This past semester, I've felt like an impostor. I stood in front of four classes and I felt exposed; I couldn't hide anymore: I was the teacher.
When I was younger, I was a performer (I danced and I sang), and I don't remember how or why, but I cocooned myself into this identity of shyness and of passiveness and of fear. Every part of me wishes to pinpoint the reason why I am the way I am now. But here I am, at the end of my first semester, feeling the rawness of disappointment, of relief, of expectation.
This wasn't part of my plan. God and I have wrestled with where He has placed me. He knows me- because He made me- He knows I want to hide.
And He laughs- I know He finds me humorous- because here I am with no place to blend in, to disappear, to go unnoticed. Being a black woman did not help either.
I stood in front of four classes and felt like an impostor. I am a writer (every time I say that, I cringe- it sounds so self-indulgent and egotistic), my background is in science and some standard had ingrained itself within me, claiming I'm still not enough.
But I had to stand. I had to stand in insecurity, in perceived lack, in frustration, in this struggle of who I am and who I thought I had to be. I had to stand because I gave my word and standing paid the bills.
I had to stand and fight the learned instinct to run. And I ran- because I am good at that- but I came back and stood.
Next year, I'll stand again because this is where He has me: here, now. I am here now.
Will you stand? Will you stand in this chatterbox of a world and speak what you see? Will you stand against your instinct to stay quiet and hidden and speak the truth the world desperately needs? Will you stand against the odds, against the majority, against yourself and usher in the change that can set the captives free? Will you stand? And if you ran, will you come back and stand in the here, in the now?
It's easy to convince yourself that you are an imposter, that you don't know anything, that you have nothing to contribute. SO EASY. I've been doing it for most of my life. But the pain of staying quiet is greater than the pain of stepping out.
Do not stay quiet. I need your voice. We all need your voice.
And it's ok if it's a little unconfident whisper. It's ok if you're still learning: you were never meant to arrive as a complete, unburdened package. You are a process. You're a universe, expanding and evolving. Honor that: there is no shame with growing.
"Shame off you."
Come back, come stand and please, come speak.

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