I don’t look sick- The “fake it till you make it” principle

A light-bulb went off in my head the other day

People tend to be surprised when they find out about my health problems because I hide things very well. I never knew I was good at hiding how I feel until I found out that virtually no one I interact with had any idea I was so sick. I always wondered how I managed to pull that off. I’m a terrible actress, my promising acting career was cut short when I tried out for the seventh grade play and the director told me I should never try out for a play again because I was terrible. If I had believed I was any good I would have ignored him and made sure to prove him wrong, but I knew I was terrible so I took his advice to heart and applied myself toward other things.

My light-bulb moment was when I realized how many years I’ve spent working in customer service. I spent what was supposed to be the best years of my life working at a hotel on my college campus. I had to deal with all sorts of people, people who were famous  political heavyweights across the world, people who thought they were famous (the governor of Texas) and people who wished they were famous (university toadies). I spent years hiding my revulsion for these people (though ironically, the famous people were actually really nice, George H. Bush for example was really nice, it was the wannabees that were the worst) and acting on their very command. I worked thirty five hours a week and went to school full time and was always sleep deprived, and yet I smiled and said “yes ma’am” and “yes sir” all day long even when I wanted to spit in the person’s face because they were so awful. It turns out i’m a professional faker! I know exactly how to smile and laugh and continue on even when things are at the worst. Who knew my work experience would help me to fool all my friends and acquaintances into thinking I was doing doing great?

Since my light-bulb moment I’ve been trying to get rid of my customer service faking skills. I no longer see any value in pretending things are 100% okay all the time. I don’t go around crying and bemoaning my existence, but I don’t pretend things are just peachy when they aren’t either. I like being able to be more authentic. Sure, it will turn some people off that I don’t pretend to live a fairy tale life anymore, but it has already helped me to make some more meaningful friendships. In the end I think it’s better to not always “fake it till you make it.”

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