Elizabeth Gilbert once wrote, “’Tis far better to live your life imperfectly than to try to live someone else’s perfectly.” This really stuck with me, because for a great part of my life I learned by watching, and imitating, others. After the loss of my parents at a young age, I purposely followed other people’s leads on how to live successfully.
It worked beautifully as a teenager, and even as a young adult, but then it stopped working. The comparison that had once fed me was now choking me. While everyone else was being natural, I was trapped pretending all the time. I never felt like I could live up to what I saw before me.
Then, even worse feelings came in, of jealousy and inadequacy. I realized that comparisons offered up heartache unless you could transform them into admiration.
Very soon I knew that comparing myself to other people was a dead-end path. I wanted the perceived happiness of what I observed in others, but truthfully, I knew nothing of the lessons they had to undergo to get to that place of happiness. It was a classic case of the grass is always greener. After all, that was their path, not mine. Did I really want to settle for a carbon copy of someone else’s life?
I decided not, and turned my view towards my life with all its joys, bumps, and bruises. Now…here was something I could work with. I started to understand that before me was the blank canvas of my life, lovingly waiting for me to create what I longed for. All it took was intention, faith, and courage to make it happen. The brush was in my hand. I was the originator of this life of mine, and no one else could possibly create what I could.
It’s occurred to me that there will never be another in all of the world’s existence that will be you, ever, ever, so celebrate your uniqueness.