To Pretend or Not to Pretend…That is the Question?

I did a lot of pretending when I was younger. In elementary school I had to pretend the home I went back to everyday wasn’t broken and abusive. In high school I had to pretend I was not crumbling on the inside and like I wasn’t constantly thinking of ways to just end it all. In college and early adulthood, like most young adults, I had to pretend that I knew what the hell I was doing. With people I came in contact with back then I would pretend that I was outgoing and like I thrived on being around lots of people when in reality people drained me and any creative energy I had, and I really just wanted to be left alone. Not alone in some lonely, woe is me type of way either, but rather in a way that actually refilled my creative well.

I mean that’s what life is mostly isn’t it. Pretending! Going along to get along. Trying to fit in with people you probably don’t actually like just so that they don’t classify you as difficult, weird and awkward or just think that something is wrong with you altogether. You pretend to understand things you really don’t because you don’t want to appear like you aren’t knowledgeable and capable. It gets to be a little tiring to pretend all the time. To always have to be “on” and faking that you feel something you don’t or faking that you’re happy if you’re not.

When you get to a certain point in life you just want to be surrounded by people and live a life where you can just simply be. Where you can express how you feel about something or someone without having to hide your emotions and feelings. Where you don’t have to apologize for being a person who wears their heart on their sleeve and whose emotions show up all over your face. You want to not have to explain yourself to people who you thought you didn’t have to explain anything to because it was thought to believe that you were accepted just the way you were.

The simple truth is, at least the truth that I’m coming to realize, is true acceptance doesn’t really exist. No matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter what circle of people you surround yourself with, there is always going to have to be some manner of pretending. Sometimes it hurts to realize that but it’s best to live in reality than to have blinders on and think something is true that isn’t. Even those that are closest to you, that are your closest friends, aren’t going to always accept everything there is about you. We are all deeply flawed, and sometimes vastly broken individuals and that means we have things about us that others just can’t come to terms with and that they would rather adjust or change about you than just simply accept without question.

Let’s be honest, you probably have some things that you would change about the people in your life as well. I suppose the real question is who in your life are you willing to make adjustments for and who are you willing to pretend around? Can you really ever go through life without having to pretend something? Is there ever going to come a time in life where you can remove the mask and just be yourself without having to rationalize who you are to those you love and call friends and found family? I thought it was possible but now I’m not so sure. I guess the jury is still out on that one and only time will truly tell.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeYou

Jimmetta Carpenter


Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine


1 thought on “To Pretend or Not to Pretend…That is the Question?”

  1. I thought about this a lot, especially when I was a teen. I believe there are always things we can change about ourselves to improve ourselves. Without change, we are not living, learning, or helping the life around us. The stuff about me that my best friends don’t like, or my co-workers hate, or my family wishes I would ‘grow out of’ stems from that. The fluidity of life and ever-learning, ever-changing. We just have to be patient. Patient enough to find the good people who understand that change is inevitable, love you for who you are, and can help you through the flaws or accept them as you need. If they don’t accept them, that’s okay too, as long as they don’t become abusive toward you about them. The act, the pretending, is our instinct to belong.
    Also, I have a difficult time accepting my own flaws and mistakes. I feel like I can get long-winded sometimes (this reply). Or speak when no one cares for my words (probably also this reply). When people accept my mistakes, say “oh, it’s alright, you’re human” I feel like they are so fake. I want to tell them to say what they really want to say. When, in all reality, that could be what they want to say because it was a mistake where I keyed in the wrong description for something in the spreadsheet. They’ve done it before too.
    So, what I’ve come to realize is that we are all different. Those nuances, the flaws, the perfection, the acceptance, and the annoyances are what make us…us. Without that, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to grow, to learn, to change, and to live life. Yeah, there are times when my bestie is a bit obnoxious and I wish she’d tone it down, but I go along with it, because…well, that’s her. That’s what made us meet in the first place and she’s been by my side through the worst and best times of my life over the past 10 years (dear grief, I’m getting old). I also remember the ache of someone who I thought was my best friend just fading out of my life because she ‘couldn’t relate to me anymore’ (aka I wouldn’t let her walk over me anymore). That was another time I had thoughts like these. Where I wondered if we were always so fake to each other and created monsters of ourselves to stay friends.
    There are those out there that are truer than most, and that will grow comfortable telling things to your face. Just have to be patient in finding them and cultivating that relationship until you can reach that level. The best people are the ones that tell you like a friend, who love that about you, but realize you may need to work on it and are there to be your ally. The ones who pretend to accept all of you until you are ready to accept all of you too.
    I hope your thoughts, your feelings, and the like turn toward a positive note. That you can find happiness, flawed and nearly perfect, in friends again.

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