Sometimes my doubt in myself becomes so overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder…will they all find out? One day, will they all realize that I am a fraud.

I’m not actually trying to be disingenuous with anyone. There are days, though, when I wonder if the facade I’ve built will crack, crumble, fall. In that moment, will they all realize that I’m not as good as they think I am. Will everyone see that I am not as smart as I pretend to be? Will they know that I am not any more talented than anyone else?

When it all falls down and I’m left there standing naked before them, will they see who they thought they would? Will I still be able to look them in the eyes, proud of may scars because they represent the lessons learned and experiences I’ve lived?

Will everyone know that I have been a fraud, and will they shake their heads and turn their backs? Will I be as alone as I am afraid I will be?

I realize now, that while I am not trying to lie, I am lying because I am so afraid of letting anyone else down that I would deny who I really am. I would watch myself die to please someone else.

I am flawed. I am not always brilliant…there are days when I’m not even capable of simple tasks. Sometimes planning dinner is an overwhelming task. Sometimes deciding what to wear is almost more than I can manage.

Sometimes, I’m not perfect.

Will my imperfection leave you disappointed in me? When I fall or make mistakes…When I am not perfect…If I’m not exactly what I need to be…What then?

I am trying to find a way to convince myself that my imperfection is NOT the end of anyone else’s world. I may fail. I may completely blow it. I may never do another right thing in my life…but it’s okay.

Somehow, I have come to believe that the worst thing that can possibly happen to me would be disappointing someone else.

That’s not even the worst thing that could happen on any given Tuesday.

In fearing the disappointment of others, I have nearly killed the spark within myself.

So I have begun trying to make peace with my imperfections. I have stretch marks from carrying three children whom I ADORE! I have a fowl mouth when I am frustrated or angry. I can’t keep a sense of direction in anything except beach towns. I even, occasionally (though I’m loath to admit it), hit a sour note when singing. I can be selfish. I can be spoiled. Sometimes, I assume the worst of others.

BUT, I also have fantastic hair. I look great in heels, and can rock a set of shades. I have an excellent command of the English language and am not relegated to profanity to express my frustration. Nor am I limited in the ways in which I can express my joys. I can’t always remember right from left, but I can quote the lyrics to almost every song I’ve heard more than once, and every movie I love. I may not always hit the right note, but I can most of the time, and whatever note I happen to be singing, I sing with passion. I can be generous. I can be loyal to a fault. I have the capacity to give myself completely for those I love. I am capable of seeing the beauty and good in humanity and loving others regardless of whether we agree.

So, I may not be perfect. I will let people down. Everyone does. But I am coming to realize that those who truly love me, will love me long after I’ve let them down. They will see the cracks in my attempted perfection and, rather than picking away at them, will help patch them up and fill in the gaps where I can’t.

When we fail, those who truly love us will not shake their heads and turn away. They will walk with you through failure. They will recognize that one person’s disappointment is another’s learning opportunity. They will love you for who you are and not for how perfect you appear to be.

So I am not a fraud. I am sometimes not perfect, but I’m trying desperately to become the person I can live with, because, in the end, that’s all that really matters. And when I die, I want people to have loved me for who I am, not for who they wanted me to be.

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