I was in fourth or fifth grade. The teacher had asked us to write something about who we wanted to be like when we grow up. I know there are people in this world that I look up to. I won’t say idolize, that’s just not who I am. Admire is a better word. Appreciate works too. But none of that leads me to a place where I want to be like them, no matter how popular, famous, wealthy or all-together they are.
So, I simply wrote on that paper…
“When I grow up, I want to be just like me.”
Epiphany. Right? As I recall, the room had a lot of adults in it. I don’t know why. Maybe it was a parent day, or something, but when I read that piece of paper, all the adults in the room applauded. I didn’t quite grasp the concept of what I wrote, or why they showered me with accolades, stuff like that just doesn’t register with a young mind normally (at least it didn’t for me), but in retrospect I get it. Who else is it better to be like than you?
How often do we get caught up in trying to be like someone else that we completely lose focus on ourselves. The individual that you are is more valuable than the clone they want you to become. You have a voice. You have a gift. You have a talent. You are unique. And all those things combined make you awesome.
Yeah, I know.. a bit Stuart Smalley.
But how often do we get caught up in looking at others and judging ourselves based on them? Where they are at in their career, how much money they have, how successful they have become, and why can’t that be me??? Why do we torture ourselves that way? Sure, I’d like to be as good as Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, or Terry Pratchett. Sure, I’d love to have sold as many books as J.K. Rawlings, Stephen King, or Richard Castle. But if I were just like them, then the world wouldn’t have the joy of knowing me (and the world totally needs to know me.. I’m just saying).
So.. to that end.. I’m just happy being me. It’s not so bad… after all if I weren’t me.. then someone else would get to have all this fun.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”