Βρεκεκεκὲξ κοὰξ κοάξ
A bit of a rabbit hole here.
As part of my masters of teaching, we've spent a lot of time on the concept of self reflection and the benefits of that. So the last few weeks it's been something that I've engaged quite a bit in and... I feel quite lost haha. I know what I'm supposed to be, but I don't know who I actually am. I find myself adjusting my behaviour and the way I talk depending on the situation and it all feels like a scrambled mess of disingenuity. Sure I could say that I'm the amalgamation of all of those different sides but I wish it was a bit more straightforward. If I'm being entirely honest, sometimes I'll get all mixed up between the different sides and then when I actually look and reflect upon what I'm conveying it just seems so strange. I don't even recognise it as coming from myself!
A more obvious online example would be my use of the term 'lmao'. It's weird to say but that has never been a word that I relate to or would imagine myself using. In fact, for the longest time I exclusively used it here until it started to bleed out into other contexts. And I actually kinda hate it. Yeah, I laugh a lot in real life but... I don't know. How am I supposed to be a teacher when I'm constantly saying 'lmao' or not bothering to capitalise letters when I'm just rambling on discord? It just doesn't equate with this idea of an educated professional that I'm supposed to be working towards. But I do and it's a part of who I am. But at the same time it's not.
I don't even know if this makes sense!
I always imagined that as an adult something would finally click in my head and I'd feel like an adult with a clear vision of my role and what I'm supposed to do and how I'm supposed to act. But I don't. And that's kinda stressful! This thought process certainly isn't unique to me, but nevertheless it's here now haha.
These concerns are pretty normal for many people at some point, so I hope you don't beat yourself up about it.
Even as a teacher you retain the right to be a person.
My sister has been a teacher for years and she uses ‘lol’ a lot on the family WhatsApp and stuff. She didn’t stop being herself when she became a teacher.
‘lmao’ is just an easy way of expressing via typing that you found something funny. Typing ‘ha ha ha ha!’ sometimes comes across as sarcastic or like a Bond villain. Unless you say ‘lmao’ in real life with your real voice outside of online communication then it shouldn’t be a problem. I think it is unlikely you’d use it when behaving as a teacher in that context!
I know 'lmao' was just an example, but the same goes for anything.
There's also nothing wrong with having to put on different faces for different contexts. It doesn't always have to mean that you are not you or that you are living a lie. It just means that you recognise that you might not be able to behave one way in a particular context, but you can in another. To use a Final Fantasy XIV analogy, you might select lighter gear and robes and staffs when you play as a White Mage, but heavier gear and a massive choppy axe when you switch to a Warrior. You heal people with one role, act as a defensive tank with the other. Both roles are still you but the circumstances and the way you play the game change entirely. The same can be true of life.
I'm still figuring stuff out too.
Btw imposter syndrome is incredibly common. A lot of famous, successful authors, scholars, anything at all, have it. People often think that they are lesser than other people, because they are conscious of their own doubts and their own insecurities whereas they don't get to peek beyond the masks of others to realise that many other people are suffering in the same way.