I always have a notebook or a journal on me, as sometimes I am inspired to write or doodle in the most random places. I always worry that I will forget what is passing through my mind, so I just scribble it down, sometimes to be forgotten until I come across it again, sometimes the scribbles become a story or an essay. Last Monday I was sitting at Heathrow airport, waiting for my gate to be announced when I noticed a man looking at a PowerPoint presentation on his laptop, and another women typing feverishly on her computer. I pulled out my notebook and wrote the following piece. Interesting or not, I do not know, but I felt like posting it on here.
I used to pretend to be a business woman. "Pretend" being the accurate word because I just didn't fit the profile, and never felt comfortable in it. My "suits" never looked 100% comfortable unless I was wearing flip flops or Converse, and had rolled up the shirt sleeves. On business trips I would walk around the airport barefoot totter along in my 4 inch heels that I deemed necessary for a client meeting. I've never been able to wear "sensible" heels anyway, in my world it's either gorgeous 4 inch heels or biker boots (mainly the latter these days). At airports I would sit on the floor, nearest the closest electricity outlet, typing away frantically, responding to the 100+ emails I had received during my 60 minute flight. My desk always looked like a bomb had gone off somewhere near: papers everywhere, dust piling up on little dolls and knickknacks I had inherited from colleagues who were long gone, pictures and postcards stuck on the walls and a little headset that I had stopped trying to use because it kept echoing in my ear.
That said, I was pretty good at my job. Sometimes pretty brilliant. Sometimes I failed in a nice, big exploding splash, but I often succeeded, most often without much of a word, except a thanks from my client (and undying love from some of them). For six whole years I would walk into that elevator on the ground floor and whizz up to the 40th floor, my stomach falling to my knees, not because of gravity, because of dread. Dread that I would be found out for being an imposter.
Every day I would get my coffee from the same mobile coffee vendor, my lunch from the same two or three salad bar/sandwich/soup places, nab my cigarette breaks whenever I could between client calls. I would go home after work and guess what I would do? Check my email, work some more and dream (nightmare) about something I had forgotten (or not forgotten for the most part).
For six years I felt like I was playing a part, trying a role out in a play that I didn't really understand or like that much. may have played it well, sometimes too well. I kept my own personality and tried to mold it into a business woman persona.
I used to pretend to be a business woman until I got tired of pretending. In the end we only have one life and it really is up to ourselves to make it into something that we can be proud of and happy with. That may not always be something that you find immediately but there's no harm in trying everything until you do. Just don't spend your life pretending, it's not worth it.
Maybe I should become an actress...