This morning I arrived at my desk slightly more anxious than normal. I often find this moment, right now, facing a blank google doc to be rather distressing, even on a good day but today I’m more nervous than normal. The reason I’m concerned, which is my own fault entirely, is that I actually stood up in front of a new group of people this week and told them that I write this blog and asked them to sign up to my mailing list if they'd like to receive it.

Can you believe it!! I told REAL people about this!

While this may not appear to be a particularly unusual statement to come from me after writing this blog for 177 weeks in a row, it was in fact the first time that I admitted that I was a writer in front of real people I don’t know. Some people may have even left that event remembering me as Jess the writer, not Jess the graphic designer, or the Mum, or the token kiwi.  

I post this blog all over LinkedIN and socials, fuck knows why I bother with FB and Insta, maybe it just because my ex boyfriends Dad reads them on FB so I keep posting it for him  - Hey Robbie! x. All 176 entries live on my website and are very much in the public sphere. Funnily enough though this week was the first time I felt comfortable (not comfortable at all!) to share them in person. To own them. To remove the veil of anonymity that the online world offers and stand there as a flesh and blood person, saying ‘I did this’.

This was obviously quite a big moment for me, not that anyone would’ve noticed on the day (I hope…). I’m sure my Mum would say she was proud of me for standing up and talking about my writing but Mum is always proud of me - thanks Mum!x. 

What I’m flummoxed by is how terribly crippling I still find imposter syndrome. For YEARS whenever some asked what I did for a living, I coyly said I was a graphic designer even though I had been running my own business for 10 years. I thought I’d read enough personal development books to avoid falling into that trap again. Nope. I've been writing for over 3 fucken years and I STILL feel anxious about calling myself a writer. This is textbook imposter syndrome. Again.

It doesn’t stop there either. Over the last 6 months conversations and connections have really begun to ramp up at HUCX (our prefab build company) and I have always considered my role as one on the periphery. On the sideline. A cheerleader, helping out where I can. That’s total bullshit! Over the last 3 months I’ve brought more people to see our system than we’ve ever had before. My involvement in these conversations is essential to our success. I don’t sit on the sideline making cups of tea, I’m in the game, kicking fucken goals. 

I need to own that shit! We all need to own that shit! 

It's so easy for women especially, to downplay their roles in business. I can’t count the amount of conversations I’ve had with smart ladies who have had to dumb down their ideas or tone just to be heard at the repressed acceptable volume that men can handle. It sucks and it's no wonder that people like myself feel so anxious about standing up proudly and saying Yes, I’m a writer! Yes, I’m a graphic designer! Yes, I’m a mother! Yes, I’m from New Zealand! YIS ! YIS ! YIS! (Yes, with a kiwi accent)

Yes to it all because why the fuck not! I forget which ancient philosopher said it but ‘if we realised how short and arbitrary life was, we won’t waste a second.’ 

So don’t. Don’t waste any more seconds on worrying about meaningless shit. Worrying about calling yourself a writer in case someone says you're not! Who cares? The real answer is no one as long as you don’t. 

I was listening to a great podcast this week with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gina McCarthy where Gina said she uses her ‘worries’ sparingly. This is, of course, a very stoic idea, but only choosing to worry about the things you can change and not wasting your worries on things you can’t is the difference between someone who has their shit together and someone who doesn’t. No matter what life throws at you, you’re in charge of how it's received.

Going back to my public announcement about being a writer. I’d like to take a second to acknowledge all of the people who have read my blog for you are the reason I am a writer. If I wrote these for myself and never shared them I would have a computer full of rants and rambles. It is the very act of sharing these words and the responses I get that has given me the courage to say that, Yes, I’m a writer and proudly so.

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