Category Archives: Who am I? Identity by self

Keep Exploring, We Are More … What the 2010 Olympics opening ceremony meant to me

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Disguises and latent Impostor Syndrome

UpdateSeptember 10th was a 9th wedding anniversary for David and me.  We’ve had a lot of transitions to make in those nine years; a lot of joy, a lot of excitement, miles – in both length and depth – of journeying together, challenging challenges – my transition from career woman to retiree included – and a lot of love.  Interestingly we each gave the other an anniversary card with a similar message … that every day we fall in love all over again and that we’d marry each other again.  Knowing he’s on this journey with me is a real gift; my kudos – and gratitude – to him … and anyone else who can support someone in this journey into understanding what this new part of life – retirement – is all about.  I wonder what it’s like to live with someone who’s doing one of those life-cycle, ground-shifting sort of dances?  Not easy I’m sure.  Thank you David.

NOW, to the original Thursday morning posting:

I was watching Criminal Minds with David the other night (a favorite show we share) and I heard these words:

ON THE FLIGHT OUT (if you watch Criminal Minds you’ll knowgulfstream jet what I mean, otherwise just see these as two quotes in the show):  “The French philosopher Voltaire wrote ‘there are some who only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts’.”

ON THE HOMEWARD-BOUND FLIGHT:  “The author, Francois  Foucault wrote  ‘We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves’.”

These words were kind of jangling and set my mind racing.  They’ve been sort of haunting me now for several days.  I worry that through my words here I am disguising myself … maybe even from myself.  It’s another spin on words that I’d heard from the women I interviewed years ago when I did my doctorate.  They’d all talked about their take on the Impostor Syndrome which leads many of us to continually question ourselves about whether or not we really have earned what we’ve achieved and whether or not we’ve been misleading others into believing we’re smarter and/or more competent than we really are.

Then I read Bettina’s comment on my Labour Day post, suggesting that she thought I was “finding that comfort center” in (my) retirement if there is such a thing” and I knew I had to pause and think and write.  So I’ve just spent time – for the first time in a very long time – rippling through the pages of my dissertation (Solomon, Sylvia R. (1989).  Women of Eminence:  The Underrepresentation of Women at High Levels of Achievement.  University of Toronto) and what a nourishing journey through old words it was.  Let me share it with you here. Continue reading

Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt: A Mignon conversation

guilty_lgeThere’s something I’m struggling with these days.  I’m afraid that I’m not contributing enough.  A new form for guilt has entered my life that has both surprised me and left me curious.  To explain, let me tell you about an amazing – and very enjoyable – experience I had a few days ago.   Perhaps you’ll have had similar thoughts and feelings.  Maybe you’ll have some good advice to share.  

The day started early; I got up at 6 a.m. to finish preparing for the ESL class I was going to teach in that day.  I’d start with using the newspaper to highlight both significant current events, to emphasize grammar points, and introduce new vocabulary.  NailsThe paper that comes to the class doesn’t come to my front door so my sweet David was kind enough to go out really early and get me the paper so I could sip my latte at 6 a.m. and plan my teaching.  What would I do without him?  So … I taught until 2:30 and then came home.  I had a couple of hours before my Bar Mitzvah student would arrive so decided I’d head around the corner to my Mignon – my favorite nails place – and get a pedicure.   A little indulgence in a busy day; good thing, right? 
Continue reading