Disclaimer: I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing, but I’m willing to be vulnerable & share what I’m learning, what I’m struggling with, and how I move towards abolishing all systems of oppression & domination. Today, I'm examining "The Imposter."
I've been trying to write this post now for almost four months. Each time I sit down to write it, I find myself stuck in a narrative and delete the whole post. I put it away, come back to it a few days later, write some more, and delete it all again. Over and over and over until I finally put it down at the end of June.
This morning I wanted to post something on my blog, and this draft was staring me in the face. I rewatched the video and reread my own advice. And it's been helpful for me in reexamining what I keep calling "The Imposter".
The past few days, I have really been struggling with that fucking fool in your head that keeps telling you you're not good enough or not doing enough or don't stack up enough. "The Imposter" keeps you forgetful of what you've done. It belittles your rest as idleness. It's a nasty monster that makes you feel incomplete.
Only, as I stare at "The Imposter" this morning, that word no longer feels quite right. It's as if "The Imposter" is hiding a deeper archetype, like it wants to be called something other than its name. But if, as the Tao states, "Naming is the origin of all things," then finding "The Imposter's" true name is the only way to vanquish it. That's also the central law of most magic, prayer, and meditation.
So if not "The Imposter," what is this thing that keeps me forgetful, feeling incomplete, and like nothing I do even matters?
Partly, it's my German, Swedish, Catholic, USian upbringing that taught me early on that my value is tied to my labor. Partly, it's the constant comparing of self to others that social media so easily lights, fuels, and fans. Partly, it is the way all aspects of life have become consumable goods, which as an artist whose life is their art means the only way to make money is to consume my life, which means cannibalizing my self.
This is clearly not "The Imposter". This is a system and structure within which I am living and dying simultaneously. Or in other words, this is the result of Capitalist Imperialist White Supremacist Cisheteropatriarchy (thanks bell hooks) (aka the name of the system and structure we all find ourselves amidst.)
Renaming "The Imposter" Capitalist Imperialist White Supremacist Cisheteropatriarchy also allows me a way to reframe the internalized messages of shame, guilt, and inferiority that rear their ugly heads. Yes, the tactics shared above are still helpful. But instead of screaming to "The Imposter," now a figment of my imagination, "Fuck Off," I scream it to Capitalist Imperialist White Supremacist Cisheteropatriarchy While screaming to it from my kitchen table (aka my studio) may not bring about the end of the system and structure, it reminds me that every little action I take in resistance to its domination is also a step towards liberation.
And it's gonna take a whole lotta steps by a whole lotta people to finally bring this system and structure down. So while this one step may seem small to me, it is a giant step towards my dreams of finally being free from Capitalist Imperialist White Supremacist Cisheteropatriarchy