I’m covering… how little I know.
So a part of why I’ve created a blog that gives me the freedom to write about everything has to do with the fact that I really don’t know that much about anything. I’m not a professional. My highest degree is a high school diploma and, though I’ve been in college for two-ish years, I have only recently picked a major. Which isn’t to say I have picked a field to go into. Two years from now, I won’t even have a bachelor’s degree – I’ll have an associates. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever know anything about anything at all.
Still, it can be worthwhile to pretend. First and foremost, I pretend I’m a writer, because writing is something I have wanted to do since being that little girl on the bench at recess with her hair tucked behind her ear, her shoulders slouched, and a book in her lap. These days, I’m pretending to be a programmer and an artist as well, not to mention a construction worker. By the end of these two years at Hocking College, I believe I shall be able to pretend I am a baker.
It’s worth it, to pretend to be things that you are not, especially when you’re young and you aren’t really anything yet. When I was little, I pretended to be a teacher, a mom, a writer, a critic, a princess – I used to dress up in my grandma’s and my aunts’ old clothes and march around my grandma’s house, telling my younger sisters what to do and exasperatingly correcting their behavior when they weren’t pretending to be what I wanted them to pretend to be.
“No! Look, play pretend this!” Almost all of our major arguments started this way.
If you want to build confidence and skill, the best way to do that is to act as if you’ve already got it. Children know this without needing to know it, and as we get older we tend to just believe we know everything we know up until the moment when we realize we don’t. This creates all sorts of complications, not the least of which is you start holding yourself back. I can write but I can’t draw. I can analyze the crap out of this novel but I’m no good at math.
The day you figure out how to tell yourself that you have as much to learn about writing as about drawing, as much to learn about analysis as about math, is the day you reconsider exactly how many possibilities are still open to you. The knowledge out there is infinite, so matter how much you learn about one subject, you still have as much more left to learn about it as you do any other subject you might know nothing about.
If you ever see someone wearing a t-shirt that says acts_as_if, I believe it’s some sort of programming reference. But you don’t need to know a lick about programming to consider what it might mean. I act as if I’m a writer and here I am, writing. I act as if I’m a programmer, an artist, a construction worker, and here I am, programming, drawing, and building a horse shelter. If I never pretended to be anything I’m not, I’d never become anything other than what I am.
What are you pretending to be?