pretending until we’re not pretending anymore

Mar 15, 2009 | Entrepreneurship, Life in Progress

“you can dare to take that unspoken dream seriously”
i keep jen’s trust notes on a little table in our house so i can walk by each day and read a new one. a little bit of magic every day.
dreams, unspoken or not, are living, breathing, sometimes screaming (or quiet) whispers of our hearts. we’ve become so good at discrediting them: unpractical. too expensive. too complicated. but what i’ve learned is that our whole life’s potential lies in the spaces between these whispers. if we pay attention to them, perhaps even take that first step and acknowledge them, then we breathe a bit easier knowing we’ve spoken a truth. out loud.
i talk a lot about listening to our whispers (our life, really) in chapter one of Taking Flight, but i keep going back to what jen’s hope note says: taking them seriously. to me, this means a number of things. it means sharing my dreams/goals/wishes with my friends and family – giving them a starting point. it means writing them down. it also means waking up each morning sometimes pretending i’m already inside the life i’ve always envisioned. this may sound strange, but when we walk around in the world pretending to be confident and creative and strong, then a funny thing happens. we become confident and creative and strong. i’ve seen it happen in my own life over and over again.
another strange thing happens when we make tiny steps toward our dreams. perhaps while pretending to be fearless, we do crazy things like open an etsy shop. create a website. send out emails to editors about possible article ideas. paint big canvas’. perhaps we pretend we’re not so shy and ask a local blogger out for lunch. or we submit our poems and essays to our favorite publications just to see what happens (even though we have no idea what we’re doing). and then magic happens – somewhere along the line we find ourselves no longer pretending. instead, we are indeed fearless, taking step after step toward our dreams, living the lives we’ve always imagined, and taking ourselves (and our life’s potential) 100% seriously.
i’m curious. what would you most like to pretend to be? it could be anything (fulfilled/sure/carefree/creative/etc). and while you’re pretending (until your not pretending anymore), what would you do toward actualizing your whispers/dreams/potential? i’d really love to know 🙂
more soon including a great giveaway.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (90 comments)
  1. Anonymous

    Nina Meixner of Hinsdale, Illinois is a prime example of a non-credentialed person pretending to be a respected painter. Nina Meixner of Hinsdale, Illinois has a website with some of the most pathetic "paintings" I have ever viewed. All of them look as if they were rendered by grade-school students. She has no innate talent. Her brush strokes are the work of an amateur and there is no depth in any of her paintings. You can go to the website of Nina Meixner of Hinsdale, Illinois for a good laugh, but don't expect quality art.

  2. disa
  3. Anonymous

    I wondered how I could feel so much in common with someone through their words and art. Then I see your book list and it answered my question. I will get I thought it was just me, as I loved the other three. My fav art is unbroken wings discovered as is that not where we get stuck? Someone or something has convinced us we can not fly. Look forward to your next book.

  4. mom seeks life

    This blog has inspired my whole day today and will do for a long while yet. It’s got me thinking bigger thoughts…

  5. Tricia Peever

    Amazing post. I am totally on the same page as you! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sharyn

    Thank you for a beautiful, heartfelt post.
    Everyday that I leave my house I am pretending to be BRAVE. Some day it won’t be pretend anymore.

  7. Tatiane Motta

    Thanks for your words!
    Tati from Brazil

  8. leslie

    pretending to be a great artist and wonderful mother and wife…oh…if only….

  9. julie haymaker thompson

    Hi Kelly,I just want to tell You I am very supportive of you poasting reminders of the “O.K.s and Not Ok.s” It is VERY O.k. to protect your hard work and you are also such a sharing giving person and I fabulous teacher. All you give is just a wondeful gift to us all you admire you!!! Hugs Julie

  10. e.mel

    I would pretend to trust – trust myself, the safe people that I love in my life, God and His plan for me. I wouldn’t live in fear – I would live in hope.
    Thanks for helping me articulate this!

  11. goldenbird

    I would like to pretend to be a full-time artist and writer. I get kinda choked up just thinking about it.

    I recently bought your book Taking Flight and can’t tell you how much I love it, especially the part about whispers. Thank you!

  12. Stephanie Lee

    I once heard that “pretending” is actually “PRE Tending”…tending to a vision before it’s reality…tending to it so there is space for it in your mind to become reality. Love that. I love pretending. 🙂
    I love your posts, too. 🙂

  13. Halo Hill

    Wow. I need to put this entire blog post on a t-shirt and wear it every day. Your work really touches me. Thank you.


  14. The Kramer Angle

    WOW! I hope you don’t mind I linked to this post on my blog. I just think it is so powerful! (And wish I had written it!)

    I found the courage to voice my dreams a few months ago and now I’m living that dream. It’s amazing!

    Thank you for a truly fabulous post. Amazing….

  15. Sandra

    I am going to pretend that I am confident, that I am well-loved, that I have the kind of community I crave (aware, creative, kind, inspiring), that I am a fabulous parent, a brilliant therapist, an experienced traveller, and that I create paintings and writing of beauty and depth with much joy. whew! I have a lot to do!
    love this post – thank you x

  16. sunny

    hmm..I didn’t answer your question. This very moment is just right for me to begin pretending I am a polished, creative, strong woman who can create a sanctuary around her at home and at work – of peace, color, warmth, family and friends.

  17. sunny

    Perfect timing. Thank you for your words and for sharing them!

  18. Tracy

    I love your words. I needed to hear them right at this moment. I had started to give up on pretending to be an artist, writer. Your words show that You just got to keep at it & it will happen.
    Thanks again!

  19. Shell

    Reminds me of acting exercise we learned in class. Doing As if… you act as if certain conditions are real then act accordingly. Also a great thing to do in life when your trying to break out of our self-described boxes, as your post so eloquently stated.

  20. Carie

    I was lead to this post on Monday from another blog. As soon as I read the quote from the Trust card, something in me stirred. I immediately grabbed my journal and starting answering the question. I then fearlessly & bravely sent out some emails and made a phone call. It is only Wednesday morning and I have all ready gotten myself signed up to have a tent at an Artist's Market this weekend and for the next 4 Saturday's. AND…I just found out this morning I will be having my first gallery showing of my photography in June for 8 weeks! I'm shocked and can't believe it! Amazing how sometimes all it takes is a new encouraging perspective to unlock what's hidden inside. Thank You for your post and thanks to Jen for writing such beautiful words also!!

  21. Sara Ellen

    Thanks for the inspiration, Kelly! I loved this post and your artwork is gorgeous!

  22. JuliaRose

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks…now I think I will decide to pretend to be healthy!…and this will lead to me making healthier choices for myself…and who knows I might forget to be unwell?…wow…what a concept.. you have me really thinking, and hey, I’m a hypnotherapist so it could lead to lots of things changing in myself and for my clients…a Big Hug, for the wonderful woman you are…xxxxx

  23. laura

    i am pretending to be who I want to be. This is just like the therapeutic technique of “acting as if.” Perhaps if we start living the role…we will be the role. I want to be thinner…so I eat better. I want to be fit…so I start moving. I want to change…so I start changing!

  24. Fannie

    I understand your “live as if” philosophy. I’ve lived most of my life in this way, and I have experienced the magic that follows over and over again . . . some in small ways–increasing my memory capabilities . . . some in big ways–returning to college as a non-traditional student, teaching, turning our family activities into a family performing group. Your post reminds me of how blessed I truly am. Thank you!

    One thing that I would like to pretend to be which may be a little difficult to materialize–I want to pretend to be healthy (I suffer from a chronic lung disease. Although this disease comes with physical limitations, I bask in the many blessings that are magically mine, and I enjoy the moments when I’m well enough to create. They are gifts.

  25. Rowena

    I finally just opened my etsy shop, despite feeling like I wasn’t ready, and have discovered that I was both ready, and still learning, but that was okay.

    If I could pretend something else, it would be that I have a community, a creative community, that I am financially solvent, that I people will pay me for what I have to say, both in classes/workshops and in print.

    I would pretend that I am moving along to the next stage of my dream.

  26. ~Valentina~

    I *LOVE* this post! I always try to keep in mind: “Fake it till you make it” 🙂 Sooo…I’m trying, playing, pretending, living and believing I’m a fulltime *GREAT* artist.

  27. Davielle aka Princess Magpie

    oh my, Michelle Sylvia said what I wanted to say … quite perfectly. you’ll all have to read through the amazing, open-hearted POSTS on this topic to find it. AND I am pretending to be a fully healthy, slim, sexy 50-yr-old woman DISCOVERING her craft. And MIGRAINE-FREE to boot!

  28. Heidi

    I’m a SAHM who desperately needs to start contributing *financially* to the household (isn’t our economy F*U*N?) but I can’t bear the idea of going back to an office. I can’t stand the idea of my kids being with someone else, experiencing firsts, with someone else. In college I squashed creative aspirations in favor of a business degree that I thought would net me more money.

    So, my greatest wish would be to do something creative that would not only net me some money, but allow me to stay at home *and* feed my creative side that’s just dying to get out. But I’m filled with fears – what if no one likes what I do? What if I just *can’t* “do”? I feel too old to “start over”.

    So, I’m taking your advise. I’m going to start pretending that I CAN and “they” WILL. I’m so glad I found your blog. 🙂

  29. eringoodman

    i’ve been pretending to be a successful author for the last five years…and this month i have my first published piece in a book (not MY book – but still very exciting).

    i’ve also been pretending that i live on a farm…and that dream is starting to come true in small ways (yay for chickens!).

    each day it feels like i am pretending a little less and living who i am a little more.

    love your blog. a friend shared it with me today. so happy to have found you!!

  30. leslie

    this was perfectly said. and the perfect time.
    and i bought those cards as soon as i finished your post.

  31. Jenn

    This type of post is exactly the reason you are on my list of “must-read” blogs. I have a long blog list that I follow, but if I’m short on time, my “must-read” list consists of: Kab’s Creative Concepts, The Noisy Plume, Moon Katty Studios, Beads by Laura, Glass by Sarah, and, of course, Kelly Rae. I started buying Artful Blogging to begin exposing my creativity to artists in other mediums and I love, love, love the blogs that are the most artful. Yours is most definitely in that category. Fresh inspiration for me at all times.

    What do I want to pretend to be? Helping launching artists figure out the web thing, teaching others to appreciate the value of handmade art, and getting my own jewelry and glass out there to appreciative connoisseurs.

    I have your book and have savored each chapter.

    I’m so glad you listened to your whispers!

  32. Caricature Girl

    Right now in this moment, I’m pretending that all my commissioned art work is done, that the house is organized and clean, the lunches are made for tomorrow and that all I have to think about is going to Artfest.

  33. Shawna

    I have been pretending for a while that I have it all together with my job, my life, my family. Lately I am having more days that pretending comes easier and I start to think I am not pretending after all. Some days I do get it right, have it all together, some days not so much.

  34. gem

    kelly rae*
    this post rocks my socks 😉
    i have been thinking a lot about these things lately – listening to the whispers & "pretending i'm already inside the life i've envisioned…"
    my pretending is rooted in relationship/partnership, community, creativity, wellness & home.

  35. justagirl

    My biggest dream would be to walk up on stage, looking rather stunning and without tripping up, to collect my children’s book of the century (or maybe millennium) award. I would love to illustrate, write and design a children’s book.

    I guess the first step towards actualising this dream would be to get some ideas down on paper instead of floating around in my brain.

    Wonderful thought provoking post, thanks so much.

  36. Laura

    I think I’m going to pretend to be good at everything that intrests me from now on. First I’ve gotta pretend to have it all together with a side of patience. This is a great inspirational post!

  37. Pipping

    I am pretending to be a person who is no longer weighed down by the past, no longer fearful of the future- a person who glows in the present. In this state, I travel anywhere and everywhere, crossing paths with people I would never have imagined to have existed, each meeting reinforcing the present as the best time to be. Each meeting nourishing my hungry spirit.

    I am pretending that the labyrinth I am currently in has lessons for me around every turn. The wil-o’- wisp up ahead is actually guiding me out, not leading me astray. This journey is to strenghten me and when I am finally outside, I will be able to use it to pull others to higher ground so that they can in turn, do so for others.

    Thank you for creating your blog- it really brightens my day!

    • Savannah

      Nina Meixner is hawking paintings in Hinsdale, Illinois which she stole. Beware this con artist.

      • Eduardo

        Nina Meixner sells self portraits of herself and her hubby Bob in Hinsdale, Illinois. The portraits are nude and semi-nude. Nina Meixner is using the proceeds of the sales to pay for her son William’s treatment for autism.


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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