A master teacher once told me, “Every good idea I ever had, I stole.” As I begin my own foray into the profession, I have realized how true that statement really is!

I also realize how truly that statement applies to my life journey.

In recent years, I have been gleaning bits of wisdom from those close to me. I have absorbed their strongest traits and taken my highest inspiration from seeing my friends and family live their own unique, individual, beautiful lives.

I constantly find myself saying: “I LOVE that about them! I want to be like that. I should DO that.”

Some examples from recent days:

Like Mary, I want to carry a pack of 100+ markers so that I am always prepared and able to create art and add color to my daily world.

Like Bethany, I want to be beautifully and uniquely put together for all the important events in my life.

Like Oren, I want to have a contagious enthusiasm for life. And, I’d love to be awesome at video games.

Like my Granny, I want to have a stocked freezer– just in case.

Like Sawyer, I want to have big dreams.

Like Holly, I want to make the big decisions that lead me directly on the path to those big dreams.

Like Emily, I want to appreciate and live in the simple pleasures of life.

Like Isaiah, I want to spend hours listening to and pouring over musical scores, so that I can learn as much as my head can possibly hold while at this school of music.

Like Daniel, I want to be dedicated to my instruments and practice for hours.

Like Allee, I want to take care of my body in every possible way– particularly by eating perfectly balanced meals.

The list (literally) goes on and on.

Some things I HAVE indeed taken into my own life. I do have a stocked freezer. I curl my hair way more often because my best friend does so. I established a prayer corner in my room because a friend once did. I am on a constant struggle-bus path to improving my video game skills because of the influence of my second family.

In my eyes, these “wants” are positive! I want to emulate these things because I admire them so much in others.

The whole time, though, I am just painting a picture of the Mandi that I want to see when I look in the mirror.

I am creating the mental portrait of the “perfect” Mandi, who does EVERYTHING and succeeds everywhere in every single possible avenue of life.

Sometimes I forget how special the real Mandi really is!

I forget to realize that to other people around me, I am sometimes the special one. I am sometimes the one with the characteristics that somebody else admires and wants to copy. The real Mandi sometimes has characteristics that nobody else does– just like all of my friends do in my eyes!

It took me a minute, but I figured out some things that make the real Mandi very special. Thinking about them gave me a warm glow, somewhere deep inside.

As much as I love to dream that I can be like a conglomeration of the best aspects of the best people in my life… I create this drive inside me to be constantly improving. Constantly leveling-up, so that I can become what I admire as quickly as possible.

Really, what I am doing is neglecting the beauty that I have right now.

It’s so nice to take a moment and realize all the ways that I am unique, and that I am NOT like someone else.

Loving yourself is a long and complicated journey– but moments like this are a fantastic step in the right direction!

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”    –Margaret Mead



One Comment

  1. This post was really beautiful–I especially loved your concluding thoughts. In a world where everyone seems to be constantly self-improving, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes each of us truly unique and valuable in our own way.

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