late and everyone leaves at 5pm. I have access to a fridge, microwave, kettle, sink, giant tables and comfy benches! I couldn’t ask for much more. I spend a lot of time there… I mean A LOT OF TIME.

You’re going to feel like crap, no matter what…
You’re going to have doubts. You’re going to fear failure. You’re going to be hard on yourself and compare your life to others.

If you moved, you’re going to regret it at times. If you have a relationship, you’re going to neglect it. If you have a cat, he will end up hating you periodically… but then forget about it because (let’s face it) he’s a cat. Your apartment is going to get gross… and I mean like really gross. You’ll lack sleep and be jittery from too much caffeine.

If you’re in my position, you’re going to be broke and fight off your depression everyday. You’re also feel incredibly socially awkward talking to your peers (how do I be human, I forget). School work distractions are quite helpful in glossing over these things.

It’s just a fact of grad school life…

BUT!
You’ll also make some good friends you can commiserate with and give you advice. You’ll drink a lot of beer. You’ll also eat too many cookies because your classmates are nice people. You’ll get inspired. You’ll learn. You’ll try new things. You’ll have QUESTIONS and discuss the answers with brilliant people.

BUT!
Best of all, if you’re like me, you’ll build on your skills and…

You’ll change the fucking world.

The Weight of Grudges

In a recent conversation I had with a colleague, the work I’d done in the community came up. He thanked me for all I’d done and said I made a huge difference in the lives of so many vulnerable people in the area.

This got me thinking… after I thanked him for the compliment, my reply was “I always hope to make some sort of positive dent where ever I happen to be.” I think I’ve managed to do a pretty good job of that… for the most part.

I would never say I am perfect. I am so far from it. But, I do try to be as good to others as I can without trying to figure out how our relationship will benefit me. Sometimes, this gets me in trouble or people take advantage of my trusting and generous nature.

There has been at least once, recent years, where I was not as good to someone as I could have been. I had hate and anger in my normally good heart and I ripped into them like I’d never done to anyone before. My anger got the best of me and I purposefully hurt someone without thinking about it. I wish I had slept on it, things might be different.

I had held onto my anger and hatred of them for awhile afterward. I put it in a little corner of my soul to silently stew, almost to be forgotten, only to have it flare up every so often… but what did that really do for me? Absolutely nothing. My frustration faded after some time. I put myself in their shoes for a bit, trying to make sense of the ridiculous situation we had found ourselves in. I let go of my so-called grudge because it was of no use to me anymore.

However, don’t be confused. I still believe wholeheartedly what they did to me was very, very wrong and would not wish their actions on anyone. I also know my retaliation was wrong and things were said that likely cut deep. For that I am truly sorry. 

However, I believe this person still holds a very strong grudge against me, they even appear to wish death upon me. There is denial and cover-ups by mutual friends, but it sometimes comes out just how strong their hatred STILL is for me. I’d like to bury this hatchet, but many things stand in the way- mostly ego, a grudge, (and sometimes even people) are holding us back from being civil.

If I could say one thing about grudges, it would be this: they are a weight. Grudges drag you down without you realizing it. They do not make you a better person, they also don’t make what you did the right thing, they don’t escape you from responsibility or bad behaviour. They are a waste of mind space, because admit it… it does take at least some effort to hate someone.

I do not want to be the proud owner of a violent grudge. That is why I acknowledged their wrong of me, dealt with it the way I needed to, and then simply let it go. It’s a hard thing to do, but it really makes you feel good. When you hold a grudge, I don’t think you can ever feel 100% alright because the grudge occupies a space of yourself that could be filled with happiness, but you choose to fill it with hate instead… I’m sounding very New-Age Oprah in this post. 

————————————————————————————————-

For that certain person, in case you should stumble upon this post or if a mutual friend should share it with you:

You’ve probably never read this blog and maybe never will, you likely do not give a shit what I think about the past situation. You may even laugh and let this blog post fuel your grudge. I know you have not let it go and that you have an inhuman amount of hate for someone who is trying to make things right, but is unable to get around the obstacles. You may not know that I am apologetic for hurting you because of these same obstacles. You and I will never be friends and that is understandable. But, the least we can do is be civil, understanding, and forgiving with one another. I hope you can take this to heart, know that I acknowledge my behaviour as wrong and you can do the same of yours. Take a deep breath and let it all go one day. Maybe that’s the day we can make peace. I truly look forward to it one day, in whatever form peace will take between us.

————————————————————————————————–

People CAN evolve emotionally, that’s one of the wonderful things about us. We can change our opinions of people, empathize, and vow to live good lives where we are decent to one another. Choice is a wonderful tool at our disposal, but we also have to choose to use it (ay’ there’s the rub). I made a choice to evolve and I am so happy I did. After all, hatred is a terrible color on me.

Okay…. end of my New-Age hippie mumbo-jumbo. But it does feel good (and a little scary) to put this out into the universe.

Where Has She Been?

Oh boy!

It has been about 3 weeks since I have posted on this blog. I guess it has been a busy, eventful few weeks. Out of the ordinary? I don’t know about that…

Ok, time for a recap!

Something exciting happened a few weeks ago- I had an article come out and it was picked up by three different news sources- Winnipeg Free Press, CBC, and Rabble. I was interviewed about the article on CBC News Radio One and got many positive comments on it. Here’s is where the article originally appeared.

IMG_7004

This conference reminded me that even one person can make a difference. It’s good to remember that sometimes.

I attended the National Congress on Housing and Homelessness this past week and had a really great time. I learned a lot and got to meet some great people, mostly young professionals like myself. Had a chance to catch up with some folks I don’t see too often too. There were pub nights and sometimes drunken dancing, but all in all, it was really great. It was really nice to be able to speak about advocacy and politics and urban design and so many things with people are are just like me. Twitter and IG handles were exchanged, cell numbers inputted… and all us young kids are talking about meeting up next year for this same Congress in Montreal. Looking forward to it!

FullSizeRender
This graph came from one of our Keynote speakers, Christine McLaren, a researcher who worked on the book Happy City. As you can see, life satisfaction increases with more trust in your neighbours and community. I’m sorry to see that Calgary is really quite low on this graph.

IMG_6969

Spending some time in the Bay Downtown.

I’m really starting to transition my brain into a moving mindset. I’ve been calling for moving company quotes, selling off things, stocking up on boxes, and I even had to register for my classes this past week. It’s starting to get really REAL and it’s also really terrifying for me. I wish I had some support to make me feel better about this huge life change. This is just the countdown to freaking out for real.

I finished my second round of the Whole30. Not as good as the first time around. I’ve really hit a plateau. Time to change things up.

FullSizeRender (1)

Cherry Blossoms just starting to sprout.

I’ve really been getting into the Alberta Provincial election. So many interesting things happening with the NDP and smarmy things happening with the PCs out there. I think it will likely be close… but hard to say which way it will go.

FullSizeRender (2) IMG_6989

Working on repairing a smoke damaged kitchen in a rooming house and cleaning up the community/rooming house front yards with the tenants. Spent some time fashioning a grave marker for my dearly departed buddy/pain in the ass, Willis. I’ll be placing it where he is buried before I leave town. I also started a BurnOut Prevention Group, which I call BOP. Our first meeting is this coming Friday. And… I’m working on a project I spearheaded that could change the way rooming houses are subsidized (they currently aren’t at all).

Been damn busy at that work place, I guess…

IMG_7010

Lastly, I’ve been actually having some fun. Above is a photo of me at the Art City Fundraiser Party. Had a blast, but boy did my feet hurt! This coming weekend I’ll be in Toronto to see an exhibit of my absolute favourite artist at the AGO. Never before seen in Canada. Never before seen by ME in any gallery across the country/USA I’ve been too. I’m too excited for words.

And to wrap it all up, I’ve been spending lots of time in my sunroom listening to records, reading, playing Sudoku, and learning to use my new sewing machine.

What have you folks been up to lately? 

Life Milestones as told by Pantone

The company Pantone is known worldwide as the ultimate standard language for color. They have been declaring a colour of the year since 2000- that’s 15 years of unique colours. This got me thinking about my past 15 years and what events “coloured” those particular years. So, we float back in time…

2000
In 2000, Pantone chose this muted blue and I learned how to drive in this very similarly coloured Dodge Omni.

2002IMG_6906
In 2002, red was in and I was OUT of high school!

2004

In 2004, I moved into my own apartment, leaving the perennial Tigerlillies that appeared in our backyard behind at the farm.

2009Vancouver 049

In 2009, I graduated University and hoped my future would be as bright as Mimosa.

2011337818_2411152646876_1493067098_32713341_1961067139_o
In 2011, my life changed. I ended a 7 year relationship, lived alone, and got my first real job after graduation. That’s me with a horse on an organic farm. Just part of my awesome job! What a crazy, confused year… kinda like calling this colour Honeysuckle, aren’t those yellow?

2012183

2012 was this year I decided to start travelling alone, whether I had the money or not. That’s my little campsite in a rain forest in the Pacific North West. I can’t come up with a good colour pun, so here’s a bad one- you could say 2012 is the year I began my “tango” with life. (Blerg, I know).

13 14IMG_4476

Now, 2013 and 2014 were full of hardships (almost as hard a time as I have choosing which of these colours is my favourite) and if you read this blog much, you know what those are- depression, anxiety, makeups/breakups, a few deaths, drinking, losing friends, and important people moving away.

2015

And now, it’s 2015! Marsala is kind of a dull colour for a year that is shaping up to be a wild ride.

Do any of these Colour of the Year chips jog your memory of days gone by?

Things I Hate, A-M

Miss the first installment of this series? Here’s a link to Things I Love, A-M.

Anxiety
My anxiety has been skyrocketing these days and it has been hard to get things done or get to sleep or eat… or really do anything besides be anxious.

Birds as pets
I’ve never understood it. You have to keep them in a cage, you can’t cuddle them. The only way for a pet to get more useless is to be a fish.

Cat hair
I have a long-haired cat who is also a giant. So, he has a lot of hair to spread around this little apartment. Since it’s spring, it has been worse with him shedding extra. I should be vacuuming every other day, but I don’t.

Doing dishes
My most hated household chore and this is why I have 2 forks, 2 knives, 2 spoons, 2 plates… and so on.

 


Engagement photos/announcements
They are so cheesy and sometimes look really awkward. And why do you need a lame photo is a forest to tell your friends and family you are getting married? Just send a mass email and be done with it.

 


Fancy meals
I can appreciate a good meal, but I’m talking pretentious for pretentious sake. The above is supposed to be a “deconstructed’ cheesecake, and you know it’s costing $18 for $3 worth of ingredients. I could add “foodies” to this list… I just don’t get you. If you feel the same this is an amazing satirical blog you should definitely check out!


Grumpy cat
I am more of a Bub lady myself. This cat is old news and I’ve grown to hate its face and that Christmas movie only made my hate stronger.

 


Hangovers
As I’ve gotten older, hangovers have me the death of me. They have gotten bad and they LAST! Definitely can’t drink how I used to.


Ignorance of social issues
When people try to argue things they have no idea about, like homelessness or supervised injection sites, and make it into a debate of morals and character. They are mutually exclusive. Those conversations are so frustrating it makes me want to just walk away because you know you can’t change an idiot’s mind.


January
It’s usually around the end of January where I start to get fed up with the cold weather and wishing it would just end already.


Knitting
I’ve never been able to figure it out. I crochet and I love it… that’s enough for me.


Lateness
This is one of my worst pet peeves. I am so punctual you could set your watch by me and I expect the same from my friends/family. I try to set a good example for my clients by showing up when I say I will, being where I’m supposed to be, etc. Please show me the same consideration and leave your house 10 minutes early.


Moths
One of my arch enemies. Moths are the worst. They are unpredictable and erratic. They fly in your face and your hair when trying to get away and it’s terrifying to me. Some people hate spiders… I hate moths.

Stay tuned for more of this Love/Hate series, featuring N-Z. Coming soon!

Things I Love, A to M

Art
Above is Robert Rauschenberg, an American artist best known for his Combine paintings. He is a major influence for me and my work. I got a chance to see one of his pieces up close in Chicago. It was amazing and a moment I will remember forever.


B
obs Burgers
I’ve mentioned this show before and its ability to absolutely KILL me sometimes. I’m convinced Tina Belcher is my spirit animal and I find Linda Belcher’s vocabulary sneaking into my everyday life. “Alriiiiight!”

Coffee
I had a hard time with the C category. But I finally decided on coffee. I drink coffee pretty much everyday and I can be kind of a nerdy snob about it sometimes. For example, I (a less asshole word for ‘lecture’) coworkers on why you need to pour the coffee out of the french press and into a decanter. They just don’t get it.

Deer
I’ve started accumulating deer related items over the last few years. Look at that cute wobbly little guy!


E
arl Grey Tea
As much as I love coffee, I also love tea. Lately, I’ve been drinking mostly Earl Grey. A real classic.



F
ermentation
Now, you probably thought I was going to say foxes. I do love foxes, but thought I would go for the unexpected here. Fermentation is a fascinating process of preserving with bacteria cultures. It’s really good for you too. I’ve recently made fermented cucumbers and kombucha. I’ve been doing this type of preserving for several years now.

Gardening
I’ve been gardening for decades. I grew up on a farm and we always had a big garden and I loved seeing what could be produced from one little plant. When I moved into Winnipeg, I discovered community gardening and was able to keep the tradition of growing my own food alive.

Hudson Bay stripes
There is just something about the stripes that feels like home. I don’t know what it is. It could be remembering all those times spent wandering around the beautiful Bay Downtown store, looking at all the furniture we couldn’t afford but could dream about.

Green skirts and purple tights. It's how I roll. #dressedlikea9yearold #winnipeg #worklifeseries #fashion

A post shared by .jovan 🐠💡 (@jovanlottis) on

Instagram
It’s no secret that I love Instagram. Check out my page from the sidebar. It’s a great way to share your life with people you don’t see often or don’t necessarily have time to talk to everyday. It’s also a great way to show off my feet. I do that a lot.


J
ulia Child
She’s seemed like such a wonderful woman. Off-beat and ahead of her time. Also, completely fearless and not afraid to make a mistake or look like a fool. I’ve definitely used this above omelet method and it definitely works.

Kettlebells
Kettlebells originated in Russia and were originally used to weigh crops. This is one of those love/hate things actually. I love them because they are fun to use and it is an amazing workout for short amounts of time. But holy hell! Is it ever a hard workout.

One of my absolute most favourite of life's simple pleasures. Lilacs in the spring. #winnipeg #flowers #lilacs #spring

A post shared by .jovan 🐠💡 (@jovanlottis) on

Lilacs
I mentioned this in my last post about what I was looking forward to in spring. It is one of those simple pleasure that only lasts a few weeks and then they are gone til next year. I stop and smell these babies every chance I get. Gotta enjoy them while you can.

It's locally foraged shaggy manes for dinner tonight. #winnipeg #mushrooms #foraging

A post shared by .jovan 🐠💡 (@jovanlottis) on

Mycology
Picking mushrooms is a great summer time hobby. Last year, as wet as it was, produced a ton of mushrooms around my area of town. No one else is going to pick them, so I did. I do a lot of research into which are good and bad to make sure I won’t die. Everyone thinks they will die if they eat a wild mushroom, but if you tell them otherwise… they will take all your mushrooms! Never reveal your foraging spots!

That’s all for Things I Love A to M, next up will be N-Z. But before that appears, I’ll be writing Things I Hate A to M. Stay tuned!

The state of my workspace

I’m lucky enough to have my own private office in a building with around 10 other staff members. At my job, my days are never the same and never, ever boring. Sometimes there isn’t enough hours to get the work done and ensure my space is presentable. Sometimes my desk holds 5 empty, but used, coffee cups. Other times, I have a mile-high pile of articles to read. I’m getting better at filing and documenting in Word/Excel, but I still struggle with my physical space. Keeping it tidy and organized.

Here’s a little glimpse into my work space- meticulously un-curated, as is, on an average day.

IMG_6700

IMG_6698

What’s your work space like? Tidy or similar to mine?

News about the Imposter Syndrome

Good news- I feel a lot less depressed lately.

Less than good news- I feel very beat down in some aspects of my life.

I was speaking to a friend very briefly today about how I feel I’m not measuring up. How every time I think I’ve done something exceptional, it seems to come back to me as having actually done a stupid thing or the wrong thing instead.

And these thoughts got me thinking about the Imposter Syndrome.

“a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.”

I’ve always said to myself and to other people with similar feelings “fake it til you make it, because no one else knows what they’re doing either.” But the latter part of that saying is the hardest to believe. Why does everyone seem to know more or be better at things? Why do I, and others with the same feelings, feel like we’re not measuring up all the time? I don’t believe it’s that we are not measuring up, but we are exaggerating everyone else’s success. Not to mention others are also exaggerating their own success to impress.

Interestingly enough, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women. Of course,  I’m not going to call myself “high-achieving” because I don’t see myself that way… and that’s probably a bit of that Imposter talking. But why, as women, are we constantly second guessing our success and intelligence? Is it because women are still earning 70-80% less than what men earn? Or is it because affirmative action is practiced and we aren’t completely sure if we were the best candidate for the job?

Case in point, when I have to do public speaking I always feel like a blithering idiot. I get so nervous! But when I hear the recording or watch the video of me speaking, it does not sound the way I thought it sounded when the words were spewing out in what I thought was a jumbled mess! I get compliments from people who were listening/watching and I just assume they are being overly nice and trying to make me feel better.

I don’t have any answers on how you can feel less like a failure in life. But, when you start getting those feelings take a minute to step outside of your head and really take a look at yourself and your perceived failures. Also, remember that many of the people you may be comparing yourself to could be “in the middle of their story” while you’re “only at beginning of your story”. I often find I’m comparing myself to people 10 years older than me because we are colleagues or I respect them, their intelligence, and what they do. That’s really not fair to me when they’ve had an extra decade to gather knowledge and have learning experiences.

If all else fails, listen to April Ludgate.

Anyone else feel like an imposter sometimes?