I don’t know what I am doing, seriously, but who really does?!
How often do adults often admit that? Likely very often to themselves but not to others. Maybe we should do so more often, it might help others around us open up and express the same or similar feelings. I am probably not alone in thinking, as a child, that once I was an ‘adult’ things would be so much easier, so less full of bullshit. Yet, the realization of adulthood is that, well, most people don’t really have a clue but, we are drawn to people who say they do, because we are lost, looking for direction. I know I am not alone with this feeling, and that I find comforting and often hilarious when I hear other people explain how they deal with it. I sometimes wonder if I should be on five-year-plan that includes maintaining a five-year-antiplan as The Bloggess (who, if you are not following, you are missing out!) has just realized she has done. It does sound like an excellent five-year-plan, in fact I think my husband’s been on that plan for some time now too.
I think it is the same reason so many people turn to religion. I am not saying that religion is all bad, for some people it isn’t. However, it can be when people get all self-righteous and holier-than-thou and abuse the power that comes with being a leader or simply having influence (I’m thinking here of all the nationally well known televangelists, political pundits who say they stand by their (Christian) God (only to secretly be having gay rendevous or doing drugs, or be divorcing for the third [or fifth] time, or committing adultery – only to pay someone off in the end and also donate a nice chunk to the church). I don’t want to turn this into a post about religion – I respect religion and those that believe in its ideas – when at the base of those ideas is true, pure, thoughtful caring and love for others and one’s self. All too often it isn’t though.
What’s more, the older I seem to grow, the younger I feel but the more ‘mature’ I am supposed to become surrounded by more and more bullshit. What today I think I would give to not go back to high school, but rather back to some general age – maybe eight years old or so – when my sister was the meanest thing around and terrified the hell out of me. At least that I can look back on wearing my rose colored glasses and know that then, at least, the enemy and angst in my life was clear-cut, obvious and sometimes at least easy to ignore.
I taught my business students the phrase, “Fake it until you make it.” since so many of them are students on the cusp of becoming working professionals. The funny thing is there is a stereotype of Germans – that they are perfectionists. Generally speaking, I would say yes, this stereotype is, from what I have seen, somewhat true. In that they often do not want to speak another language until they can speak it perfectly or say they can ‘do’ a sport or other ‘thing’ without being able to master it. I am sure teaching them this phrase also feeds into their stereotype of Americans, and likely not in a good way, but that is why I am here, to get them to talk about it, in English, so we can attempt to understand each other. I think this phrase is good for individuals, especially when they are just starting out in their field or changing jobs etc, because they often feel less qualified than they actually are. They will make it but they must get the hang of it all first and in a way ‘fake it’ until they get the process and procedures of their work and workplace down. It could be a negative phrase, but here in this context I don’t think so.
Today, I live in Europe with my husband, who very often makes me feel like the elderly adult in the room. We came here because of me and now we stay because of him. For the most part we do all right, better than we would be doing in America at the moment, at least financially. Emotionally though at times I struggle, which is why I am crazy enough to be blogging about it. I am so American, and I guess it really took me emigrating to realize it. I recently read an op-ed on a humor website written for Americans who wanted to immigrate to another country and how hard it would be for you (Americans) and how naive those of you who say you want to do it must be. Funny thing was, it resonated with me, no matter how general the poster was being (and he was being quite general!). I will likely talk more about this op-ed, and my husband, and my life in Europe as the days go. Today, this is where I am and I need a native English speaking outlet for all of this because my German is really still nicht sehr gut, aber ich bin daran arbeiten.