Late last week, after I had stood in front of the Austin City Council, rushing through a presentation on why Austin should accommodate green burials in their cemeteries, it finally occurred to me that my imposter syndrome appears in moments of both prosperity and trauma.
This causes me to push away from the positive momentum I’ve built or heal from the pain I am dealing with. It’s not a groundbreaking revolution but I do see it as progress in terms of my mental health. At least now I know part of what is going on.
The rest of what is going on is out of my control, which I realized when I looked around the room waiting to address the council. They do not give feedback nor do they express anything that looks like encouragement or discouragement while you talk. The woman ahead of me gave a passionate plea for kindness in schools and sang a song in French as a parting expression of this. It was moving, but in the vortex of emotion it went nowhere. I realized my voice would fall just as flat.
I did it anyway as it is important for me not to hold onto any expectations of the outcomes. I appreciated the exercise in public speaking; the chance to share my vision with city leaders who may or may not give a shit. It is on me to continue to follow up, making the presentation public and sending it to the cemetery manager. All these things I want to create or to heal from are only powered by me and I continue to be amazed at the way my brain will sabotage my ability to do both.