How I Know

I think this is true of many, many people, though most of us keep it hidden: even though I may seem self-confident and capable, on the inside I actually feel like rather a fraud. I have enough self-doubt and -criticism to make me question why anyone likes me, or whether I really can do the job and so on.

It seems like most people have that insecurely chewy center in the middle of our hard shells. Even though I am a very happy person who feels amazingly blessed in a myriad of ways, I always have that hesitant, unsure, oddball inner girl to console.

And yet, I know I must be pretty darn amazing.

I know because I am married to one of the most wonderful man I've ever met. He is brilliant and loving and all-around awesome; he says he loves me, acts like he likes me, too, and he keeps coming home. So I know.

I know because I have the two best sons anyone could have. They are fine, honorable, beautiful men who I am immensely proud of. I also know because my son's girlfriend treats me like a mom (and not a scary Marie Barone kind of mom, either). So I know.

I know because there are some incredible people who are willing to be my friends. Insightful, discerning, funny, intelligent, accomplished, brave, beautiful, well-balanced people who actually will hang out with me. People I have worked with are willing to be my friend. If you can spend 8+ hours a day with me and not want to bludgeon me with a keyboard, I must alright. People who supervised me and (a few of the) people who were supervised by me are willing to be my friend. People who have seen me at my worst: angry, or scared, or bitchy, or just plain quirky, are willing to be my friend. Even people who have lived right in my neighborhood are willing to be my friend! So I know.

I know because people tell me their stories. They tell me their secrets, their sorrows and their joys. Strangers, even, will tell me their stories. They will take time out of their busy day to tell me something that is true and real and deep about themselves. So I know.

I know because people laugh at my jokes (well, some people laugh at some of my jokes), they read what I write, eat what I cook, stay at my house and sometimes they try a wine or a book I suggest. So I know.

When I stop for a moment to look at the people who are willing to share their time and their heart with me, I realize that the uncertain little girl inside has nothing to worry about. Because all of these people let me know.