7/365 Walks, Cemeteries and Imposter Syndrome


I’ve walked nearly 5 miles today according to my Fitbit. Started with a sedate trot down Fordel Road with our oversized, now unwanted, Christmas tree. Now deposited at one of Lewisham Council’s designated Christmas graves inside the boundary of Mountsfield Park.

I decided to go walk further, down the length of Torridon Road, along Hazelbank, towards Hither Green Cemetery. Once there I’d found my groove, walking the perimeter of the massive graveyard, through the gap in the hedge, and around the considerably more idyllic Garden of Remembrance with it’s carefully contoured mounds, winding paths and occasional park benches.

Cemeteries are fodder for the imagination. Gravestones detail names and dates, and hint at endless possibilities. The certainties – birth and death provide the bookends. But to the casual observer ambling by everything else in between needs colouring in. There are a wealth of real-life stories waiting to be discovered, some that want to remain forgotten, and others that wait to be discovered. Then there are those we create – reflections of our own personalities. Cemeteries aren’t dark places – they’re potent places.

Later on we attended a concert at the Festival Hall. Those who know me reasonably well know that classical music is my escape. I love most things about it and regard the venues in which it is played as destinations in themselves. It’s where I feel most at home.

Tonight’s concert was the final gig in the NYO’s winter tour. Read my review for the detail. I cried. I couldn’t help myself. It was the sight of two players in the bass section working together to deliver what most overlook as insignificant detail in my most favourite of symphonies that really pushed me over the edge.

I put down my notebook and let everything wash over me. They were incredible to watch. Remarkable to consider that at 18 years old those players were born at around about the time I introduced The Husband to the symphony they were playing.

Writing about the concerts I attend is what I enjoy doing most. At the same time I always experience imposter syndrome whenever I turn up at the press desk and collect my ticket. It’s seems a rather odd thing to go through so regularly. I suspect that’s what keeps me hungry, humble, and critically engaged. I always hope that those in the industry know how appreciative I am to be included. But sometimes when I attend these events I’m never entirely sure.

“It’s a common experience,” says The Husband as we sit down to the second half, “Even the most senior people complain about not thinking they deserve to be there.” He’s right, of course. Maybe a bit of imposter syndrome is healthy to keep us all in check.

This year I’m returning to my blogging roots and writing a daily journal.

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