Am I Over-Thinking It? Debbie Bennett

I’m having a few issues at work at the moment – least said the better, to be honest, but it’s knocked my confidence somewhat and made me think about a lot of things I used to take for granted. Imposter syndrome is hard to deal with and not always helped by other people, and I’m very much a fan of carrots rather than sticks.

I consider myself to be an extroverted introvert. I can put on the persona, wear the outfit and act the part when I need to, but in reality, I enjoy my own company and can happily go days without talking to anybody on the rare occasions it’s possible. I have good friends, yes, but I have a tendency to over-analyse everything like most writers do, I guess. I also have a tendency to speak first and think afterwards – and I have an opinion on absolutely everything, including things about which I know nothing at all. It gets me into trouble.

Which makes me think that nobody is truly who they seem, are they? I was out earlier today with Andy and we passed the old cinema (a beautiful sadly-neglected art-deco building at the wrong end of town that they are slowly destroying with bad renovation – but that’s another story …). On the steps lay a man. He was in an awkward position with his head on the concrete. Everyone was walking past – and I’m slightly ashamed to admit we were no different. Probably just a drunk sleeping it off and nobody wants to get a tirade of abuse and possibly worse by waking a random stranger on a Saturday afternoon.

But what if he’s hurt? What if he’s a diabetic and in a coma? Or had an accident? What if he’s dead? And we’re all just minding our own business and not giving a shit. This is what I’m thinking as we walk to the local café and eat a late lunch after some morning DIY. I’m looking for a local police officer or PCSO, but there’s never anybody around when you need one. And I’m thinking if he’s still there when we get back, I’ll detour to the local police station and ask someone to check him out.

People have their own stories and you never know what else is happening in their lives. People present themselves as the life-and-soul of the party, but in reality they may be breaking apart inside. And we only show the aspects of ourselves that we want other people to see. Being a writer makes you dig a little deeper – get under the skin of our characters and find out what makes them tick. It can be fun to do, but I sometimes think sometimes we translate too much of that into real life. Sometimes it really is just what it seems to be.

The man had gone when we were walking back to the car. Maybe he was just sleeping off a hangover or whatever, after all.


Bill Kirton said…
Such familiar experiences, Debbie, and, like you, I have no answers or advice to offer. Nor will it help you to know that, according to your detailed existential analysis of your 'self', you are me or I am you.
Umberto Tosi said…
Your bravely honest slice of life resonates with me. When I've turned down a dark street of writerly self-negation, I repeat three words to myself: "Don't go there." I usually go there anyway, but it helps me to recognize that my demons are delusional. Best wishes with your current issues, and be assured that you're not an imposter. Too late for that. You've written too many good books.
julia jones said…
Sorry to hear this Debbie. I'd just like to say how grateful I have always for your quality of stepping forward to help any of us on this blog -- and I feel sure that's true of you in life. And when you can't (which is only to be expected) then you say so,m honestly. Just as you're saying here. Please remember to like yourself and give yourself credit for all the good you do

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