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

26 Responses to I’m a F*cking Fraud.

  1. TheNextMartha says:

    Love this.  And you are real.  I know.  I think I’ve touched your ass.  

  2. Deb Rox says:

    Perfect. I LOVED spending time with you this weekend. Really enjoyed your fun and insightful company. Next stop, BlogHer, right?

  3. Jill Williams Krause says:

    <3 <3 <3 Fist bumps for the “fraud” club

  4. babyrabies says:

    Could not LOVE this or relate to this MORE, Morgan. Whoa. You’re in my head. And I like it. GREAT POST.

    • the818 says:

       @babyrabies You’re my soul sister, Jill.

      • HowToBeADad says:

         @the818 @babyrabies I’m sitting here with the both of you, thinking the exact same thing about myself. Thanks for writing this. And thank you for not telling everyone the trust about what I charlatan I am. -charlie

  5. TimeDogNick says:

    “I’m not a fraud – I’m a writer.” Truth, in its entirety. Plus, that would make for a pretty amazing Pinterest board, huh? :-)
     
    Awesome seeing you at Mom 2.0. Maybe we’ll see you again at BlogHer? Hilarious quips and Skype chats in the mean time.  

  6. LinzLovesYou says:

    You are so a writer. And SO not a fraud. You know I admire the shit out of you, right? Even though I ::cough:: never see you anymore ;) Keep rocking, lady. 

  7. KeAnne says:

    I love this! Do you think this fraudulent feeling is felt by men too? I have a new coworker & while I like him, the thought in the back of my mind is when he’s going to discover what a fraud I am; that I’m not all that; that the empress has no clothes. And I don’t want my son ever to know that doubt or that I have that doubt.

  8. alexandrawrote says:

    I think that’s the secret they don’t teach us when we’re little – growing up never stops. We’ll never know it all or have it all together. And I kind of am suspicious of people that act like they do.
     
    Be a fraud and be a brilliant one. Own that brag xo

  9. Kacia says:

    yes.  thank you for this post, Morgan.  I needed it.  

  10. postpartumprogr says:

    BOOM.

  11. Rachel_Blaufeld says:

    it is a relief sometimes – to be around others who feel the same? – huh? the conf was superb…so are you!

  12. Charlie Capen says:

    <—- charlatan. Thank you for writing that.

  13. Alena29 says:

    This post took my breath away. It couldn’t be more on point!!!

  14. mrswonder says:

    Yep. I understand this so much.
     

  15. Limetree_kids says:

    Completely agree! As @lizlange said on Saturday, we all feel like a fraud sometimes, right? But it is jaw dropping seeing how some amazing women say it also happens to them (you’re perfect as far as I’m concerned)

  16. lindsayll says:

    You are not alone in feeling this way. Very common in Corporate America too. Here are a couple of articles about this that you should definitely read. The second one has made me stop and be more thoughtful about the words I use to praise my daughter.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/10/19/women-feel-like-frauds-failures-tina-fey-sheryl-sandberg/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heidi-grant-halvorson-phd/girls-confidence_b_828418.html

  17. dinadingo says:

    YES! And I’m so so glad we could finally spend some time together. You are awesome!

  18. Caryn B says:

    You are definitely a writer….the fact that you even wrote this means you’re definitely not a fraud…this space is so tough, particularly because everyone is blogging these days….

  19. bywordofmouth says:

    Well I for one, thought you were very real and likable … but pardon me if after this ‘ritzy’ weekend I refrain from the words awesome and authentic for a while ;)

  20. kellysauer says:

    I want to cry now – this is so real…

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.