Everybody Loves a Fraud, Nobody Loves a Winner

I was watching one of my favorite shows, “Make it or Break it,” I know that it’s no longer on TV but I re-watch the episodes sometimes on Netflix, anyway, one of the girls said something that really resonated with me, she said that she feels like an imposter and like at any moment everyone was going to find her out, and that is exactly how I’ve felt for a long time. I don’t even remember when I started feeling this way but I remember having said it a few times and thinking it again recently. I’ve never tried to figure out why I feel this way but maybe it’s time I do.

I’ve felt like I’m not pretty enough for as long as I can remember. Seriously. The moment I started liking boys they didn’t like me and even when my parents’ friends say how beautiful they think I am I just think they are being nice to schmooze my parents. Even during my time as an athlete when some of the girls would compliment my physique I never thought much of it. I always just thought it was girls being girls-shallow, empty compliments that some girls say to get more friends or more popularity. When people tell me how good they think I look I feel like I’ve somehow fooled them into thinking I’m beautiful because I don’t feel like I am. And when I tried modeling every thought in my head that told me I’m not pretty enough and not worthy of what I want was confirmed. They didn’t like my look. They said I was a natural, like I’d been modelling for years but that my look wasn’t right. I went to other agencies but it was always the same thing. What can you do about the way you look other than lose weight? Don’t worry, I didn’t develop an eating disorder, but it was a huge blow to my confidence in my looks. They assured me that just because my look isn’t right this season doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be right next season. They encouraged me to keep trying and to come back and to keep coming back, but the truth is, I just saw modeling as a way to get rich quick. I didn’t care at all about the business, I just wanted the money and attention. Deep down I knew that was wrong of me and deep down I knew I wanted more for myself than money. I have a directory of the best modeling agencies in the world, maybe it’s time I pass the torch to someone who really wants to model for selfless reasons. Trying to find a benevolent model, now that’s a challenge.

I also feel like I’m an imposter in the role of perfect daughter. I’ve always done what I was told. If I wanted to go somewhere and my parents said no, I wouldn’t argue about it I just obeyed. My dad said no dating in high school and though I would ask again if I could each year, when he said no I obeyed. When my dad would take clothes away from me that someone else would hand down to me, I and others would ask why and he would always say the same thing, “it’s too adult and my daughter isn’t going to be a woman before it’s her time,” he’d say the same thing when it came to make-up too until I was 15. A lot of girls would just put make up on at school and take it off before they got home, or sneak out of the house to go to a party or see a boy and for some reason me not doing those things made me a “good girl.” But in all honesty, I didn’t obey because I wanted to be good, I obeyed because I was afraid of disappointing my dad. With sports it was always me and my dad and my brother, he’s like our second coach, our personal trainer. I’m his only daughter, it has always been me and him since I was a little girl, I’ve always just wanted to make him proud. I think the bond between a daughter and father is so important and so special. I’m turning 21 in a month and with one sentence, one look of disappointment from my dad I’m still brought to tears. So you see, I wasn’t a good girl because I wanted to be good, I was a good girl because I liked the attention I got from making good choices and being obedient. People looking up to me and my daddy telling me he’s proud of me, nothing the life of a bad girl could offer me is better than that.

And now that I’m in college I’m repeatedly being told how smart, bright, or sharp I am. But I just keep thinking, if I’m so damn smart, why is my GPA not perfect? Why the hell don’t I get academic recognition? If my teachers think I’m so smart, bright, and sharp why don’t I have the rewards to prove it? I love that based off one conversation with a superior, they can see how smart I am and how much I have to offer, but I’m an athlete through and through and I’m super competitive. I want to be the best at everything I participate in. I seriously think that I work harder and have had to overcome more obstacles and have more focus than most people my age and I’ve always been that way. So when I see a friend getting some kind of recognition I get kind of jealous, I’ve worked my ass off and made sacrifices to get where I am and have had to put up with more than most people my age do. I feel like they don’t deserve it and I do, it’s wrong but I don’t care, it’s how I feel. I fight for everything, I compete for everything and I want to win. Once an athlete, always an athlete. Now that I don’t play sports anymore I apply my competitiveness to life in general. So now I’m a perfectionist, if you shoot for the moon the worst that could happen is that you land on a star, cliche, I know but I want to “win” at everything. I want to be perfect and if someone tells me that I’m smart before I’ve reached perfection I feel like they’re putting me on a pedestal I don’t deserve to stand on so I put even more pressure on myself to reach that level faster before people find out I’m not really that smart, before they find out I’m a fraud. I don’t know if I’m actually smart or if I’ve just fooled everyone into thinking that I am. It sounds silly but if I don’t have the rewards to prove to myself that I’m smart then to me, I’m not smart. For example, one of my best friends graduated with honors and we were having a conversation and I was explaining why something people do doesn’t make sense to me and he said, “honestly, not everyone is as smart as you are, you have to understand that,” and all I could think was, “if I’m so damn smart why am I not an honors kid, what makes him more deserving than me?”

Being this way has made me a more interesting person. Wanting to be the best at everything has made me more diverse, given me lots of interests, given me pretty cool stories to tell and experiences to share, keeps me busy because I always have something new to conquer, made me disciplined, dedicated, ambitious, and, focused. And honestly, it may be the reason I’ve been able to deny myself of sex, it’s a competition between mind and body, between spirit and flesh. But there’s a very huge negative, I push people away. I go through life acting like I’m competing against everyone for everything-I have found myself competing for male attention just because some other girl likes a guy, won’t even be interested in the guy it’s just the competition that drives me. It’s disgusting, it’s like a drug, competition it excites me.

I put up walls and when the going gets rough I tell the people who reach out to me that I want to be alone. I’ve always thought that letting people see you vulnerable is a sign of weakness. In my family crying is something to be ashamed of, you cry alone in your room and then you come out and act as if everything is okay until everything is okay. I have no idea how to let people see me vulnerable, it’s the same reason me and my brother got in a fight about who would pay for lunch, I didn’t want my little brother paying for me, I’m the older one I’m supposed to give him money not the other way around, I realize that this was because I am prideful, I literally get so uncomfortable when I am given anything I did not earn, I hate handouts and I think it is the most embarrassing and scary thing to admit to someone that you need their help or that you need them in general. The irony is I’ve always wanted a sister because I think sister bonds are special, I’ve always wanted someone I can tell everything to and though me and my mom are very much like sisters, there are still some things I’d rather not talk to her about. The thing is now that I have friends that I can tell anything to, I don’t know how to. When someone asks me what’s wrong I want to tell them whats wrong but it’s like a being just takes over my body and I can’t form any words but the words, “I’m fine,” or I tell them I want to be alone and I really do want to be alone to deal with my problems but that’s not healthy. I just don’t want anyone to see my weaknesses because I think they’ll use them against me because they’re my competition.

Breaking down my walls is a huge step in my Christian journey. Writing this blog is actually a huge step for me because I am confessing things that I’ve never told anyone and now they’re available for whoever chooses to read about them. I know that God does not want us to be the way that I am, He created us to be social beings, to be dependent on one another and on Him and how, if I get married, can I be a good wife if I’m closed off and competing against my husband? I have to learn how to be a team player and though I’ve played many team sports there’s still a level of independence in the sports, you’re not only competing against the other team but you’re competing for a starting spot or in my case, competing to be the best sprinter on the team and I focused more on that than my team.

My competitiveness is more of a problem than I thought and I didn’t even know that pride is one of my problem areas. But I still don’t know why I feel like a fraud in my own life…maybe my high expectations to be perfect and my inability to reach perfection leaves me feeling fraudulent? I don’t know but I certainly don’t need to figure it all out today.

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