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Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Uniqueness

I had a poster hanging on my bedroom wall through my childhood years. This is what it looked like:



Somewhere along the way of my childhood, I realized that I didn't like doing what everyone else was doing. I wanted to be different. When I was in first grade, I received an award as the "most original" girl in my class. At the time, I took that to mean "most creative." However, as I've grown and realized my talents don't like in creativity, I understand that I'm original. As in unique. Or weird.

And I enjoy it.

Of course I went through the adolescent stage where I wanted to be a carbon copy of my friends. I wanted their bangs, their purse, their clothing, I wanted to talk like them, giggle like them, write like them. How very lame. I grew out of that, luckily. And now I find myself constantly resisting the pull of the trend. Not always, but in a lot of instances. 

For example, when I was in college, everyone talked about these "awesome books" that "everyone was reading." Well, that right there turned me off. I wasn't getting on that bandwagon. No way. Then I befriended a girl in my apartment complex who seemed to be very lonely and isolated. When she found out I hadn't read these books, she loaned me the first one. How could I say no? I didn't want to be rude. (The end of that story is that I hadn't even finished the first book before I went out and bought all four. That was Harry Potter, and resistance was futile.) 

About a year ago I went to the hair salon to get blue streaks put into my hair. My beautician tried her best to convince me that red or gold would be so much more natural. Obviously, I wasn't going for natural. I wanted to be different.

I love singing soprano, and the higher, the better. And yet, when the majority of women also jump into the soprano section, I often will join the altos. The soprano melody tugs at me, pulls at me, but what would a choir be if everyone sang soprano? We need the harmonies. The first time I remember this happening was in fifth grade. (When we sang "Angels We Have Heard on High," however, I asked to switch back.) 

I've been known to sign up for classes because nobody else has.

I resented my major all through college. I majored in English, and so did 50% of the rest of the student body. The unfortunate part for me was, I really couldn't think of anything more interesting or unique that fit for me. I resented EVERYONE ELSE for daring to sign up for my major. Yeah, my uniqueness can be sort of a complex. :)

I love to do things nobody else is doing, go places nobody else has gone, eat things nobody else eats. That's not to say I'm a total rebel trying to stand out. I just don't want to be the same. 

I know I'm not the only one. What do you do that helps you feel unique?

5 comments:

Kelley said...

Haha. You know. I thought about this question for a while and I have determined that I don't focus on doing anything that makes me unique. Maybe I should?

I guess I just do what I think is the right thing to do, what feels good, feels responsible and if those things makes me unique, super.

Julie Daines said...

This cracks me up because it sounds so much like myself. I resisted Harry Potter as long as I could, not wanting to jump on the bandwagon...

Oh, well. I still wear black fingernail polish and Doc Martin boots with the british flag on the toe.

Laurel Garver said...

Love this post. I was such a conformist in elementary school, but after a nasty "BFF-breakup" in 7th grade decided to just be as weird as I wanted and found new friends who were just as creative and fun. We didn't try to be carbon copies of each other. In college, I did get a bit rebellious when my pals would become obsessed about the same TV show or Broadway musical and felt the need to forge my own path.

Kate Larkindale said...

I moved a lot when I was a kid, so I was always the weird new kid. So rather than trying to conform, I decided to embrace my difference and be as weird as I could be. And now it's a habit. I always have the kooky clothes, the crazy haircut etc.

Meg said...

I don't seek out things that aren't popular for the sake of being unique, but I DO find myself getting very defensive and possessive when other people catch onto the fun and join the party. I know I shouldn't be this way, and I try not to be....but something drives me to take ownership of my hobbies--as if no one else can do them or something. Running is MY thing, building is MY thing, preschool is MY thing. It totally isn't JUST my thing. Why can't someone else do this or that just like me? What's the harm in that?

I learned this lesson with running.
Because they might do it better than me. They might be faster, build a better table, have more students, or whatever. And then my "thing" that "I do" isn't so special. I don't feel less desire to DO "my thing" when others join in, but I am always tempted to feel less valuable, as if what I do is what defines my worth. I learned last year that if it still makes me happy, then who cares if other people do it, too? Don't I want them to be happy? YES! If I can remember not to compare myself to others, then having another person do "my" thing doesn't make it a competition, it makes it fun---because now I have another person to share experiences with and draw inspiration from. When I remember this, it helps a lot...but it does not always come naturally to me if it is something I am very passionate about.

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