Wednesday, December 08, 2010

December 8: Beautifully Different

I'm participating in #reverb10, a month-long challenge to blog every day of December based on prompts provided here.

Prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

This prompt kinda rubs me the wrong way. Doesn't everyone want to believe that he or she is different than all the rest? Of course. We all do. That's why some of us wear wacky glasses or throw mustache parties or travel to Croatia solo. Or run marathons or sometimes dance in front of the mirror when we're alone or casually slip in that we've lived in Paris whenever it's pertinent (or not).

Those are things that I've done that are a bit different, but I definitely don't think these actions make me differently beautiful or beautifully different or whatever than the next person.

To say that I am different means I must compare myself to someone who is not. Someone who is undifferent, who is boring, who is normal. While I definitely think these people exist — I interact with them daily and shhh… I probably judge them — it is really not my place to say "I am different because I do these things that this person does not do." I really think claiming myself as different is a lousy way to make myself feel like more of a person than I really am.

When it comes down to it, we're people. We have different motivations for doing certain things or feeling certain ways or dressing in certain clothes. Maybe I wear these glasses because I think they define my personality, because I think they will make me stand out in a crowd or because I really want to look like a Mad Men character. Maybe it doesn't really matter.

Maybe we should stop trying to be so unique and different from each other and just do things that make us happy, no matter how those actions measure up to the actions of our neighbors. If we keep trying to be so very hard to be different all the time, we are all going to end up being the same.

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