The Imposter

Confession: I am an imposter.

I feel as if my appearance and my voice are two different beings, and my mind is separate from both, on its own planetary revolution far away. My looks are not who I am, my voice is often edited, and my mind hides behind both of these features, in hopes that it can fake through life.

I haven’t really lied, because I don’t think I’ve ever said, “I’m doing great, look at me and all of my authority succeeding over here.” No, I don’t lie, I just hide my secret: I am just as disordered as you.

I look like I know what I’m doing. At least that’s what I’ve been told. My clothes, my sense of style, my lipstick collection, the way I curl my hair, it’s all a ploy to convince the outside viewer that I am professional and put together and know what I’m doing with my life.

The more emphasized the phrase, the more untrue it resonates.

I wake up every morning and immediately think of everything on my to do list, panicked that I won’t have time to get everything done and surely fall behind. If I fall behind, I’ll fail my classes, I’ll lose my scholarship, I won’t be able to maintain my network connections, and I’ll miss the opportunities I was put in this place to receive and grow from. I have to keep up this facade before someone realizes I’m not who I act like I am!

To hide these fears and insecurity, I dress professionally and walk the way Tyra Banks would want me to. I put on dark sunglasses and plug in my headphones to hide even further, or maybe just blend in with my surroundings.

The way I look is not how I feel inside most days.

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Everyone thinks I know what I’m doing. My resume looks pretty polished, right? I published two books in high school, am double majoring in English and Journalism, have worked for a nonprofit, was published twice in a literary magazine, am the Co-Correspondent/Content Creator of a female collegiate online organization, write for a national fashion website, and run my own lifestyle blog.

Every single day as I log on to my computer, I ask myself, “What the f@*# am I doing?!”

There, I said it.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

With myself, with my marketing, with my writing, with my career path, with my life.

I have overwhelmed myself with all of this internal pressure, because I know how many opportunities float by my head like bubbles every day. I am in my prime time in the ideal location with chances to meet the people that will connect me with a career someday. Yet after all of this I still don’t believe in myself, and I fake it online, on social media, and yes, even in person, because at least then somebody will believe in me.

I had to get this off my chest and show full honesty: I am just as broken, confused, scared, and clueless as you are. I just look, act, and pretend that I’m not, in hopes that someday that will change.

So, here’s to that someday, and continuing to fake it until I make it (hopefully).

With true honesty,

Madeleine Rheinheimer

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