Fake it til you make it

I’ve made it to Austin, the last stop of #theminibigtrip. I had a phenomenal ten days in Seattle, which now feels months away, followed by a week full of love and connection and gorgeous scenery in Colorado. The nature of my time in both places was very different, as I was visiting with just one friend in Seattle, but caught up with close to thirty good friends in Colorado. Needless to say, my time in Colorado moved quickly, and I did a shit-ton of talking.

I told my stories over and over, catching up with each friend a little differently - some over coffee, some over a hike, some over a home-cooked meal or a late-night bottle of red. Some got the juicy details, some the quick overview. After all the explanations of what I’m up to and where I’ve been and where I’m going and the main projects and the side projects I’m working on, one thing became apparent to me: I’ve got a lot going on.

It wasn’t until I started summarizing it for other people that I realized what my big picture looks like at the moment – that I started giving myself credit for how far I’ve come and everything I'm working on. Many of my friends responded to my updates by saying things like, “Wow, you’re really doing it!” to which I replied, “I’m just faking it… really really well.”

I’m moving forward - I’m acting like the person I want to be instead of waiting to become her. I’m starting the side projects that seemed like pipe dreams. I’m committing to things I always thought I’d do eventually, now. I’m making plans to travel and host retreats and speak in front of a few hundred people. And by telling my dozens of friends in Colorado about it, I’m locked in (shit, now I guess I’ve told all of you, too). By discussing my dreams they become plans. I stopped using the words “hopefully,” and “we’ll see,” and started saying, “I will.” I’m taking all the steps I can to do the things I’ve wanted to do, and trusting that the rest of the details will catch up with me. What choice do they have?

Because at some point, that line between faking it and being it gets blurred. And while you thought you were just painting a good picture this whole time, you suddenly hear yourself giving an honest update and realize you’ve actually become the thing you thought you were pretending to be. Because what really is the difference? You’re either doing it, or you’re not.

That line really just exists in your head, in your own perception of yourself.

One friend said how she felt so inspired by the life I’ve created – based on what she sees on social media, that is. “I’m sure there’s another side that I don’t see, though,” she said. I thought about it, and told her, “No, it’s all real,” even surprising myself a bit with the realization. It’s always been important to me to be genuine, to not put up a façade. I’ve always been an open book – sometimes too open – and while I try to keep some parts of my life more private (really I’m just saving it for my book), absolutely nothing I ever put out into the world is manufactured. What you see is what you get.

For example, I’ll tell you that it’s just about midnight here in Austin, and I’m sitting on an air mattress in my friend’s living room as I write. I literally always leave my newsletter til the last minute, and especially this week didn’t know what I would write until I sat down to start. I’ve come to accept this as my “process,” instead of beating myself up for not getting it done earlier. I always feel like I have to write more, like it has to be some life-altering insight every week. But to be honest, this is all I got this time.

Tomorrow night the grand finale of #theminibigtrip begins, as my friend and I are going to see Beyoncé on the last night of her tour in Houston. Friday night we’ll see the Alabama Shakes – a band that kinda kicked off this journey of mine almost four years ago, and has punctuated it ever since. Saturday morning, I’ll fly home. I already have plans to meet up with my bestie and order pizza from our favorite place that night.

That’s all real. The Beyoncé show wasn’t part of the original plan, but I booked the flights and planned the trip and two free tickets came our way. It’s easy for me to feel like I just got lucky in this case, my friend having a hookup that scored us the tickets, but again where is that line between faking it and doing it? I’m really going – isn’t that doing it?

And my flights for this trip – one was booked with miles, the others I took the best deal. Which means Saturday will be a long day, as I have a connection and am flying in to Newark, probably the least convenient of the NYC airports for me. But I didn’t wait until I could book first class seats on all direct flights. I wanted to travel and visit my friends, so I did.

It’s easy to let our egos get in the way of our dreams sometimes, to think it all has to look a certain way or it’s not worth doing at all. We think certain things have to be in place, all our ducks in a row, a certain sum in the bank or credential on our resume. We wait for that “perfect time,” and it never comes, and everything stays the same. But you just have to start where you are, with what you have. And before you know it, what feels like faking it, becomes actually doing it.


How can you fake it today?


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