Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pretending to be Grown up!

I used to have this really neat job. I would sit down with executives of public companies, develop a relationship with them and talk about their company, where they plan to direct the company, the hardships they’ve had over the past year and what they’ve learned. I’d probe their policies and procedures, all dressed up in my nicest suit. For a while I went on a little streak where I got some ‘girlie’ suits to help me be remembered in a male-dominated industry. I think that worked, I looked cute. But when I step back and look at it, I was pretending. All dressed up in a costume (when do I ever wear a suit) and sitting with these seemingly important people, I pretended I was important, all the while hoping I don’t make a complete fool of myself or my company. I don’t do that job anymore, but when I decided to move from that job, those meetings were one of the things I knew I’d miss.

My life right now feels like I am trying to train it to get into a new routine. But it still feels pretend. I wake up and go to the gym, not a natural act for me. I need to mentally prepare for it the day before and the night before. I have to PLAN every day to get up at 5 and go to the gym. I come home and shower and get dressed, most of the time, in a costume. Now, I CAN wear jeans, sweats, sweaters, heck, shorts and flip flops if I want, but I am dressing the ‘part’ and tend to dress in something a little more work-y. Then I go to work. My job is less sexy now, but I enjoy it, I'm good at it and it comes rather easily to me. But still, I pretend. I head off to work and DIVE into my job (read my personal email, read the paper, plan out my next day at the gym, make a grocery list, search for things to do that weekend). And I pretend when I really am working, too. Like when I philosophize about the state of the economy. I opine about the various companies out there, what will happen to them in the next 6, 12, 18 months. I speculate what the regulators will do. Which industry will be the next to be scrutinized (the rating agencies) and the potential corruption throughout politics and business. It’s all a farce. It all feels so fake.

I return to my beautiful home and ‘play house’. I straighten up, maybe do some cooking, maybe read and wait for my husband to come home. When he comes home, my life returns to ‘normal’. Not pretending any more, just real, regular me. That is my favorite time of the day. Just me and my husband. No acting. No pretending. BUT, sometimes we need to make big decisions. Sometimes we need to talk about serous stuff- money/budget, etc. And I struggle between pretending to know what I’m talking about and make good decisions and throwing a temper tantrum about having to even discuss fill-in-the-blank important topic.

After thinking all this through I realize, I’m just pretending to be grown up. It is not my nature to dress up and go to work. It is not my nature to do the stuff I get paid for. It is not my nature to make important decisions. It IS my nature to play with my friends. It IS my nature to have fun. It IS my nature to ‘hang out’. Even my sense of humor is innocent and funny. I love little-kid-jokes. (why do pilgrim’s pants fall down? B/c they wear their belt buckles on their hats!) (What goes clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp, BANG, clomp, clomp, clomp? An Amish drive-by shooting?) All this grown-up stuff is overrated. I’m a kid stuck in a grown-up’s body.


  1. My husband and I have been stuck in this same rut for a few months now. We go through the motions, but aren't really there. I think we just have to remind ourselves that we go through the motions in order to be able to do other things that truly bring us to life. I have to pretend to love my job so that I get a good raise so that we can lay on a beach in the Caribbean for vacation (that's my true identity, if you ask me...). But sometimes, we forget to do the fun stuff. We get so caught up in pretending that we forget to take advantage of the times when we get to just be ourselves. I think that's how you get in a rut.

    I hope you take some time to do things you really love doing. And do it often. Maybe its time for a vacation. I hear the Caribbean is lovely this time of year... :)

  2. Katie, funny you mention it b/c we just booked a trip to Jamaica!