Please Stop Making Me Feel Like An Imposter
The worst part about being young is that everyone makes assumptions and no one takes you seriously, and where does that leave us?
“Oh, well, you’re young — it must be so much easier for you!” Like getting up at 4:00 in the morning should be easy for anyone.
“You look so young! You know, you’ll appreciate that one day.” Like I don’t appreciate it now.
“You’re still young; just wait a few years and you’ll feel differently.” Like I can’t be positive that I will never want children, just because I’m only 25.
The trouble with being young, it seems, is that everybody makes assumptions about you and nobody takes you seriously.
My fiancé and I bought our first house last month. The entire week leading up to our closing date, I felt very conscious of the fact that everything was not taken care of, and a lot of it was out of my hands so there was nothing I could do to hurry it along except to stay on top of the people who were supposed to be on top of it. Like our realtor.
When I texted her I tried to be concise, getting straight to the point, but also firm, conveying how important this was and how it needed to be done as soon as possible. I guess I was looking for a response like, “No, I don’t have it yet but I will get it to you as soon as I do,” or “Yes, I’ll send you a copy” or even a more specific note that she was waiting to receive confirmation from the pest control company before sending us anything. Instead, she completely brushed me off.
Later we learned that there was a lot happening at the real estate office around this time, so it was more understandable that she was probably trying to balance a lot and didn’t have the time or energy for hand-holding. But even if the wait was typical, there was no way that we as first-time buyers could have known that, and it was her job to take point on communication, which she was failing to do. When I tried to initiate that necessary communication, her response was to not take me as seriously as I was taking the entire process.
I’m tired of not being taken seriously.
I run into this problem with my family a lot, too, particularly when my lifestyle is different from theirs: they don’t take my job seriously. (Not that that’s going to matter anymore because I’m about to lose it, and then they can just run with the notion that they were right all along.) They scoff at the idea that a pet should be part of the family.
I always find it hard to explain things to them, too, in a way that they wouldn’t make a face or roll their eyes at. This leaves me in a position of feeling like I constantly need to do research just to have facts to back up anything I ever say, just to live my life. It leaves me in a position of feeling like it’s just easier, and wiser, not to speak. Because children — even adult children — “should be seen and not heard,” as the old adage goes.
What about when the child or adult has something to say? Conversations are how people connect with each other, exchange ideas, and learn things. A younger person is not going to learn anything from being made to feel like they don’t know what they’re talking about, except that it’s better not to speak up at all.
What would’ve happened if Malala Yousafzai hadn’t spoken up? Or Barack Obama, or Martin Luther King Jr.? Where would the world be if these voices, and others like them, with something to say, hadn’t spoken up? If they hadn’t been taken seriously?
I don’t presume to compare myself to these amazing people. I just want to point out that there is nothing to be gained from us making assumptions about each other, not listening to other people’s perspectives, and promoting imposter culture. There’s nothing to be gained from us not taking one another seriously.