It's a Thursday night, and our neighbors are having A Grown-Up Party.
Luxury sedans line the street, and a gaggle of folks are enjoying their hosts' lovely brick patio and brand-new outdoor fireplace. There's scrumptious food and music that's fun but not too much. They probably even have some sort of signature cocktail.
I'm trying not to be the weird neighbor who looks out the window and watches. This is actually not that hard, seeing as how I'm busy cleaning up dog pee. Inside my house.
At least my dogs had the good sense to run outside, do their business (or not), then come back in with no fuss or barking. It's like they realized that we, as a pack, aren't classy enough to mix with the gentry next door. We should just cower in our house. You know, the house where a bunch of the front bushes died over the winter, so the whole place looks slightly "crazy cat lady meets 'Sanford and Son?'" That house?
Clearly, I am faking being a grown up.
I've always felt like I was faking being a writer, too. Because, you know, writing professionally for 15 years and blogging for 7 years don't count. Clearly, I was just pulling a fast one.
My recent writing workshop adventures made me rethink that. At some point during the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, between sessions and explaining that "I write about dogs and boobs?" Somewhere in there, I had an epiphany.
I'm a real writer.
I texted BFF and admitted this discovery to her. Because she's brilliant, her response was, "Jeez, YOU THINK?"
And my book club girls, upon hearing this same discovery? They were all like, "No shit." But then I asked, "Don't you guys ever feel like impostors, like you're going to be found out at any moment and outed for not knowing what you're doing?"
Ohhh. They all had that going for them in 1 area or another. Being a "real writer" just happens to be my personal sweet spot.
And yet we all drudge along, sure that everyone is smarter, more talented, more together, and just plain better.
We are so dumb.
We're all faking it 'til we make it. There are no grown ups. It's just us, over-grown kids that we are, trying to figure it all out, and still amazed that we can buy beer. None of us know what we're doing.
But we do know. If we're honest and willing to toot our own horns, we have areas of expertise. Mine are putting words together and making grilled-cheese sandwiches. I'm pretty happy with 2 solid life skills. I need to become more comfortable owning these mad skillz. You need a cheese-based meal or some web copy? I am your woman.
Throwing Grown-Up Parties isn't in my skill set, and that's OK. My skills are valuable, and my story is valuable, and I need to own them.
What's in your skill set?