I would say a lot of us are going with the “Fake it Until You Make It” thing at the moment. Not on purpose, really, but sort of as a survival thing. I kind of didn’t realize I was doing that until I had a conversation a few days ago with a nice young lady I work with. She is in her early 20s yet, and the world hasn’t really gotten to her yet. Still hopeful, full of dreams and ideals. Talking to her is always a breath of fresh air, truly. When you get to a certain adult threshold, a lot of that goes away before you really even realize what happened. She is just genuine, and wants us all happy.
The course last year took on me had me in a fog a lot of the year. Things kept changing, and I changed with it, but there is no point that I can say I have felt comfortable since February. I just kept plowing ahead, but I didn’t feel like I was a part of anything resembling my life once the doors of the restaurant closed behind me on March 17th. My guess is a lot of people have felt the same, since nobody has had a big helping of normal at any time lately.
Believe me, I know how fortunate I am that the opportunities I have had since that day have come my way. You may say I am blessed, you may say I have been lucky, and I fall somewhere in between those emotions. I am thankful that I have maintained full time employment. Not everyone has been so lucky. I was unemployed all of one day, and kind of not really, since on March 18th the official word that my Solea wouldn’t be re-opening hadn’t come to me yet. I was working by the 19th of March.
That was surreal, and it felt fake. Fake like at any moment I would get kicked out, like someone would come up and say “You don’t work here, get out.” Everyone was very welcoming, so that was all in my head. My head can be a pretty odd spot to end up some days, so that really was just me, but I think there was so much constant chaos at Costco that it took a while to really feel like I really worked there. The first paycheck helps. Haha. But as I was hired as a “seasonal” person, the gig ended.
I was again fortunate to know people, and ended up at my current job. A straight gig, 8-5 Monday-Friday. I cannot even begin to tell you how fake that seems. Even still, 7 months into it, with paid holidays and weekends off, it still feels so weird. I am more comfortable, but I got a good reminder this week again of how computer illiterate I am, which is a hoot to me, and sort of to those around me. They have no idea how I don’t know how to transfer files and things. Like what rock was I under for the last 20 years? Alcohol. I was serving alcohol and food which required little computer skill. People skills? Hell Yeah!! I got that for days and days, but every single day I feel it’s a win to get my computer turned on and find the tabs I am supposed to have available.
So I am faking it. Absolutely. Every day since June 1st at this job, especially. But it’s good, in a way. Every day when I drive in, when I hit that last round about before I head down that last stretch of road to the office, I wonder how I got here. What happened? But now I know more of the people better, and I see some of them are kind of faking it too, their backstories are varied and some of them fell into this too. It is hard to get a sense of permanence, because all of us in any situation are still navigating the pandemic. Also the never-ending election stuff doesn’t give any sense of stability either. So I will keep in a very Fake It stance until we can emerge a little bit from this.
How are you feeling through this? Do you have a sense of a stability, or are you just wandering around waiting for the all clear to sound? When the storm seems to have passed, will we know for sure that it has? It’s been about a year now, and living a year on edge it tough. We first started hearing about this plague around this time last year, not possibly knowing what would transpire. I traveled to Florida in February with my BFF Amy, and some people wore masks then, but it wasn’t prevalent. But we still cast a side eye at those that coughed or cleared their throats near us. We didn’t know what was coming, but we couldn’t be sure. 2-3 weeks after we got back the shutdowns started. And nothing has felt real since. Fake. Maybe that is what survival mode is, just faking it. And hopefully you make it. It isn’t a fun way to live, I am learning. I am still true to myself, I haven’t changed my colors, just my locations. What I hope is that it starts to feel better, more normal that this is where I am now, and I am feeling a better level of comfort, but it’s still so very strange. It’s a struggle, but I am a survivor of many strange things in this life. I hope we all are, this time around. That’s not a fake thought, it is incredibly sincere. Hang in there.