The voice that poisons my pride

A+photo+not+from+sophomore+year%2C+but+junior+year.+It%27s+close+enough.+

A photo not from sophomore year, but junior year. It’s close enough.

May of sophomore year, my name, along with Ashlyn and Courtney’s, was displayed on the whiteboard as 2019-2020’s Editor-in-Chiefs. I was 16, and at that moment, it seemed like everything I had ever wanted in the world was at my fingertips. 

Every day since May of 2019, I have battled the vicious voice in my head that hisses “you don’t deserve this” or “you’re not good enough” or “this is too hard—you should give up. You can’t handle it.” Wrapping its tenacious tendrils around me, the venom in this voice’s words sting—and it’s relentless. 

That sunny sixteen-year-old day seems so far away. I’m nearly 18, and I should be proud of all that I accomplished the past four years as part of The Central Trend: the monthly awards, the MIPA awards, surpassing 100,000 views my sophomore year, the 200+ stories under my name, and the two Editor-in-Chief plaques on the wall commemorating my time as a member of TCT

I recognize it all, and I am honored to be where I am today. 

But it’s that voice. The voice that doesn’t rest. The voice that clouds all those achievements—that poisons my pride. The voice that begs me to give up, to succumb to its relentless grip. 

Because being Editor is hard—something that nobody will ever understand unless they are in the position. Something I didn’t understand until my first day as an official Editor-in-Chief. 

It’s even harder when the voice that doesn’t rest constantly belittles my achievements and my qualifications and my worth. And me. 

I’m not a naive fourteen-year-old in WFP anymore. I’m a nearly eighteen-year-old Editor who those young writers in WFP look up to, just as I once looked up to the Editors during my freshman and sophomore years. 

It’s difficult to lead when you are constantly doubting yourself. 

Never a natural leader, never one to raise my hand first or offer my opinion loudest, it’s easy for me to question my ability to lead both WFP and TCT to greatness. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t take a loud person to lead, but, two years later, I’m still not at the point where I am confident in myself. I am still not at the point where I can truly be proud of myself. 

I’ve climbed mountains to get where I am now, in which I simply recognize the dedication it took to earn those two Editor plaques, and I’m nearly at the top of yet another mountain where I’ll be able to look back on all those achievements with pride. 

But, right now, I just can’t. The voice is relentless. Every single day, it tells me I’m not good enough, that I’m not working hard enough, that I don’t deserve this. 

Maybe one day I’ll be free of its grip—the day I stop gasping for air is the day that I will truly be proud.