For a recent challenge were we asked to tell of a time when we pretended to be something or someone we’re not. So here’s what I thought.
Pretending to be someone I’m not, huh?
At first I wondered if I could think of one instance, then several jumped to mind. Who doesn’t pretend, at least a little to be something they’re not in a job interview?
Then I thought again.
May the answer is, who doesn’t pretend?
Who really knows exactly who they are? There are some terrible sayings that do the rounds all the time that made me think, like: If life is a monkey tree, the one at the top looks down and sees monkeys; the one at the bottom looks up as sees arseholes.
Everyone looks at someone and thinks they are a moron. This, if true, would make everyone a moron. But how many people have you met who admit being a moron? The human brain will kindly filter from our memories the small moments of moronic behaviour and we will deliberately forget the big moments when we actually caught ourselves being morons. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves – slashed wrist all round anybody? No? Then be glad we all pretend to ourselves that we are someone we are not.
But maybe that’s too flippant, so I thought again, and realised that the answer an honest isn’t actually that hard to find.
Do I pretend to be something I’m not? Hell yeah, pretty much every day. Many times a day in fact, at some really odd and occasionally inappropriate moments each day.
Maybe I’ll be a fighter, or a lover, a killer or maybe a cop, a scientist, a botanist, a homemaker or not. Sometimes I’m the perpetrator, sometimes the victim. I don’t know what it feels like to actively take a life. I don’t know what smells like to encounter death. I don’t know what a bomb looks like or how one explodes. But I have to pretend I know those things to do what I do. So I do.
I pretend to be someone I’m not more than I face up to the reality of being me. I even have whole conversations with myself.
Don’t worry, I’m not bonkers, I’m a writer – actually maybe I am bonkers. Whenever I’m writing or plotting or editing, I have to pretend to be the person that I’m writing about or plotting for, though it’s harder with the editing to become the person someone else wrote about, still it has to be done.
Do I pretend to be something I’m not? Of course I do, don’t you?