So here's the thing - I've been reading all about this impostor syndrome, and I didn't have it. Women scientists were being getting accolades, and feeling like they didn't deserve it, and I didn't. If anything, I often feel like I get less credit than I deserve. Which, in my mind, could only mean one thing.
I am not successful enough.
See, I don't feel bad about getting deserved props. Because I don't feel bad, that means that I don't deserve props. Which means I must be a terrible, unsuccessful scientist.
I feel bad because I don't feel bad. What the hell?
Is there such a thing as being an impostor impostor? Or am I just a totally arrogant jerkface?
Fortunately, I've just figured out that I do, in fact, have (regular) impostor syndrome. YES!!!! (?)
A couple months ago, I got a letter in the mail from the a Scientific Societies that I am a member of, letting me know that I am on the one of the Technical Committees. I'm only a grad student, and at the time all of the members of the technical committee were "real" scientists. As in, they had already gotten their PhDs, done Post-Docs, and had real jobs. What the heck was I doing in that club?
|I'm a real Technical Committee Member. You can tell by|
the outfit.(In case you haven't seen Catch Me If You Can,
this guy isn't a real pilot, he just has the props.
Fast-forward three months. I get an email from the chair of the Technical Committee. "This is really too much," I thought. "If I show up at their meeting like I belong, they're going to look at me like I'm crazy. I'd better figure this out once and for all."
So I emailed the ex-chair of the committee, and asked him about it. He told me that I was indeed on the Technical Committee, and that membership on the committee was often something given to people who had done some service to the Society.
Finally, I noticed that a fellow (male, but not sure if it's relevant) graduate student also was on the technical committee. I emailed him, and he said that he was also confused until he saw that there were other students on technical committees, and was talking it as a compliment.
I still feel a little confused about why I am on this committee. I can't think of what service I've done to deserve it. But I can't help but feel a little grateful to whoever it was that thought that I deserved that recognition. Thanks for infecting me with my first case of impostor syndrome! I was getting worried that I was immune!
|Still neurotic, but in slightly|
less complicated way.