On the first day of 2018, I went into Old Town Sacramento wearing my banquet dress and a sweater that makes me feel like a Van Gogh painting. A few months ago I asked a photographer friend of mine if she'd take my senior pictures for me, and lucky for me she said yes. The pictures turned out beautifully, and I've put some of my favorites at the bottom, but before they were taken I was incredibly nervous about the whole ordeal.
I chose my friend Natalie to take the pictures because I figured I'd feel more comfortable taking pictures if someone I knew and got along with really well was behind the camera. Even so, I was still nervous for the months between asking her to be the photographer and the day we actually took the photos. I spent the weeks leading up to the actual day talking to my mom and explaining my fears- each of which came from a place of deep insecurity. I hadn't realized up until this whole thing that I was as insecure as I am. When the day came, I curled my hair and put on my banquet dress, and got into the car.
As my mom drove (sigh... I still don't have my license. I'm working on it, I promise!), she told me all the things I would say to someone else who was nervous: You're going to look beautiful, pretend these are headshots that you need for a job, etc., etc., etc. But even though I knew the pictures would look great because Natalie is an amazing photographer, I couldn't get out of my own head. When we reached Old Town Sacramento, Natalie was already there. I got out of the car and tried to look as though I was the confident person I wish I was. We started taking pictures right away, and it was then that I remembered the phrase I hear all the time- Fake it 'till you make it.
When I was in eighth grade, my english teacher used to say this before we had a presentation or we were reading one of our short stories. At the time, I wasn't really insecure at all, at least not when it came to speaking in front of people (just wait until you're 16, 14 year old me). When I started taking drama my Freshman year, my teacher said it before most of our performances. Now, my choir teacher always tells us to "walk with a purpose," which I've taken as almost the same thing. So as Natalie started taking pictures, I decided to practice the art of pretending, and faked it until I made it.
The actual process ended up being really fun for me. Old Town Sacramento has always been one of my favorite places, even before I moved here, and even though it wasn't my first choice for where I wanted the pictures to be taken, I'm still very happy with the outcome. It just goes to show that sometimes faking it can make yourself more real than anything. Sometimes when there's something you have to do that scares you, it's easier to put yourself in a state of pretending. Sometimes when you have to do something that makes you feel like crawling into a hole and never coming out again, it's easier to tell yourself that you're not actually yourself in that moment- you're the person you wish you were (which, most of the time, is actually who you are but you just don't realize it yet).
Pretend yourself into a place of confidence, and don't let yourself shrink down into something less than you actually are. The next time you have to do something that scares you a ridiculous amount, fake it until you make it. You never know how real you may end up becoming.