Numbing and Reading

Although I have committed to a weekly blog (during the duration of the pandemic… aka. Seemingly forever) and not committed to a daily blog (not possible because I tried several times and cannot fathom a daily post and feel bad when I can’t do it), I do want to honour those time when I feel inspired to blog. That’s how I blogged before the weekly #pandemicreflections and worked well (from my point of view). You’re welcome. A run-on sentence to introduce today’s blog. Numbing and reading.

Is this imposter syndrome? Mmm… I don’t think so. I think it’s about mindset, efficacy, and vulnerability. I have admit, I am deeply influenced by other people’s opinions but have been spending much of my time during the pandemic trying to unravel what’s important to me and why. And while I’m doing this, I am modelling for my daughter. I will admit this has been a challenging time for me to find my strength and I want to be visible with this journey without feeling shame or worry about what others think.

I’ve been spending time observing myself over the last week or so and perplexed by my behaviour. How I am behaving feels almost involuntary or unconscious, but what I believe I am wrestling are my own daemons or perceived obstacles or barriers. I’m still thinking about the weekend I was in Vancouver and how I am feeling now. I’m at a crossroad and have to make a decision. Unfortunately, I am avoiding it instead.

My behaviour has been uncontrollable. I can’t seem to find solace and I’m not doing anything… literally nothing… a form of avoidance and numbing. There is a part of me that cannot believe that I am where I am and achieved what I have. There is another part of me that wants to keep moving forward but feel tethered by my own thoughts and beliefs that question what I am doing and builds feelings of shame and regret.

I don’t perceive myself to be a reader but the underpinning of the work I do is reading. Is that the imposter aspect that I am wrestling with? I know deep down inside that my life would have been different if I was a reader. I am envious of those who are readers and can read books with ease, fiction or non-fiction. Me? It’s work. I don’t know if it’s been from my upbringing but reading has always been challenging.

Writing was also a challenge to. I was scared to put my thoughts down “on paper.” I’m not the best had writer, but I am an awesome doodler and thinker. I have to remember that. It took time, practice, and courage to write and blog. I published a couple of papers but still, I’m not convinced. I’m not sure why and what I am trying to prove to myself (or to others). I write this blog post to overcome my self doubt.

As I begin to learn more about myself, I realize that the only person I’m trying to impress is me (and no one else). I need to embrace ME TIME and not feel guilty or that I owe that time to anyone but myself. It’s not selfish. It’s self honouring. For much of my life it felt like I was achieving things to impress others, to get ahead, or to be seen. The truth is, I lost myself in all of that and I am trying to find myself again.

Part of this pedagogical journey I’ve been on (since blogging in 2010) is that I have to address those aspects of myself that I was trying to hide. This mid-life unraveling is challenging me now to face my fears or live life pretending and suffer from shame. I can’t do the latter anymore. My body is telling me so. I look back and I have done this before. I alleviated some pain, but now I realize it should have been something else.

Regret. Sorrow. Pain. These are all teachers. This fear I have for reading is one I have to tackle. Not because my work relies on it, but because this is one learning that I have avoided since I was a child. I had always internalized and identified that I was not a good reader and believed I could get through school without reading. Well, you can’t… but I have always had worries and self consciousness on my ability to read.

I am naming my daemon. I’m done being scared of it and I need to develop this skill. I admire those who read avidly. I want to too, but would rather talk and discuss ideas than read about them. I know that reading will add to my knowledge base and help me to access ideas from others. What I am professing is not a weakness but a stretch. It is something that I am working on and to do so, I have to name what it is first.