Act As If (Day #11)

“Act as if,” she explained.  “Don’t wait for it to be true.  Just act as if it already is.  You know – fake it til you make it.”

This advice was dispensed by an older and wiser sorority sister when I asked how I should handle the boy I’d been hanging out with, the boy who was dragging his feet to make me his girlfriend.  (I found out later that he had a good reason for that – he already had one.)

My twenty-year-old self didn’t follow her advice.  Acting As If was too transparent, too risky.  Too honest.  Besides, I was too busy Pretending Not to Care (which, in the case of this particular boy, turned out to be a better strategy).

These days, I Act As If all the time.   I did it throughout my pregnancy, and it worked beautifully.  I acted as if being pregnant agreed with me – as if I wasn’t tired all the time, as if my back didn’t ache, as if my stomach wasn’t a knotted mess after every meal.  My performance was so convincing that I even convinced myself.  Being pregnant did agree with me.  See, that’s the beauty of the strategy.  If you fake it long enough, you will eventually make it.

And now I’m acting as if motherhood comes naturally to me – as though the sleepless nights and unproductive days haven’t fazed me, as though I’m still confident in my ability to do this, as though I’m not feeling restless and caged.

Most of the time, it works like it’s supposed to.  The sleepless nights and unproductive days don’ t faze me.  I’m still confident in my ability to do this.  I’m not feeling restless and caged.   In fact, it’s working so well that I’m not sure where the Acting As If ends and the This Is What Is begins.

Which is great, because I desperately want motherhood to come naturally to me.  I desperately want to be That Woman, the one for whom it’s not a struggle.  The woman who knows how to be both Superstar and Supermom.  The woman who doesn’t need to Act As If because she Already Is.  So if it’s not all an act – if in emulating her I have succeeded in becoming That Woman – then hurrah.  Boola boola. Yay.

But there are moments when I wonder.  Moments when I doubt.  Moments when I get tired of smiling, tired of holding back the tears.  Tired of using the word “great” to describe my physical/mental/emotional state.

And yet, the truth is, I’m not sure that the smile is fake, or that the tears are back there, or that “great” isn’t an appropriate word.  I feel happy.  I feel capable.  I feel … great.

No, seriously.  I really do.

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