A month ago I had my pride hurt a bit by someone I have to see most of the week. The day after, I put a post-it note on my computer at work that reads: an effervescent force of put-together perfection.
I let my pride sting at home, but that pain manifested itself into a new level of motivation to be my absolute best. I didn’t want anyone to think I was anything but okay, regardless of the truth.
Okay, maybe this isn’t the healthiest coping mechanism. I will always be the first to admit that I’m not particularly skilled in letting myself actually feel my emotions, which is a very important thing that you should actually do. But this was never about repressing my emotions – I’ll do that regardless – it was about making sure that I was still the best I could be. Or at least, that I appeared to be so.
I’ve written many times on this blog about my strong belief in the phrase “fake it ’til you make it,” because, let’s be real, who ever feels like they’ve actually made it? No one. Literally no one. “Make it” doesn’t even have a real meaning – no one can measure it or determine it or quantify it. It’s pretty meaningless. But still, it means something to us. We all have an idea of what it means to “make it” in our heads, and by telling ourselves that if we fake something long enough, we will, in fact, “make it,” that gives us the feeling that we can accomplish something great and furthers our general progress in the right direction. Celebrities? Faking it. Scientists? Hopefully not faking it. Other people you admire? Probably faking it.
So that’s what I do. All. the. time. It’s all I know how to do at this point. So when I felt this unfortunate burn a month ago, I wanted nothing more than to fake it even better than before.
I was watching a video the other week where a girl said she thinks people would all be way more successful if they got dumped more, because after someone breaks up with us we all invest more time and effort in ourselves and in growing as a person. Hell, Elle Woods went to law school because of a break up. I wasn’t broken up with, but I shared enough of the same sentiment to have that mentality as well, and I decided that “an effervescent force of put-together perfection” was exactly what I needed to grow into.
This wasn’t going to be something that was easy for me to fake. For one, I am a chronically exhausted person. The thing I fake more than anything is having any sort of energy, in and out of the classroom. Then there was being put-together – I drop things constantly, trip, mess up. I’m a mess. Oh yeah, and effervescent? In a country where celebrities act more animated than some cartoons? I was going to have to step my game the fuck up.
This meant exercising, drinking water and coffee by the buckets, always dressing to impress, actually doing my hair every morning, etc. And you know what? I have not made it. Hell, last week I was so exhausted I barely made it through my classes. But I did feel good. I was looking my best, smiling a lot, laughing a lot. I started going out more on the weekends, and making sure people knew.
And now here we are, a month later, and guess what? My pride’s been stung again. In almost the same way. I have a habit of repeating mistakes. And once again, I find myself back to faking it. My weekly to-do lists now include power posing like Superwoman every day and learning a dance each week to boost my self-confidence. I am going to laugh and smile and act as if I don’t have a care in the world. I am going to be the best version of myself whether I like it or not.
And I do like it. I hate this aching feeling in my chest but I like how motivated I am. I feel more confident already because I know that I am doing things that are good for me. It will take time to see how well I actually stick to these goals, and possibly even more time to see what effect they have on the people around me, if any (ngl, I am doing this for a desired reaction). I do know that, for the most part, people have noticed my appearance. I’m grateful that that’s an immediate reaction. But for the rest, time.
Time heals all wounds. Time is the answer to everything, right? But for now, it’s Monday, I look cute, and I need coffee.