FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT
Have you ever felt like an impostor? No? Well lucky you then! I (sometimes) suffer from the Impostor Syndrome, like I don’t deserve to be where I am because I haven’t earned it yet, and I keep thinking that someone will expose me as a fraud. Then again I have days when I tell myself that I deserve even more than I have because I’ve worked hard for it. It’s called balance.
The other day I attended an event at a swanky hotel. The dress code said “elegant.” I saw this a few hours before the event. I cannot describe my wardrobe as having anything “elegant” in it. I pretty much wear a uniform made up mostly of comfortable wide leg pants (hi Siri Studio!) and clothes that stretch. Clothes that stretched to accommodate by baby bump, and clothes that remain stretched because I’m yet to lose my baby weight despite fervent prayer and no fasting. So I wore black head to toe, because you can’t go wrong with black right?
So anyway, I walk in, late because of work and a little traffic. I’m worried I’ll find the event has already started and I’ll have to sit in front, where all latecomers are forced to sit with the owners of the event so they can stew on their tardiness. I’m relieved to find that the event is also running behind schedule because everyone is late.
A part of me wants to sit at the front, to own the space and let people bask in the glory of my presence and the aura I hope I’m radiating with my all black outfit, high bun and red lip. But then I see cameras and decide against it, because I’m terribly camera shy despite having worked in TV for almost four years, and I don’t want people noticing me. Terribly narcissistic, right? To assume I’ll be noticed in a room full of people.
So I’m seated at the back, with a few other bloggers content creators and a very bubbly stranger who keeps asking me questions about the event, when these super bloggers/vloggers/influencers/cool chicks/many young girls’ IG life goals walk in. They’re late, but they don’t seem bothered. At all. Unlike me, they saunter into the room, commanding the space to bow the hell down. They’re practically gliding on the influence they wield, looking for a table that can accommodate the three of them. Together. What the Internet has brought together let no man put asunder.
I’m fascinated by them. I watch them while simultaneously trying to listen to the MC speak about the new LG TwinWash washing machine, trying to look like I attend such events all the time, and like I’ve been using washing machines all my life. Never mind that the closest I’ve gotten to one was the time I was comparing different models at Nakumatt while putting together my wedding registry, thinking Kenyans actually respected wedding registries and that I’d actually get one as a wedding gift.
They stand bang in the centre of the room for a little while, before someone comes to their aid and guides them to a table at the front. They take out their phones. Take pictures of each other, look at each other’s pictures, approve them before posting them. I know because I follow them all on IG so I’m watching them and keeping up with them on the interwebs.
Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I’ve been invited to this place just like they have, and I want to see whether they’ll do the same thing I’ll do. Or maybe they’ll do something I can use for better mileage and more jobs like this, because Ecclesiastes says there’s nothing new under the sun so what’s the difference between copying and “getting inspo”, right? Or maybe I’m just a stalker.
I watch them as they take pictures of this beautiful washing machine. It’s hands down the sexiest piece of laundry equipment I’ve ever seen. It’s the Beyoncé of washing machines, standing there looking at us like it knows we all want to take it home with us and give it dirty things to do (get your mind out of the gutter).
I watch them as they ask questions, wondering whether I should also ask questions later. I want to take pictures too, but I’d prefer to do it after they’re done, because I might go all fan girl around them and I’m determined to look as coolly detached, yet interested, as possible. I’m faking it, looking calm, but I’m throwing covert glances their way every few seconds, checking out their outfits, trying to catch a snippet of their conversations, wondering how I too can make a living off creating content and still affording the lifestyle I envision for myself.
They leave as soon as the event is over. I hang around. I still need to take pictures, plus I’ve seen another somewhat famous person that I can talk to and maybe even be photographed with, because fame by association is a thing.
Then it happens. Another (also somewhat) famous person includes me in a selfie with the other famous babe. Then I’m asked to be in a photo with these two somewhat famous people. I smile in the selfie; I don’t smile in the next photo. I’m practicing steely coolness. Unapproachable but still cool enough to want to be photographed with, you know? Plus I think I look better in photos when I don’t smile.
I probably only ended up in the two photos because it would have been rude to ask me to move. But I don’t care. I’ve decided I’m going to fake it ‘til I make it, whether I feel like an impostor or not.
But first, let me go and take my baby’s clothes off the hanging line. The ones I washed by hand because my dear nanny is away for Easter and I don’t own a washing machine (yet).