It is uneasy to be an immigrant. It is challenging for a woman to grow her career, esp here. The amount of hurtles one has to go through is unimaginable, if you are both the former and the latter.
Growing up as a single child with working parents, I was mostly raised by my aunt. I didn’t really ‘move in’ to my parents’ apartment till I started high school. May be I was on my own for the most of the time, I found myself never get used to be taken care of or being adored by someone. Not until I reached adulthood did I realize that I’ve developed a sense of ‘rejection’ or uneasiness when someone shows kindness to me.
I tended to think that people must be ‘crazy’ when they complimented me. I always thought that I don’t deserve all these attention as I am not good enough. Years of ‘self-doubt’ (aka in medical term: impostor syndrome) has buried my body and soul with tremendous amount of pressure. Like Tina Fey said about herself “Oh God, they‘re on to me! I’m a fraud!”
As I thrived in my career, I met many brilliants thought leaders and managers. They became my mentors, my good friends and inspirations. But deep down, I still have that ‘uneasiness’ when I face them. I question “why would they give up their schedule to meet me?” I still tend to call myself ‘fraud’ when I see someone stepping up to advocate for me. Emotionally, I am torn between the feelings of “am I really a fraud?” and “do I really deserve this?”
Crazy, huh? At times, I looked at my Linkedin profile and whispered “you fake this whole resume!”. But then I can come up with samples and facts to justify every accomplishment I wrote.
When I had my miscarriage, the darkest side of me would say “yes, you deserve it. Because you have been a fraud all your life!”
Since I broke the news of my miscarriage to my mentor from work, he messaged me with encouraging words and compliments. I didn’t really know how to respond or stay engaged with him other than sending him many thank you notes. Since I am no longer working in that company, technically speaking, there is no benefits for him to continue mentoring me. Yet, he’s never given up on me. He emailed me before vacation and had his secretary to schedule 1:1, despite his busy executive schedule. He told me he has been thinking about my work situation and wants to send my resume to his allies. He coached me how to make a pitch to recruiter; he is thinking all types of strategy for my next career destination.
“Olivia, some people would stand up again after they fall. They would keep on going and do their jobs. But you don’t just do your job. You set your bar high and exceed the expectation. You are in the category that I admire…” he said today.
My emotion went from “am I being a fraud?”, “why is he doing this to me?” to “let accept his kindness and be grateful”.
This immediately brought me to gratification and peace. I accept that he is my advocate ; I accept that he is always out there looking after me and showing me positivity.
I am not thinking about how my career will turn out from this point. I just want to focus on myself, my well-being.