As some of you might know, I recently started a new job. Or, rather, I moved from an adjunct (part-time) position to a full-time position.
This is good news! It means I'll only be teaching at one school, instead of 2-3, the pay is shockingly better, and I actually have grownup benefits, like health and life insurance. This is all amazing. Like, really, really amazing.
It's so amazing that I haven't really processed it yet. And when I went to my first official meeting as a full-time faculty member, I realized why. Up until that meeting, I fully expected to get a call or an email saying, "Actually, we made a mistake. We don't want you."
When I saw down at that first meeting, and I wasn't kicked out, I realized it wasn't a mistake. They really wanted me. But there's part of me that can't, or won't, accept that. I feel like I don't quite fit in.
I don't fit in because I've never studied or lived abroad.
I don't fit in because my teeth are wonky, thanks to an inability to ever pay for consistent dental care, let alone orthodontist visits.
I don't fit in because I was a community college student my first two years and a state school student for all education after that.
I don't fit in because my parents never went to college so, no, I never got to take advantage of the many opportunities available to me at those state schools because I didn't know about them and it never occurred to me to ask. And, even though I was totally ignorant about many scholarship, internship, and course possibilities, I knew more than my parents, who had no experience dealing with college bureaucracy.
I don't fit in because, instead of summers spent reading and traveling, I worked at group homes to pay my rent. Instead of coming home with stories about my crazy roadtrips with other college students, I came home with black eyes because some genius decided it was time to change a client's meds.
To be fair, my new colleagues have been wonderful; they're kind, funny, and seem to be genuinely excited to have me as a coworker. I'm sure most, if not all, of this BS is in my head and only in my head.
After high school, no one in my classes knew the poverty I grew up in. No one was judging me based on that... except me.
I guess I thought I was over this shit and it's been a surprise that these feelings are coming up so intensely and so frequently, all over again.
Objectively, I know I'm the right person for this job. I know I'm good at my job. So why don't I feel that I'm good enough? That I belong? And how can I change that?
Can we ever get over our childhood bullshit?