This month marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. This milestone prompted me to revisit my very first blog post. It isn’t the first entry on this website. It is instead a piece I wrote 21 months before StillADancingQueen.com even existed. Yet, it was without a doubt the beginning.
It is called “Faking it,” and I wrote it at the end of the first staycation I had ever taken. Fresh off a week at home with my husband and daughter, I sobbed in anguish the night before I returned to a job that was sucking the life out of me. I felt trapped, frustrated and unable to change.
Writing was the only way I knew how to express my feelings. By turning my emotions into words on a page, I unknowingly etched them into my subconscious where slowly but surely they did their work.
They quietly pushed me to reevaluate my life. That night when I questioned how much longer I could fake it, I finally started moving toward a life that felt real.
So in celebration of my blog’s birthday, I am sharing this tucked away post with you. It's surprisingly nerve-racking to share something written so long ago, but I hope that it inspires you to make whatever changes you may want to make to become your most authentic self. Thanks for reading.
From January 2011:
I’m faking it. At last I’ve said it. I’m a big, fat faker. No, not the big O kind of faking it. Much worse than that. I’m talking about the kind of intensive acting skills required when you realize and finally accept that the path you are on is no longer taking you where you want to go—and at least for the moment there is no outlet.
Professionally speaking, I’ve been pulling things out of my ass for two decades. For the most part, my acts of deception were based on passion and ambition. Taking on more than I should and hoping no one would catch on that I didn’t have a clue. My motto when feeling overwhelmed was: “fake it until you make it.” And it worked. I took on jobs I was under qualified for and excelled beyond expectations. I climbed the career ladder and never looked down.
The problem is that I was always looking up and never looking around. My focus was on what level I could attain next and how I would meet the expectations of others. Most of my life was based on gaining the respect of others by being what I thought they needed me to be. It didn’t occur to me to think about who I thought I should be.
And then a combination of factors hit. I gave birth to a daughter and I entered my mid-30s. Somehow what other people thought doesn’t hold quite the same weight any more now that I have a being whose very survival is reliant upon my decisions. And being the person that everyone turns to for help, for advice, for answers to questions that seem trivial and mundane has lost its appeal.
I kept pretending I was the same person and I even fooled myself for about a year. But as my daughter has grown over the last three years, and I’ve pondered what it is that I want to teach her about life, I’ve begun to realize that by staying the same course, day in and day out, I’ve lost my way.
So now I find myself stagnant in the middle of my path, not quite knowing what to do. I am the breadwinner for my family and that isn’t likely to change for another year when my husband finishes graduate school.
I’ve gotten by using very poor acting skills for the last year and a half or so, but I no longer have the energy or the drive to keep faking it. What’s more, I don’t want to wait for my new life to begin. For the first time, I see glimmers of who I want to be and where I want to go. And instead of fearing the future and where it will take me, I find myself suppressing the urge not to run toward my future at warp speed.
So, how can I keep faking it for the next year when I know the gig is up?”
I remember distinctly the night I wrote these words. Change took time and it required taking a long, hard look at everything. Some of the decisions I’ve made since that night were difficult; most were surprisingly easy once I started listening to my heart.
Life was often emotionally uncomfortable. Yet my discomfort never stemmed from making a wrong choice. It stemmed from finally facing and accepting the parts of me that I had previously rejected or ignored.
Slowly, I am learning to embrace the whole of me, not just the pieces I like and want others to see. Slowly, I’m learning to move in life’s sweet spot. Slowly, I’m becoming a true dancing queen.
I hope you are, too.