Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own..." ~D.M. Dellinger

"They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how
would the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we
ever recover from the wonder of it?”
~Jeanette Winterson

Lately I have been struggling with the concept of 'individuality";
the idea that I am a unique human being who cannot be replicated.

All through our childhood we are told that we are different, unique and
special but, in the end, aren't we really just copying someone that came before
us? (Even as I write this I feel as if I am a cheap imitation of Carrie

What purpose is the “you're different”, “you're unique”, “you’re special” rhetoric designed to serve?

Could it possibly have been more detrimental than helpful?

When speaking with a friend the other day I shared a very private (and somewhat embarrassing) thought....I still think that I am going to grow up to 'be somebody'.

By ‘somebody’ I don't mean *just* a good citizen, employee, friend, girlfriend, wife, mother etc., to me those are all a given. What I mean is somebody famous, somebody known, somebody who will impact the lives of others on a large scale.

I am not particularly outstanding at anything
I don't have any unique physical features
I don’t have any special talents
…so what makes me think I deserve fame or recognition?

I partially attribute this feeling to how easy it seems to gain notoriety in this day and age via the internet. Shouldn’t I just be able to write a kitschy blog, film a funny video or post a beautiful picture and become instantly famous?
No? But that worked for:

A) Rebecca Black
B) The casts of the following shows:
1. Jersey Shore
2. The Real House Wives of Orange County
3. The Real House Wives of New Jersey
4. The Real House Wives of New York
5. The Bad Girls Club
6. Dog the Bounty Hunter

However, I can’t blame the internet completely for this identity crisis, as much as I might want to. So who/what else is to blame for endowing me with this feeling of entitlement? I attribute it to the “snowflake principle”, the teaching that we are all different, unique and special.

Now, please don’t get me wrong – I truly WANT to believe that I am different, unique and special. To be honest, regardless of this rather depressing missive, I think I am!

However, I think that this “snowflake principle” often sets up people for failure.
Why do I think I deserve a great job? Because I’m different, unique and special.
Why do I think I deserve a great home? Because I’m different, unique and special.
Why do I think I deserve a great boyfriend? Because I’m different, unique and special.

So – what is the solution/end game? Do I attempt to define myself with new interests and attributes to prove that I, in fact, AM different, unique and special? Take up hot air ballooning? Or duck wrangling? Learn π to the 1000th degree? Unfortunately I don’t know the answer. So, for now, I will continue to ust be myself and hope that there isn’t an imposter running around, trying to steal what is ‘owed’ to me.