The other day I stumbled across this comic from Sarah Anderson, the wonderful mind behind Sarah’s Scribbles.* At first I laughed…
And then I laughed again, but less in that “el oh el” kind of way, and more in the realm of “holy shit this is disgustingly relatable- what am I even doing with my life” kind of way. Apparently WordPress doesn’t believe relatable is a real word. Who’s not trying their best now?!
This is something I’ve been beating myself up over for a while now, and I have a feeling I’m not alone. At the time, when I wake up in the morning intent on meditating first thing, but find myself sucked into the Twitterverse instead, or when I swear I’m going to put my book down and go to the gym, but five chapters later I forget how to use my legs entirely- I tell myself it’s okay. You tried your best. And in part that’s true- I did try. But only to the degree I felt comfortable failing at. Because it’s not that I’m afraid to admit I failed. I’m afraid to actually believe it.
If I set out to alternate spending the day curled up in my chair reading a sci-fi thriller and tucked in bed watching Fairy Tail, and that’s all I end up doing, I feel lazy, but my self-esteem is (shockingly) still in place. But sometimes I like to try to take on a new sewing project, or complete a yoga routine, practice drawing, or try out a new recipe. Often enough the results are in line with my level of expertise, which is varied but admittedly limited across the board of my hobbies. But it feels like the harder I try- the more I care about what I’m trying to accomplish, the more apt I am to fail. And I’m finding I’m not alone in this feeling…
Jenny Lawson, a.k.a The Bloggess, a.k.a my woman crush, is a prime example of a “Mother Faker”- that is, someone with genuine talent and passion who, for whatever cursed chemical mix-up in our broken little brains, struggles sometimes to make the magic only she is capable of making. Which befuddles me, because when I read her work, even if it’s just 3am tweets about dead ducks, I’m like, “this is fucking magical. Like, otter wearing a wizard hat magical.”
And knowing that she struggles with many of the same ailments as myself (and then some), but she still fights through the fear of failure, gives me hope. It’s a prime example of “fake it until you make it”, except living with mental illness is like playing on expert level, some days bringing about a boss battle before your feet hit the floor in the morning. But if you can relate, then good news- you’re not alone.
Consider this “Mother Fakers Anonymous”. Seek out fellow Mother Fakers- share your stories, your failures, your dreams, your successes, your fears. Or watch quietly from the shadows, taking it all in. Either way, know that it’s okay if you don’t always feel like you’re trying your best. Just try to try your best on your better days. In the meantime, look in the mirror, and repeat this mantra, loud and proud: “My name is ______ and I’m a Mother Faker.
“And that’s okay.”
*This post was not endorsed by Sarah Anderson or Jenny Lawson, nor are we otherwise affiliated. However, I would totally go get coffee with them and talk about our periods, or whatever it is that grown adults do together, because their respective work is hilariously fucked up, and they put the mo’ in “Mother Fakers”