For Valentine’s Day last month my parents sent me this lovely card seen below. Along with the card’s connection to my chosen career path it is actually the saying at the bottom which speaks the most about me.
When I was in high school I had a wall in my bedroom dedicated to inspirational quotes. Even now I still have a tendency to record memorable sentences from books, articles and videos. The only difference is that now they are mostly stored on my iPhone instead of on my walls. During those years though there was one quote I found which stuck with me and I have kind of adopted it as my personal mantra. The quote read:
“Be yourself – Everyone else is taken.”
I found it in a little book of quotes that had been given to my mother. No author was credited, so I have no idea who originally said it but for whatever reason it really stuck with me. There have been many other quotes over the years which have inspired me and helped me through tough times, but this one has always helped regardless of the circumstances. I have had it inscribed onto precious items and quoted it in my year book. I’ve even toyed with how to incorporate it into a company name in future (still haven’t quite figured that one out, if anyone has any ideas feel free to share). Its most recent incarnation though is as the title for this blog.
I think why this quote resonates with me so strongly is because the message is so simple, yet also beautiful and witty. There is no other you. Every person is the world is irreplaceable, but also impossible to duplicate. Why try and accomplish the impossible by trying to be some other than yourself. As I’ve mentioned before I have a lot of appreciation for individuality and authenticity, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Whenever I feel bogged down by comparing myself to others I try and remember this simple phrase and find comfort in it. Because if everyone else is already taken then there’s no use chasing after the already claimed. I might as well just feel lucky to get to be the person I already am.