are you trying desperately to be like someone else?

always feeling a need to follow in their footsteps,
trying to do what they do
or have what they have?

trying to make the same friends,
go to the same places?

trying to express the same way
because you are focused on what they have––
so much so that you are missing out
on what you possess?

yes, it's true––
imitation is the best form of flattery.
but you owe it to yourself
and the one you are imitating
to just be yourself.
emulation can be a good thing,
but imitation grows wearisome after a while.
both for you
and for the ones you imitate.

why would you want to be the same as someone else?
if you try to be like a unique individual,
are they unique still?
and even if so, are you?

"to be irreplaceable,
one must always be different,"
said a great style icon once.
she did not say,
"one must be the same as another who is different."

hold your head high.
be what you are, not what you see.
find your own way.

let the influences of others
subtly affect you––not define you.
that is the better way,
i believe.



Anonymous said...

it is good to remember what we have and to be confident to be ourselves... thank you... i love this post,
warm wishes
ginny x

Toni Brockliss said...

Gosh you write so beautifully.
Being shy (which is a curse) I always wanted to be someone else. Someone outgoing. I feel outgoing on the inside, it's just never made it's way out.
No matter how hard I try to channel Martha for cooking skills, Ellen for being so outgoing, Oprah for the serenity and Audrey Hepburn for just about everything else, I will always be Toni the shy, who bakes but can't cook, worries a great deal and can't dance.
You also have to think of it from another way - Ellen is striving for same sex marriages and faces adversity, Oprah is rich but hates her body, Martha did time in the clink and Audrey nearly starved to death in the war, was in loveless marriages and died of cancer.
The grass is never greener if you want to be somebody else.
When you love you, you love harder.

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful post and photo.

Anonymous said...

so very true. well said, georgia!

Char said...

Beautifully said and written.

I've had that happen to me before and I used to joke about it, until it got weird. Sometimes it happens organically - we like the same styles, etc. Or we recommend people.

Liss said...

Great advise. I got over this a long time ago. I've come to realise its better to me true to myself. I'm much happier no I accept some people will like me and the things I do and other will not.

Great wisdom and photos you have posted today.

beth said...

be yourself...
everyone else is taken :)

sorry...I had to throw that in there....you knew I did since I'm a goon that way !!

but YES...great words, great advice that surprisingly even adults need to hear !

Toni said...

Being yourself isn't always the easiest thing to do. You want to fit in and so you conform to this groups standards and then that groups standards, by only showing a small part of who we are. But once you get older, cough, you really don't give a rat's a** anymore, because you like yourself, warts and all (fat excluded) and that is perfectly fine. And everything the other Toni said. =)

apriliniowa said...

I've never met a true individual. I don't think he/she exists. Nor could unless he/she was raised in a sensory deprivation tank without anyone else around. We are shaped and formed by everything around us: media, culture, our environments, family, friendships, advertising, the sentiments of the times, and even the weather. But there are those that work at being "different" more than others. But then, they always have a niche too, don't they? Sure, there's leaders and followers. But that's about it, in my opinion.
I remember you posting something similiar awhile back. You need to stop being so fabulous, I guess. ;) Cyber-stalking...cyber-immulation...that's an interesting topic though. Love this post in other words, Georgia. And the photograph. The single stalk rising above the others fits well with the subject matter. Enjoy your day. :)

Meri said...

Great message, Georgia. And April in Iowa's comment about the single stalk rising above the others is well put.

georgia b. said...

i wholly agree, heather. we are who we are because we are shaped and influenced by others. as we should be.

but what i think is sad is when we try to be someone else because we see what they have and want it for ourselves. we then miss out on what makes us our true self in the first place. that is why i said we should allow ourselves to be influenced by others, but not defined by others. it's sad to me when we try to be like someone else and it is written all over our actions.

i feel "yucky" inside when i do it. i feel smothered when others do it. not necessarily in cyberspace. i had personal friends that did this in high school and within the last 10 years. maybe it is just human nature. maybe not. i just get sad to see when someone won't focus on their own talents and interests and loves, because they are focused on someone elses. i hope i never get in that rut. i hope i soak in inspiration from all kinds of places while still being true to my own thoughts and God-given talents.

i appreciate your {and everyone else's} input and feedback about this. i like to get people talking with posts like these.

Anonymous said...

i think what makes things a little worst would be if an individual copies other ppl and yet, they don't realize it - and at the same time, they point fingers at others, saying that they are copying them instead. it probably is a defense mechanism, in denying their actual action.

but as i truly agree, we need to focus on what sets each individual uniquely apart from each other - and then only will we be all sparkly in our own ways. :)

Jamie said...

great topic! i touched on this in one of my most recent posts:

"10 years ago I was too timid to make a move and copied other peoples style so I wouldn’t have to profess my own and risk being “wrong”. Now I know that my best work comes from my own gut instincts. It’s the truest, purest, and most beautiful when it’s all mine. People want what I have to offer because they can’t get it from someone else."

what a great conversation.

Barefoot from Heaven said...

I can't say how much I like the fact you've put this into words. So true for almost everybody I'll guess (including me). I needed to see these words in order to get myself togheter and be totaly okay with the way I live and were I live. I'm blessed and needed to see it clear again.

My other issue is not to long for the fact of wanting more. My day is good as is comes. Simply because it's there. Day after Day.

I'll be Okay.
Sweet hugs from me to you my friend. XXX Dagmar

Caroline said...

I tired imitating in my blogging a while back...not copying but using some of techniques to grow successful. After awhile, I grew resentful and exhausted. I lost my voice in trying to emulate. I had to stop for a while and re-group. That's when I created whimsical whispers. This blog is my own...no formulas to copy, no keeping up, just me. And you know what? I am so happy!!

Kristin said...

Lovely post. If only I could go back in time and read it as a younger girl. : )

Claire said...

g, this issue appears to lie close to your heart as you have written about it in different nuances before. it is evident through your blogs that you are a leader and an individual who sets trends in fashion, design and various other art forms. leaders have followers. i find that in various aspects of my life that i too have felt robbed of my individuality and it used to cause major upset in my life. and then one day i decided to sit back and just take on a different perspective. i asked myself why it was upsetting me so and i realised that i was clinging to my individuality because i was not completely secure in it myself. that was a real wake up call for me. if one is truly secure in something you will not feel the need to continually be fighting for it, in my opinion. since that time i have taken this matter to God and i have asked that He please start moulding me afresh according to who He wants me to be and not who i think i should be. i have reached peace in many ways regarding the issue although it is a process of growth. He has also taught me to start sharing liberally of all i have and all that i am even if that means my own identity. it is for the other person to sort their lack of it out. "freely give" is all He asks of me. since i have adopted this approach i have discovered a lot of freedom.

thank you for starting this discussion. i loved reading the commentary. i have learnt a lot from your post and from the comments.

apriliniowa said...

You've stoked the fires of a great conversation here, Georgia! And point well taken. You were clearly raised in a strong, artistic, intelligent, and loving family. That, in itself, is something a lot of people never get to experience. And so either create it for themselves with their own families and friends or steal a little of it, daily, from others. Which can be very sad.
But this joy for life and strength of spirit you possess is evident in everything you write and photograph. But, as you've written before, the coveting of your indivuality might stem a little from being a twin, too. Unlike most folks, you didn't come into the world alone. I get that. And I get the fact that being immulated feels like your being robbed. Of you. Which is strange, in itself.
But I also get the other side. The "in a rut" side. It's hard to not want. Or desire. Or need. When someone appears to be living a beautiful life-it's natural to want that for yourself, too. That's the human condition: desire for more. And more. and more. and more. Or maybe it's the American condition anyhow!?
With that, one of my favorite poems sums up much of my thinking on this subject...or how I get through my days anyhow...
I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.

My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.
(~The Remains by Mark Strand~)

This line in particular sums up much on this business of living: "Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same."

Time catches up with us all. Don't let it bother you too much. If anything, feel empathy. Something crucial is always missing when someone can't think/feel/create/be themselves. Have a good night and my hat is off to you for this post! :)

georgia b. said...

thanks, heather. i really really like that poem, and i am glad you shared it. i feel i must explain that this post is not to be mixed up with a previous post where i talked about fighting for my individuality because of growing up a twin.

i wrote this for a friend—who i asked to read this after i posted it—in response to her sharing with me how she longs to fit in with her in-laws and friends. she was growing weary of being someone other than herself. it made me want to look and see if i have done that too. my own desire to have children sometimes gets to the point of wanting them so i fit in with my friends who have moved on to have their own kids. that was the driving force behind this post.

but i thought it would be good to put out into the blogosphere, too, because i know that it's easy to want to model yourself after someone else's blog—whether it's their writing style or their look or their subject matter. i've had many people encourage me who have been blogging longer than i have to be myself and that is the best i can offer. those who truly appreciate it and me for myself will stick around. i found that to be so true.

this was more for the person {sometimes my own self} that tends to forget to be their self, and not really for the person who feels they are being imitated or the one who is imitating. it was meant as encouragement to the first, not as consolation to the second or correction to the third.

i guess i should have been more clear in the way i wrote it—especially since i have in the past talked about the whole twin thing. :)

this is why i'm not a writer and don't claim to be. i should just stick to the visual, no? :)

Sandy K. said...

Wow - the entire thread of conversation has been a wonderful refresher course in the celebration of "self." The poem is wonderful, heather, as are the sentiments of others. Myself - I am always looking for who I am, and it's quite an adventure. Sometimes I'm a wife, a mother, a teacher, a writer, a photographer, a confident woman, a child, and a variety of combinations of each. We are who we are and really need to celebrate it. I say all this like I am comfortable in my skin, but that isn't quite so. This is my goal - however long it takes:). Thankfully there's a large support group out there, eh?

Anonymous said...

You ended your post with "really"...Georgia, thank you. REally. You are such a controversy starter, aren't you? (JOKING!). The photos is different than what I was picturing. But I do love it.

Seriously, thank you. ~D.

apriliniowa said...

Well, hey, it's still fun to engage in an exchange of ideas nonetheless. Even if it's a total miss on my part!? I get a little too serious a little more than often. wink. wink.
Your friend is lucky to have you as a pal, Georgia. And you're a fine writer as well as a visual artist. Thanks for commenting back and forth. I enjoyed it. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you're a really good writer, too. I admire that in a photoblogger as I think writing and photography perfectly complement each other.

You know, I think when I was younger I probably emulated people often. Now I do still admire others at times but I think I am mostly myself--when I am able to be. But, for instance, I never feel I can really be myself at work--and not rock the boat, that is. And I'm beyond wanting to rock the boat at work anymore. As an example, I am a liberal Democrat but work for conservative Republicans, for the most part. I had to tone down or not even mention my support of Obama around certain "superiors." Or rather, I chose to not flaunt it just to make my life easier. It ticks me off to not be myself for 40 hours a week. Most people I work with have no idea I'm a photographer, that I have a degree in art, that I blog, that I feel entirely differently about so many things than they do. But I like having a job, I like getting along with my boss, etc. but sometimes I go home so pissed and frustrated--not all the time, though, so I'm not gonna chuck it all. It's just sometimes, you can't be yourself totally...and that's a drag. I guess you have to compromise sometimes if you want to get along.

You obviously hit a chord with a lot of people here :)

georgia b. said...

me, too heather! we've done this before. it's fun to engage in conversation. it's like sitting in a virtual coffee shop and hangin' out, shootin' the breeze. talking about the things we don't otherwise get to talk about.

welcs, d.
i sure did start somethin'!

PS~Erin said...

Well said, my friend. It's something I think we all slip into at some point or another. The older I get the less I fancy what someone else has or is about, and the more I embrace (and get to know) who I am. It's a wonderful thing, really.

elk said...

i have learned much from the comments on this post...keep writing Georgia...continue photographing and by all means know what a solid and good friend you are for many when you open dialogue in this way.

I am less concerned with much of what you wrote here as I have gotten older ....one of the few perks I suppose!
blessings, elk

~Hurricane B~ said...

Wow, so many great comments on a wonderful post. I agree it is easy to get lost in trying to just get some inspiration from someone to then getting lost and just trying to be them. We all should pick little things from everyone, take what we already have, add to it, and make something new of ourselves.

Thank you for you comment on my blog, I did not have anything to really write that day, but as I was reading some blogs I saw that post. I had to re post the link. I was stunned looking at what someones BMI labeled them, perfectly fine women being told they were overweight. Hog-wash!!!

Happy Thursday!!

littlebyrd said...

love. this. :)

Wildflower Studio (Michelle Dransart) said...

This picture is completely striking! I love it, and the words are great as well!
PS I love your macro echinacea above too!

shilvia said...

i'm speechless!!! i agree with you completely :)