Live Without Pretending

A lovely friend posted a quote on Facebook today that said “Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.”

After I read it it, I sat with it for a few moments to let the words digest and sink in.  The line that keeps replaying in my mind over and over like a broken record is ‘live without pretending’.

We all pretend, well at least most of us do, in various aspects of our lives.  Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we pretend we like where we live or that we actually enjoy eating healthy.  We pretend we like getting up early to go to the gym or that we enjoy the conversation we have with our coworkers as we prepare our third cup of crappy coffee.  We pretend and pretend and pretend to the point where we forget we’re pretending.  We start accepting our boss who never listens to our suggestions or our partner who never listens to anything.  We accept these things that are less than ideal because that’s part of being an adult; accepting.

Or is it?

Every time I read an article about someone who opened their own yoga studio in Aruba, or is backpacking through Greece as they write their second novel, or eloped to escape the pressures and expectations of family, I always think to myself “how the f*ck did they do that and why haven’t I figured out how to?”

From what I’ve read, combined with my perception of human behavior and just a hint of my BA in sociology, I believe that there are certain people on this planet who have the ability to look at what everyone is doing and say “nah, not for me.”  I wish I could tell you what it is within them that gives them this ability to escape the monotony of all the crap the rest of us are able to accept and pretend is what we want, but I’m still trying to figure that out too.

A lot of people are ok with pretending.  They don’t have a bad life and they don’t have a great life, they just have a life.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s pretty damn good to have a life.  Not everyone is so luck to be able to complain that the worst parts of their days are commuting, annoying coworkers, and humidity.  But what about those other people, the ones who broke the mold by not accepting or pretending?

I want to be one of those people.  I believe I am one of those people.

But I’m stuck because I keep pretending.

I’m very luck to work for the company that I do.  I know that.  But I also know that this, what I sit here day in and day out doing, is not what I want to spend my life doing.  I’ve changed jobs more often than most people change their water filters, and it’s because I can pretend that I’m content, but only for so long.  I’ve gotten quite good at pretending I want things that deep down I know I don’t.  I do this because it’s what I’ve taught myself to do.  Accept what people tell you to do.  Accept their definitions of “success” as your own.  Accept that maybe you’re not good enough to get what you really want.

That last one is the one I’m struggling with.  Because you see, as I sit here in a situation I’m sure others dream about, I’ve realized that the reason I change jobs and the reason I can’t accept my situation is because I’m pretending I’m pursuing my passion.  I left similar jobs because I kept thinking that I would find a different experience and feeling from another company.  I was doing the exact same thing over and over again expecting to get different results, and that my friends is the definition of insanity.

So, now that I’ve figured out the problem it’s time to figure out the solution.  Unfortunately I can’t share that with you now because I don’t know what it is.  But stay tuned, because I intend to figure it out and when I do I’ll be sure to share it with you.  Until then, expect a lot more writing coming from this blog because I’m sure as hell going to share everything I learn along the way.

xoxo TBC

2 thoughts on “Live Without Pretending

  1. Andrew D'Agostino says:

    Dearest Bro Chick, it’s Andrew btw, I wanted to tell you that I love this post. It’s something I see every day in my job…which is evaluating other people’s jobs and how humans behave on the job from a psychological standpoint.

    What you’ve wrote is a situation everyone deals with, though it may be expressed differently between people. These are some things that I always come back to:

    1) Are we actually pretending? Or is this a part of a process where we’re actually learning what we like or don’t like?

    2) A core principal taken from a startup or new business is to understand that you will fail. You need to fail. Accept it. Those who embrace this and “fail faster” are able to learn more quickly. I love this concept because it reminds us that, like yoga, it’s all about experience and practice. Keep practicing.

    3) Human behavior is complex. It’s dependent upon multiple aspects: our personalities, values, learned experience, interests, cognitive abilities, and the situations that we find ourselves. These things are not fixed.

    4) Humans are agentic. We make choices and can pivot when we want to. Our choices have outcomes.

    5) Never forget the influence of random chance. We often have a lot less control over outcomes than we imagine. A good portion of success is determined by being in the right place at the right time.

    6) I often question the fallacy of doing one thing for the rest of your life in today’s world.

    7) Trying something and giving it your all is something to be commended. If you find that it’s not bringing you positive outcomes, after trying to correct identified problems, staying in that situation is the wrong response.

    Putting that together, I think that “pretending” is a part of human experience in order to learn, ESPECIALLY in the context of work. It seems to me that pretending, learning, and not responding is the bigger problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Bro Chick says:

    Beautiful ❤

    That’s the exact point of this article. For me, I’ve been pretending, learning, and not responding and I FINALLY realized it. Now the most important part, the harder part, is figuring out what to do next. As I’ve learned from past experiences, it takes quite a few bumps along the way before finding the answer to the problem, which is why having a terrific support system, faith (in anything), and a little financial cushion makes you almost invincible 😉


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