This post was inspired by this image that I found online:
All of the following should probably be qualified by the following disclaimer: I’m not entirely sure if I actually am “an adult”. I mean, I live independently, have something of a “real job”, and have now been graduated from University for a year; but, at the same time, I have been subsisting almost entirely off of bananas and eggs for the past couple weeks…so there’s that.
I don’t really know what I expected to have happen. I think that some part of me assumed it would be like a switch being flipped. As if I’d wake up one day and things would just be…different. Things would just feel right (whatever that means). That they’d be more certain. More “in place”. After all, other adults seem so…together.
If I’ve learned anything in this tumultuous last year of life (which is debatable), however, it’s this: you know that sentence I ended the last paragraph with? I know it was like 40 words ago but I don’t know, maybe you have a bad short-term memory. This blog is a space of zero judgment. Point is, if you’ve forgotten, go back and check. I’ll wait.
Good? So, that one. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
No one knows what they’re doing (and that’s okay!). People just get better at faking it.
This is both a comforting and concerning fact. Comforting because it means that, even if it feels like it sometimes, you aren’t alone as you flounder down the path of life. Comforting because it demonstrates how, as confusing as walking that path can appear to be, it’s possible.
Concerning, alternatively, because it’s the thing that lets you – recently graduated, green as Kermit, banana-eating mess – get and hold a legit job. You know, one with real responsibility. One where if you fuck up, it is actually a fuck up deserving of that expletive.
As I think I’ve mentioned in other posts on this blog, I’m playing with the idea of applying for a manager level position at the organization I’m currently working with. On paper, I’m actually a pretty good fit in almost all related areas.
More often than not, however, it feels (at least in my head) completely unattainable. I’m sure that part of this is just my tendency to downplay my own strengths and skills, and another part is everyone’s tendency to hold things in higher esteem than we should. But, then I think about that thing that I’ve learned this past year – how no one really knows what they’re doing, and it starts to feel okay again.
So maybe this job would come with a really steep learning curve, and maybe I would stumble around in it for a while. But, maybe, after a while I’d start to get it. Maybe I’d actually start to own it, and people would look at me and say, “Boy, does he ever know what he’s doing”.
Little would they know, I’d have just gotten good at faking it.
Until next time.
OH HEY ADDENDUM. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that everyone seems to grapple with some amount of not knowing what they’re doing, and puts on some amount of “faking it”. If I ever get to the point where I know exactly what I’m doing in my job, where I could do it with my eyes closed, I’d like to think that would be a pretty clear sign that it’s time to move on. To try something new and actually challenge myself; and more importantly, perhaps, to give a recently graduated, green as Kermit, banana-eating mess a chance to learn the age old trade of “faking it”.