Faking until Making

I know that I feel like I’m faking it every time I stand up to teach something. I can’t possibly know this information well enough to open someone else’s eyes to it. But somehow it always works out. It usually works out. It often works out.

Writing is the same way. I often feel I cheated: this isn’t a real concluding sentence, not a poem, not possibly a novel. When I read something I feel that the writer who wrote it holds infinite wisdom. He or she saw into something in a way I couldn’t and then they showed me how to see it too.

Here’s how I’m dealing with the divide between me and all the wise authors I’m reading:

One thing is that this writer probably wrote a lot of things that didn’t accomplish this in the first place. And the second thing is that the writer probably didn’t set out thinking he or she was going to blow my mind. It just happened because this person walked fast enough through a labyrinth of words and ideas. They knew they had no idea where they were going with what they were writing but they trusted there was a way out. I think that’s how creativity is done.

I ran a corn maze a few weekends ago. I say I ran it because my trio’s plan was to move with speed and intuition through the dark towering corn in the hopes of beating out the other competing teams. There was one moment where our technique was tested. We met face to face with a team when we both knew we were very close to the exit. Either we stick with them on what was a calculated, systematic route, and we risk coming in second. Or we run randomly the other way and risk winning it all. We ran really fast and I think we screamed as we ran. I screamed as I ran.

(from Layman Family Farms)

A lot of false hope goes into the most creative of pursuits. You need to trust that by talking through something like teaching, or writing through something like a novel, or running through something like a corn maze, you will get closer to the soul of the thing (the raw part.) Though the layers you need to pull off to get there may at first seem false, like they’re not a part of you, you need to move past the awkwardness to get to the purpose behind what you’re doing. Trust me. Why else would there be a rhyming expression called fake it until you make it.

So I strive to do this in everything, though it’s awkward and mistake-ridden. I strive to speak as honestly and openly to people as possible. Though sometimes I mess up and tell you everything, at least I get closer to truly communicating . I hope I can do this in teaching elementary school students. I hope I can be a person to them, one who makes mistakes and is exploring. I hope I can use intuition to teach. Because I like to think of teaching, of everything I do, as a creative pursuit. And so I need to keep running through things, like it’s hard to see but there is an end in sight and I’m searching for it.