Sunday, September 30, 2012
Fake it until you make it
So, I took off my glasses and went to school. Since I was, in effect, blind without them and unable to distinguish the faces I passed in the hall, I cheerfully greeted everyone. I was no longer a shy girl. Instead, I was a girl who didn’t know a stranger -- literally.
That shy girl still lives inside of me, however. My natural inclination is to avoid things that make me fearful, and people are high on that list. I still have the same fear of rejection or sounding stupid. I fear it right now as I write this column, but I’ve done it anyway.
I read a quote recently by a hero of mine and most girls from the 1980s, Michael J. Fox. He said, “What other people think of me is not my business.”
When I’m expressing my opinion or, sometimes, even dressing for the day, I repeat this. And it helps.
As the years went on, I’ve continued to “fake it until I made it.” My first writing job is a good case in point. I went to the local business expo to allow the kids to sample some candy and pick up a few freebies.
“Why don’t you get a job while you’re there?” my husband teased.
“I believe I will,” I retorted, not amused.
As fate would have it, an editor for a regional magazine was there. My son, who is not shy, began chatting with her, and I suppressed my shy inner self and asked, “Do you need any local writers? I have an English degree.”
“Sure!” she said, and pressed her card into my hand. Days later she called and arranged to meet me.
“Oh, and bring your clips,” she said.
I assured her I would, hung up the phone and immediately googled clips. In case you are wondering, they are writing samples, and I didn’t have any. So, determined to be able to tell my husband that I had, indeed, gotten a job, I searched through our hot attic until I found my old college term papers.