I’m a nerd. I like school. I like learning. I like showing off how much I know in exams. Hermione in Harry Potter? That’s me down to the insufferable tone – I can’t help it if I am always right!
I purposefully chose a field where there is a right and a wrong. Sure, there is a lot of professional judgment in accounting and finance, but some stances are more right than others. It isn’t a matter of feelings, or intuitions – there is a set of rules to play by and the name of the game is who can best make those rules work. My opinions are defensible because they are based on logic and knowledge. My criticism of others’ opinions is also legit, as long as I can back it up using the same tools. If I fuck up, it is not a reflexion of who I am, but an error in application of knowledge. Accounting & finance is the playground by which I can let my intelligence shine, without being hampered by my usual insecurities of my self – because my self has nothing to do with anything.
10 years ago, my mother laughed at me when I told her I was going back to school in Accounting. She thought I was playing some twisted joke on her: I was entirely too creative to shove myself into an environment that is so rigid and standardized. She was underestimating my crippling insecurities that undermined every creative impulse in my body. I didn’t want to express my individuality – that was too painful a risk. A lot has happened since then. I’ve worked through a lot of the insecurities and broken bits in myself that fed my recurring depression and anxiety. I’ve accepted (more or less) vulnerability. This blog has been instrumental in helping me integrate the various sides to my personality, and to learn to be compassionate towards myself. Over the past 2 years, I’ve learned to enjoy writing. I need it, as much as I need to breathe.
When I first started this blog, I was petrified – I didn’t believe I had a voice worth listening to. The steady growth of followers and regular readers (both friends and strangers) has taught me that my voice resonates with others. I might not be sharing groundbreaking philosophy; I might never cause a significant cultural shift. All I do is write about my day-to-day average life with honesty – my struggles and my moments of enjoying this weird phenomenon of adulting. I’ve come to realize that my experiences are not unique – guys and girls have reached out to me to say “me too”. We all go through the same shit, with minor variations. Sure, some people go through extreme versions of life. But emotions? We all go through the same ones. By putting words to these emotions and insecurities, all I am doing is saying “It is ok to feel this way. I will not be ashamed of how I feel, because how I feel informs who I am, and I will learn to be proud of my imperfect self.” A reader of mine (a woman I’ve never met, who discovered my blog through a mutual friend) told me this past weekend that my blog “does put words on certain feelings and insecurities for women, which I believe is an important thing. Ours is a culture of body shaming and of strange competition between women; any time somebody decides to turn it into a positive sharing experience, it bring us more together and humanizes parts of ourselves we are often ashamed of.” I know I should probably be humbled by that, but I am not. I am grateful and elated. When I read those words I fist-pumped myself and uttered some bizarre guttural war-cry (in the middle of a crowded downtown Montreal street #noshame). Would that we could all find our voices, and if my journey can spur on someone else’s… Amazing.
Today, I took the next step in fulfilling my mother’s vision for me, and in developing my voice. I registered and paid for my first course in my diploma in creative writing. I’m finally doing something concrete to shift my dream of being a comedic writer into the realm of possibilities. I’m scared, because this time, there is no playground with pre-established rules. This time I am putting my self on the line. This time I am ready.