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Faking It

I wish it is an imposter syndrome, but it is not. I know for sure that I am a fake. Even in my professional career, I doubted myself. I hid the fact that I did not know what I was doing. I chose web design instead of other serious professions, like engineer or doctor, so I can get paid goofing off on the internet. It has worked out well for me, but I had to fake it. I still can’t write a line of JavaScript, but I can modify other people’s code to get the functionality that I need. When I took on this job six years ago, I knew nothing about Linux and server administration. If the server crashed or the site got hacked, it would be on my shoulder alone. I was terrified and didn’t want to take the job, but my wife pushed me to go for it. I am glad I did even though I had to fake it.

In my personal life, I have no idea what I am doing as a father. I love my kids, but all that I ever wanted to do was taking them out and having a great time. I was not interested in other mundane and stressful tasks. I was impatient, emotional, and selfish. As much as I would like to control their behavior, I knew that I had to let them go. It was a losing battle for me. I was not into Lego, but I had to fake it to show that I am interested. I can’t draw, but I encourage them to draw. I would love to get them to read, but I simply can’t force upon them. I made tons of mistakes. Thanks goodness for their mother who knows much more about parenting than I do. I am just a fake.

Let’s be honest. No one wants to admit they are fake, but being fake is not a negative. Being fake is not the same as being a con artist. I love the phrase “Fake it til you make it.” It has been my motto in life. When I first got into design, the professional designers kept saying that I need to draw to be a designer. I still can’t draw, but I am a pretty darn good designer—of course I fake it. I had no prior training in design when I decided to be a web designer, but I faked it. In retrospect, if I didn’t fake it, I wouldn’t have the courage to become a designer. My work was awful. I had no clue what typography was, but I faked it until I got better at it.

If I knew how much work and stress went into raising other human beings, I wouldn’t have any kid. Once they were here, I couldn’t send them back. I was not prepared for what was coming, but I faked it. I pretended to be a good father, but I quickly realized that being a father was not about me. It was what I can do for them. I don’t need the recognition for their success nor do want to be blamed for their failure. I don’t need the compliment for their well behavior nor do I want the criticism for their misbehaving. I just need to do my part. As long as I am there for them, showing them that I do my best, and teaching them what’s right and what’s wrong, it is up to them to decide for their own life. I don’t need to be responsible for everything they do.

So there I said it. I am not afraid to point out my fakes. It is not about my insecurity. I am just being honest to myself. I am a fake, but I am keeping it real.