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. deann mcdaniel

    behind these 2 very simple words…”thank you”…know there is a heart full of gratitude for your post today.

    you never know where you are going to hear the words that may very well be exactly what you are looking for even if you didn’t yet realize it.

    your words are exactly what i needed to hear…exactly!

    take care,

  2. borcherding

    Oh dear…what a wonderful post. I am scared to acknowledge my dreams because after all, they are just dreams and how often do dreams come true?? I need to be inspired by your post and I WANT to believe that my dreams could really happen. And the post comes on a day when I am feeling mad and frustrated and ANGRY that I am still here…at a job that is bringing me so much frustration right now…angry that my husband got laid off and now I am STUCK..there is now way I could even TRY my dream because I need to bring home a paycheck. 🙁 God it’s depressing just typing it out. I should be a downer. I should have faith and believe. I WANT to have fait. I want to believe that my dream of quitting this job I’ve had for 21 years would be a thing of the past and I could do something CREATIVE with myself. I would LOVE to take engagement and Senior pictures because they are my absolutely FAV type of pics to take…I would LOVE to be a kids craft party planner, I would LOVE to create cards and scrapbooks to sell, I would LOVE to address invitations because I really do have nice handwriting, I would LOVE to write a book some day but I have no idea what the topic would be…I would love to ENJOY my creativity each and every day and share it with others….

  3. Teri Leigh

    Kelly, Your blog spoke to me in a big way. I am on the cusp of something and actually blogged about it last night. Good timing. I will try this pretend thing until it becomes reality. So what if others laugh. I’ll never know if I don’t try 🙂 I love your heart, thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Annette Q

    Wow! what a great post, thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts.
    I definitely have to start pretending a lot more…
    I want to pretend to be carefree, to be brave, and to be fearless is definitely a big one for me. I started my blog in January and have been entering creative challenges almost every week which i thoroughly enjoy.
    And although I’ve told my family about my artistic endeavours…I still haven’t told my friends. Still feeling like I’m not quite ready and not quite good enough- and I know its very silly of me because I just know they’ll be really really supportive.
    That’ll be my next step in my creative journey- but in baby steps, baby steps…:-)

  5. Hailey

    author/household name/known

  6. Kirsten

    I love the way you express this so clearly…I felt that way the whole time I was reading your book. It’s like you know how my brain works, how to talk to me in a way that clicks. Today I will pretend to be creative and confident.

  7. Bijous Whimsy's Blog

    You write so beautifully and with such honesty. It’s funny to think that a complete stranger, some lovely soul I only know through the web and blogging could very well be a kindred spirit if we were to ever meet…what a wonderfulness your words and posts bring, you bravely write with such open honesty about things and feelings also roaming around in my heart and head…thank you thank you thank you for your awesome blog…as for being braver…my hero is Jane Goodall…I wish I could be stronger in spirit to deal with the monsters of the world and help better protect our furry friends…as far as steps towards more, I don’t know, perhaps get abit older and somehow tougher..hmm…..

  8. Jane S.

    I'm pretending to be a photographer & it is sort of working. But now I will definitely pretend harder!

    Thank you so much for this today!

  9. Michelle | When I Grow Up

    When I started a sales job years ago, I had a great manager who had the team meet every morning & set out 5 attributes for the day: confident, cheerful, attentive, positive, etc. It was so hippy-dippy at the time, yet so powerful. By choosing my attribute for that particular day I was able to sculpt my day.

    So, what would I most like to pretend to be? Fearless. Focused. Balanced. Reassured. What would you do toward actualizing your whispers/dreams/potential? Brainstorming when I can make time for me and what I could do in that time, and doing it. Breaking down my Big Goals into little ones, and taking them step by step. Working on one task at a time. Visualizing what my life would be like when I become a full-time coach, and bringing up those thoughts when I become doubtful or scared. Growing my Positivity notebook, full of good things that others have said about me.

    I'm going to start pretending right now.

  10. Nancy

    and Jamie’s blog post led me here … *lol*
    I’ve been saying for some time now that I “play” – I play at making jewelry, play at altered art, play at art journaling – all while I’ve been trying to re/claim a life for me, since my daughter’s in college. I much prefer the concept of “pretending” to be/do – it’s far more positive, proactive, affirming than “playing”. Thanks, Kelly!

  11. kbumstead58

    Hi Kelly,
    I have suffered from anxiety disorder for most of my life and I would love to pretend to be carefree. To be creative without worrying about what other people thought. I have recently been following your blog and I find it very inspirational. Thank you! Today I am going to try pretending!

  12. Jamie

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you for this! I mentioned you in my blog last nite. I hope it’s ok. 🙂

  13. Geralyn Gray

    I loved the first time I saw–what would you do if you knew you would not fail? I lost my job in October and have been trying to be realistic and dreamy at the same time. I started a blog—but, it took me until now to really get into a zone and start creating. I do have your book and found it very inspiring. I love how in tune you are with an artist’s mind…..Thanks for all of your inspiration and I am off to take flight……Making Marie Antoinette collages is my art of choice these days.

  14. cottagewindow

    Hi Kelly,
    Wow! Interesting how the universe works and how things find you at just the right moment in time.

    I recently walked away from a 20 year career to “pretend” to be something else, something that brings me joy. I have been contemplating throwing my name in the hat for a design job I saw online recently. I have no formal experience but I know working creatively would be fulfilling.

    I’ve been dragging my feet because of fear of the unknown. Thank you for your inspirational words. It was exactly what I needed to hear today.


  15. Rebecca

    I love that you mention being “carefree” as a dream. it truly is a dream of mine to be less overcome by the tiny annoyances in life. I wish for nothing else than to laugh them all away and keep my peaceful center. Thanks for the reminder!

  16. jenny

    I love reading your blog (and book) and following your journey. I feel like I’m on the same (or very similar) journey, but you’re a few steps ahead. This lets me see that it really is possible and gives me courage to go for it. I want to be an artist. I want to believe that I can be. I do believe it’s part of who I am.

  17. Dawn Hobbs

    OMG I have been thinking about this all week. I am pretending to be involved in the creative world and pretending that I am living the life I love. Thanks so much for the post and I can not WAIT! to see you at inspired. Dawn H

  18. Kasey


  19. Samantha

    I love how you put this in your post. I started "pretending" a few years ago in order to convince myself of what everyone else already perceived about me, so I know it works.

    This week I am pretending to be slim & sexy, to see if I can convince myself of it.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Kristie Roda

    I’m glad it happened to read your post today. It is inspiring and reinforcing. Thank you for sharing that!

  21. Gypsy Alex

    Oh my dear, Kelly! I'm living by this post! You put it so well! Thank you ~ Hugs & Big Love xo

  22. Cassi

    you’re really challenging me; which dreams are truly mine and which did i just make mine because others made them for me?

  23. Connie

    Your last few posts have been extra, extra yummy delicious!!!

    You inspire me and make my heart full of light!! It's so refreshing to connect with others out there that dream in full color!

    Peace & Love.

  24. Victory

    I’d like to pretend I really don’t care what other people think of me.

  25. ~Barb~

    Boy, when you dig deep, Kelly, you really dig in good.

    I am already pretending…I'm pretending to be healthy, pretending to be an Art Journaling workshop facilitator. Lots of pretending going on for me…and I'm hoping that my pretending turns into my reality.

    Thank you.

    Peace & Love,

  26. Jen

    Your art, your words, and your story are such an inspiration. I am “pretending” to be a successful artist/crafter/entrepreuneur. Lately I have been taking small steps towards these dreams and its been thrilling and so fulfilling! I feel I am now starting to live my life, rather than waiting for “the time to be right.” Even if it is small steps.

  27. Jane_hates_Dick

    I’m going to pretend to be a sexy, self-assured, surfer-poet-midwife.

  28. Nicole Austin

    thank you for the encouraging and inspirational words! i am inspired by your story and i have found it easier and easier to take those baby steps toward my dreams! i am pretending to be an artist and teacher and art blogger and suddenly i find that after a year, i have a home studio and i am making art and taking classes and teaching…it’s a dream come true! 🙂

  29. michelle sylvia

    Oh My…What a wonderful Post. It dives down into the depths of my soul. Makes me search out what it is I really truly want.

    I am pretending to be a Strong Confident Woman with a Big Heart. I am pretending that my Art is accepted and taken to a New Level which would mean that I can do what I love and be able to support the dreams I have for my family and for my soul. I am pretending that my Art and My Spirit touch people in a way that will make them into better Artists and People. I am pretending that my Art will make someone happy and that they will love the piece they purchase just as much as I treasure it while creating it.

    Thanks for this post and for sharing your dreams with all of us.


  30. FlutterbugArtGirl

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring me. I’m pretending to be a fiberartist and painter and writer. All in one body: mine. Behind closed doors in the spare room I secretly call my Art Studio, but no ones knows it yet. Or perhaps they do and I just can’t say it out loud. Yet…

  31. Sara Moriarty-delaFuente

    I am pretending to touch lives (including my own) with my creativity. Pretending my art can put a smile on someone’s face, pretending my words can touch someone’s heart, pretending my gift in this life is to spread the joys of living creatively.

    You are a wonderful example that all this is possible.

    I totally want to get my hands on those notes.

  32. Anonymous

    I want to be an artist, a writer, a traveller. I have started a blog, and filled out an application to do mission work overseas. Thank you so much for this post. You are incredibly inspirational. Love your blog.

    T Marie

  33. Sammy

    Kelly Rae, thank you for this reminder. A dream has been ruminating in my heart for the last few weeks and you’ve reminded me that it’s not just a dream. Thank you,

  34. Alicia

    a painter/collage artist/PROfessional tinkerer in the craft room (not sure what this is, just that I’d get paid for it)…I’ve been feeling it, though the thoughts are kept securely tucked inside my head..the first step: DOING that’s all I’ve got for now.

  35. Jean

    So many words and phrases from your blog entry spoke to me: dreams, potential, truth…paying attention to, acknowledging, and especially, “making tiny steps toward our dreams.” And I absolutely love when you said, “perhaps while pretending to be fearless…somewhere along the line we find ourselves no longer pretending.”

    Recently, I’ve been in the process of “pretending to be” a successful artist. It’s those tiny steps that have been helping me get closer and closer to making it a reality. Over the last few months I’ve started a blog, and opened an Etsy shop to help reach my goals. The work in my Etsy shop is not up to my (typically, high) standards yet…but if I waited till then, who knows when I would start up a shop! So, for me, it’s tiny baby steps…one by one by one! I keep thinking of the story of the tortoise and the hare…slow and steady wins the race!

    Thank you for sharing tales from your own artistic journey in your book!

  36. Poetic Dreams

    Hi Kelly,
    I like this entry. I am pretending to put myself first and be an artist and Poet. I am pretending one day soon my book of poems will be published to help a child abuse fund. Thanks for reminding me it’s ok to follow my dreams.
    Big Hugs~

  37. joanne

    i am pretending that accepting and valuing myself aren’t dependent on what is generally thought of as “success”… whether it is art, writing or anything other than just being and expressing who i am deeply from my heart…

    i love seeing the unfolding of your dreams and their realization… it is so incredibly inspiring…

  38. katie

    oh kelly, how i wish we could have a whole LUNCHEON with local bloggers. i would be thrilled to meet other artistic bloggers from the area.

  39. Lin

    This is a wonderful idea Kelly. I’m going to start pretending today that I’m an Illustrator!

  40. K

    I am pretending that I can paint and maybe someday I will actually realize that if I let go of my fears…I really can! You have been such an inspiration to me and are such a talent…beautiful soul! Thank you!

  41. Christina Tryon

    I am “pretending” to be an artist. (I also pretend to be an engineer, but that is another story…) I include that I am an artist in descriptions of who I am. I would LOVE to pretend to be “Carefree and Easy-Going” rather than the sort of high strung Type “A” personality that I really am. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  42. Beverly Ash Gilbert

    I’m pretending to be an artist and an author and a teacher. 5 years ago I would have laughed at the thought!

  43. Ali

    perfect 🙂

  44. Isabella

    Yes, you are absolutely right, “pretending” feels odd in the beginning, then, an unnoticable change occurs, and the more you “pretend” and the better you are getting in it, the more you enjoy! When I started blogging only a few months ago I couldn’t imagine how quickly I would develop… Ok, enough about me 😉 thank you for your awesome and beautiful blog, kelly!

  45. paperbird

    So funny, I just asked my husband if he thought it was ridiculous that I am almost 50 ahhhhh!, and I want to paint- not just paint but paint really well.
    I need to stop listening to the whispers that tell me that it is ridiculous.

    By the way my sweetie said not at all.

  46. kelly lautenbach

    something to think about on this Sunday afternoon… I was just wondering to myself today “what do I want to be when I grow up?”… 🙂 After all, 41 is pretty young… don’t you think?!?!? 🙂

  47. Soon, Then

    you are so right (and maybe you are just pretending you have all the answers, but its working 🙂

  48. debi @ life in my studio

    Thanks for the inspiration! I love reading your blog for a good dose of that. I’m going to start pretending!


Submit a Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t want to miss a post?

Get my posts sent to your inbox as soon as they’re published!

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.

Get the FREE

Possibilitarian Manifesto

+ a 20% off coupon!


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

Featured Freebies