There’s a voice inside my head, and sometimes it says really mean things. It whispers in my ear, slowly chipping away at my confidence. Oh my gosh, it says, that was so stupid. Why did you say that? It sucks the air out of my lungs and makes the walls close in so tight around me I just want to scream. What must they all think of you? It punches and kicks and beats the shit out of me sometimes. And I thought maybe--just maybe--once I got a good job, once I got married, once I became “successful”, the voice would go away. Instead I’m beginning to understand that it will never go away, and the only way to shut it up is to practice shutting it up every day.