It was an interesting conjunction. I’d posted a tweet about the character Chrisjen Avasarala on The Expanse and statement necklaces. This one:
I’ve never been one for big necklaces, but the combination of using Zoom for more interactions and watching Chrisjen Avasarala on The Expanse has me browsing through statement necklaces that I don’t have the budget for and I’m not sure I’m brave enough to wear.https://twitter.com/SandraTayler/status/1357005498059350016
It was getting some interaction with twitter friends. At the same time I was in a Zoom writer date and during one of the pauses a fellow writer asked me what I was working on. I started talking about the work I’ve been doing to prep for the next class I’m teaching online. She then said something like “Wow you’re so amazing” with a tone that also suggested that she felt out of place and insecure. I was immediately hit with a desire to shrink. I felt like I was being too shiny, too impressive and I needed to tone myself down so that I wouldn’t make my friend uncomfortable.
So here I am sitting and looking squarely at that desire to not outshine others, and my own words about not feeling brave enough to wear a statement necklace. I think both are things I need to get over. I’m consciously trying to claim my own competence and to not apologize for having it. Even when that competence is based in acquired experience and study rather than an official degree or certification. This is part of granting myself permission as I wrote about a few weeks ago. Shrinking myself to fit in doesn’t actually make anyone else feel more secure in themselves, while me stepping forward to own my abilities might show them a path where they claim theirs. If I’m standing tall, I’m in a better position to help others and make space for them to grow too.
I think again about the character of Chrisjen Avasarala. She owns the screen every time she is on it, dressed gorgeously, making hard choices, willing to apologize for mistakes, but never apologizing for being herself. I can try to be a bit more like that, with or without necklaces.