I’m a F*cking Fraud.

All day, every day, I’m pretty much waiting for someone to figure out how unqualified I am at life.  Each small success terrifies me because I’m certain that this time, THIS TIME?  The gig will be up and the person on the other end of each opportunity will finally figure out that I have no business writing/editing/momming/being a grown up/generally existing, and the like.

But you know what? Fuck it. I’m telling you guys on the indelible internet that I pretty much don’t feel legit any day ever, and now that the cat’s out of the bag – I’m hoping I can get on with my life and start believing in myself again.

This past weekend, as I’ve been shoving down your throats via social media of all kinds, I was in Miami liveblogging the Mom 2.0 Summit – an incredible convergence of Mom Bloggers, and marketers, and researchers, and just kind of an awesome melding of [mostly] female, entrepreneurial minds.  (I wanted to type “parenting bloggers” so badly — why do I cringe so hard at the phrase Mom Blog?  And holy shit don’t even get me started on people other than my kiddo addressing me as “Mommy”…)

When you’re swept up in the tidal wave of an industry that’s simultaneously isolating and exposing, while moving and growing at breakneck speed, it’s kind of key to get together with your fellow travelers from time to time to get really drunk and take racy photos in the bathrooms of late Italian designers try to keep these crazy trains we’re on from going off the rails.  In the good way.

And over the course of the weekend, an unexpected theme struck me over and over.  So many of these brilliant and successful women I was talking to and hearing from were telling the same story:

“I felt like a fraud.”

“I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“I was sure they were going figure out that I had no idea what I was doing.”

And every time, the person’s lips were moving and I could hear the words coming out of their mouth, but I couldn’t fathom connecting them with the aspirational and admirable woman I was talking to. And slowly but surely, as I shared my own narrative, and thought about my own aspirations I started to feel like this whole “I’m a fraud” thing?  It’s just stupid. All I ever wanted was to grow up and be a storyteller and spur conversations, and every day, in all kinds of awesome ways, that’s exactly what I get to do.  Not for pretend.  For real.

So, voice in my head, write this down and try to make it stick:

I’m not a fraud — I’m a writer.

Painting in The Valley with Attitude, Circa 1984

Because there was another message echoing throughout the weekend:

I’m also the Mother of an awesome little girl, and she’s watching me.

Feed Me Seymour