Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Best of Yourself.

Have you guys heard of Dear Sugar?  It rocked my world when I found it yesterday, so please forgive me if I am behind the times.  (It's been known to happen.)  I had literally put out a request (as my gchat status -- not a far-reaching plea) to send me something interesting to read.  The five people who might've seen that status didn't respond, so I was forced to do it on my own.  I think I started by trying to find fun, new blogs filled with recipes that would make me drool and stumbled upon not martha.  This kept me company for a while (sorry, work) before she pointed me in the direction of Dear Sugar and said I must start reading NOW.  I've always been very good at doing what I'm told and, let me tell you, I was not sorry.  Dear Sugar had me near tears more times than I'd like to admit... especially since I was still sitting at my desk, in public.  She's funny and inspirational and gives totally original, rocking advice.  Sometimes when I was afraid she would resort to a pat response, oooohhh noo, I was wrong -- she tells it like it is.  She's like a down and dirty Dear Prudence.  (There is definite language and mention of a heroin past, if that matters to you.)

In my reading I stumbled upon some advice she was giving to a 64 year-old man who was nervous about asking a younger woman out.  He referenced wanting to be like Cary Grant in his ask.

This is only a small portion of what she had to say, but it stopped me dead in my tracks:
I agree with your counselor that light and easy is the way to begin—with her and with any woman you ask out—even if you have to fake it for a while.

Which happens to be precisely what Cary Grant did.

He wasn’t born a suave and bedazzling movie star. He wasn’t even born Cary Grant. He was a lonely kid whose depressed mother was sent to a madhouse without his knowledge when he was nine or ten. His father told him she’d gone on an extended vacation. He didn’t know what became of her until he was well into his thirties, when he discovered her still institutionalized, but alive. He was kicked out of school in England at 14 and by 16 he was traveling across the United States, performing as a stilt-walker and acrobat and mime. Eventually he found his calling as an actor and changed his name to the one we know him by—the name your counselor invoked because it’s synonymous with male charisma and charm and fabulousness, but he was always still that boy inside. Of himself Grant said, “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be and I finally became that person. Or he became me. Or we met at some point.”
Can you believe that?  After some research (re: checked wikipedia) it totally turns out to be true (not that I didn't believe Dear Sugar, but I did want to do some rudimentary fact-checking for thee blog).  I never knew Cary Grant's back story and this quite literally took my breath away.  Can you imagine finding your mother in an institution when your were 31?!?  It blows my mind.

But what I'm especially drawn to is this idea of "faking it before you make it."  It's definitely something I've ascribed to in the past, but easily forget how much it works.  There is truth in your actions and even if you don't feel it, there is a reason you can follow through.  Sometimes you're the last person to believe the truth about yourself and if you have to fake yourself out for a while, well, why not?

If Cary Grant, the epitome of charisma and talent, had to force himself to believe he was the best of himself by faking it, we can all do it too.  A wise woman once told me not to force my identity into a previously created box because of former or current beliefs.  People grow.  People change.

I can be a better version of myself, even if I don't believe it yet.

And so can you.

image: valentinadesign via pinterest   


Bridgid said...


Andrew said...

Not quite sure this applies, but 10 days smoke free and counting!

this free bird said...

very interesting. but i'm just me. i'm not good at faking it. does this mean i can't be cary grant?? haha!!

this free bird said...

i will however say this: when i first started working for myself and would meet clients i totally had to keep telling myself that i could do it. positive affirmations kept me from caving so many times! fear and uncertainty can be crippling - so i guess in that way i do ascribe to this.

good post girl! very thought provoking.


just a girl said...

Andrew, that is FANTASTIC news!! And it definitely applies. Keep it up, brothah.

Carrie, that just means you're already Cary Grant! Thanks, lady.

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