It is April. I am in Brussels at the Midi Train Station. Transitioning from Amsterdam to London.
I step up to the British Customs Agent. He is the fourth customs agent I have been in front in the last five days. The second today.
He asks me a question no one has yet to ask me.
“What do you do.”
I stare blankly at him. Is this a trick question?
“I am a writer.”
He does a double take. Looks down at my passport. Looks up at me.
He raises his eyebrows.
The critic in my head begins. “Who do you think you are? Who do you think you’re fooling? Do you think you can get away with lying to this official?”
I shush her.
I allow my heart to answer him.
“Yes. I am a writer.”
And I smile.
And he smiles back.
“I hope London inspires you.”
I thank him. And I walk away to join JB.
And I know that I won’t allow the critic in my head to quiet the still voice of my heart. For I have announced to the world, that I am a writer.
Great post. Why is it so much easier to listen to our internal critic than it is for us to listen to the internal and external voices that congratulate us and cheer us on? I am working to restore the proper balance.
I know that our inner critics are here in existence to keep us safe – physically and emotionally. But then, it begins to stifle us. The more courageous we are, the more courageous we can be.
And thank you, Roxanne. I value your opinion so much because I think you are such a wonderful writer.
This was an excellent narrative. I love how you said you “shooshed” your inner critic. I think we should declare this every day!
Thank you so much, Elizabeth. I was so scared, afraid he would see through me and refuse to let me get on the train to London. But once I said it, it was what I said to every other customs agent who asked afterwards!