dear imposter syndrome, most kindly fuck off

First of all: I know you nerds are reading this. Carry on.

Second of all: Cheese and crackers, what a month! I fell head over heels in love with a new fandom, I came out, I spent an amount of money that I’m not necessarily *not* proud of on my hair… it was a heck of an October.

But the pesky voices fucking persist, as they usually do.

Psst. Hey. HEY. You’re just a straight, cis girl trying to get attention.

Oh, fuck. OFF.

I am so tired of my brain trying to invalidate me. You know why I’ve started using they/them pronouns, slowly but surely? Because it makes ME happy. It makes ME feel better. And I’m ready for that to be a good enough reason.

And, to be clear, I adore attention. I always have, and I suspect I always will. Let me hold court, let me tell you my stories, let me spill my guts over all of us. I have no secrets worth keeping, no sense of self worth preserving. I will tell you (most likely) anything.

(I have secrets worth keeping now. It makes me feel cool. I am decidedly not cool.)

But I’m learning that I don’t have to speak everything aloud. That I can keep some things nestled in a little envelope, tucked into my pocket for safekeeping. Because telling some secrets is just to make *me* feel better, and not to help anyone else.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: let me tell you my secrets, let me go ahead and make all of the jokes that can be made about myself. Loud, gangly, ridiculous creature-thing. They are needy and they talk too much, and *I* hate them, too.

But I will make you like me with words. I will come at you from the side with jokes and with feelings, and maybe you will like me. And, if you like me, maybe I don’t have to.

Here is what I know: A little over a week ago, someone dear to me referred to me as “they” in casual conversation, and it meant the world to me. I recounted that story tonight, and I wept. And that is enough. I doubt my body and my brain and my worth, but I will not doubt my truth nor my heart. I do not know that I am doing this right. I do not know that I am right. But I know that I feel better, and the days are getting darker, and, once again, maybe this is ENOUGH.

I will call you what you wish to be called, for no other reason than that is what you wish. I trust you, and I believe in you. I adore you. You are so very good. You are the arbiter of your body and your self and your name.

I don’t need to change anything. I don’t need to be skinnier or cooler for this to “count.” I have been “Dani” since the fourth grade. Not “Danielle.” Not “Danny.” I knew, but I didn’t have all the right words. And now there are words that make sense to me, and I am deliriously happy. And I am also completely fucking terrified. I am afraid that you are judging me, because I am kind of judging me.

(Oh, no. I am still speaking everything aloud.)

And I know you are out there. I know that you’re reading. I’m so absurdly proud of you.

And you are there too. And I have always been proud of you. You make me want to be better. Thank you. I am getting there.

And whoever else is out there… nothing about you is wrong. Reject that fucking bullshit. We are not our diseases or our insecurities or our heartpangs. We are just our glorious selves, frayed edges and sharp corners and unsightly blobs and all.

We are beautiful, and that means that I am beautiful, and I am ready to be beautiful.

As always, this comes back down to dear Uncle Walt:

We are large, we contain multitudes.

Knock ’em dead, tiger.

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