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  • Fakin’ It

    When she goes, she's gone If she stays, she stays here
    The girl does what she wants to do She knows what she wants to do
    And I know I'm fakin' it I'm not really makin' it

    I'm such a dubious soul And a walk in the garden wears me down
    Tangled in the fallen vines Pickin' up the punch lines
    I've just been fakin' it Not really makin' it
    Is there any danger? No, no, not really, just lean on me
    Takin' time to treat Your friendly neighbors honestly
    I've just been fakin' it, fakin' it, Not really makin' it
    This feeling of fakin' it I still haven't shaken it

    Prior to this lifetime I surely was a tailor, look at me I own the tailor's face and hands
    I am the tailor's face and hands
    I know I'm fakin' it, fakin' it I'm not really makin' it This feeling of fakin' it I still haven't shaken it, shaken it
    I know I'm fakin' it I'm not really makin' it

    I’ve been tossing ideas around in my head of how to describe this sense I often have, and I know some of my siblings share the same sense, of “fakin’ it”, waiting for “them” to find me out. Leilani conveyed it perfectly in her story “Gatz” this morning – “I often feel like Gatsby, a pretender to the things I wasn't born with, a person who sometimes fits the ideas of everyone, but never truly belongs anywhere except the hopes and ideas inside my own mind that may never be real outside of those imaginings”.

    I don’t know when exactly it happened at work that I became this go-to guy, the “fixer”, who gets assigned these high profile projects, who gets detailed into these impossible situations to address the dysfunction and straighten out the hornet’s nest that someone else created. While I do enjoy these assignments, as I enjoy challenges, and they usually seem to be happy with the results, I keep waiting for them to figure out that I’m really not who they think I am.

    I’m the same guy who went through 17 jobs in the 4 years before I started working here, 28 years ago. The same guy who struggled with addiction for 8 years, then struggled to find recovery for another 6 years.

    My family counts on me as one of the steady ones who is always there when family decisions are needed, or when someone needs to step up and help out with things. Me. The little brother who wet the bed until he was 10, who always wondered off and they’d have to send out search parties to find, even though he never felt that he was lost. Just out exploring! The one who was always in trouble, who just couldn’t seem to find a niche in the world, who went through suicidal depressions and went AWOL from the Navy, and wrote crazy letters from the road. Now, I’m a rock.

    But, I am also that same guy who went through all those things. It’s not a confidence thing. I face the world with a reasonable degree of confidence that I will have what I need to meet whatever challenge gets thrown my way. I have learned that this is true. I will be given what I need, this day, to meet the day’s challenges.

    Like today,for instance. I have come all the way back up from South Carolina because the seniors wanted a 3 hours sit-down this morning to get briefed on what we accomplished 2 weeks ago in our off-site session. The one that I somehow came to lead. The one that impacts how we will implement what the big boss keeps referring to as “the most important change this agency has gone through in the past 40 years”. Others have prepared the power points, and put together the data and the analysis to back-up the plan we came up with at the off-site. I am to come in and present it to the seniors. I haven’t really had adequate time to prepare. Maybe this morning I’ll be found out. But, I doubt it. I know how this works.

    Yet, I still can’t completely shake this feeling that, deep down inside, I have them all fooled. The real me is sitting back and enjoying all of this, like watching the movie, “The Pretender”, or “Catch Me If You Can”, and waiting for my pursuer to finally catch up with me and pull off the mask of the faker. I’m not worried about that happening. It would actually be pretty cool. “Yeah, you finally found me out! But you have to admit – I really had them going for awhile there, didn’t I?”

    (Lyrics of song “Fakin’ It” by Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel)
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