Yes sometimes I have them.
Today I felt like I was part of the world again. We had an event at St. Mary’s for Sonya Kovalevsky day in honor of the first woman to get a PhD in Mathematics. She truly was an exceptional woman and her experiences are quite inspiring. We had the 7th grade girls from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (where I volunteer) come to the campus and participate in a day of fun math activities and guest speakers introducing the girls to the professional and academic world of advanced mathematics.
I’m always so dreadfully nervous of these things. Partly because of my social anxiety and partly because of the impostor syndrome. I get really uncomfortable when someone asks me questions. It feels as if they’re trying to expose me. Logically and objectively I know that this feeling is irrational. But emotionally it wrecks my mind.
But today was different. I did a series of presentations with a math major friend of mine. I wasn’t scared. I couldn’t believe how calm I was. When they asked questions, I knew the answers. I figured out the most efficient way to run the presentation and it worked so well. I think it’s because me and this girl naturally click well together, but it felt like there was also something else. Like things were just in some sort of alignment. I was prepared, I wasn’t terrified of the people talking to me. I wasn’t nervous of being seen. It’s so hard to put it into words, but I finally felt like a person. Like my emotions, my mental state and my physical state were finally connected and working in unison. I didn’t feel like I was on the outside just watching the events unfold. I was actually an integral part of the event.
Today was an exceptional day.