I'd like to say that this "Imposter Syndrome" that has overcome me is something new. I'd like to say that it's because of social media, or that it's because I have the need to maintain some sort of image. I'd like to even blame it on some level of narcissism, that I want to be the guy that people run to for help.
The truth, at least as far as my perspective allows me to see, is that the feeling of inferiority to my peers goes much further back than my days on the Internet. Even as a kid who made the All-State Teams in baseball and soccer, I felt like I was never really good, that I was picked out of pity... that I didn't belong. It wasn't until I went home recently where my parents objectively showed me things that proved yes, in fact, I earned those honors. I have earned my honors. That is not and easy thing to digest.
I took an intentional couple months away from social media and meaningful blogging to see if this habit would eat me up. It didn't. In fact, the time away made me realize how fulfilling my life really was, how much my family meant to me, and where my compass needed to be pointed in order for me to be happy.
I dipped my toes into a couple interviews and was enlightened for a variety of reasons. They humbled me, but they also made me come to terms with where I am and the person I am aiming to be. So, with that, my decree to myself for the 2018-19 school year:
I promise to myself, and to anyone who will listen, that I will put my family before anything else. That includes conferences, workshops, events, and extras, unless previously arranged or free from conflict.
I promise to not seek the next badge, the next certificate, the next opportunity that will help me keep up with the crowd.
I promise to not get (too) jealous when seeing others attend camps, conferences, and events that I know would benefit me.
I promise to not feel the need to read every educational "must-read" or be a part of every book study that will make me a better teacher, coach, or person.
I promise to attend rehab to fix a part of me that has broken for a long, long time.
I promise to build deeper relationships with those I care about, either in person, online, or both.
I promise to continue promoting my works in a positive light, but not use them as a metric of my success.
I promise to use whatever privilege I have to continue doing good things to support others in need.
I promise to refrain from picking up yet another big project unless I am certain it will not interfere with my family, my friends, or current projects in which I am invested.
I promise to take more time away from social media and reallocate it to my family and friends.
I promise to help those who need it, but not get caught up in trying to fix every problem I see.
I promise to seek out diverse spaces and give my kids--and myself--chances to hear perspectives that are unlike my own.
I promise to value myself, and see myself as a valued member of the communities in which I associate.
I thank you, the folks who stop by this space, for holding me accountable on these promises I am making to myself and to you. I want to help. I want to be the guy you go to when you need something. I want to be part of the revolution that makes learning a space that is equitable, fair, and just. I want to be all of that. But, in order to do that, I need your help.
Happy "Promises Kept" Fishing