The internet is pretty awesome sometimes. We can learn so much without even moving from our desk. I’ll be the first to admit I love surfing Pinterest for that quote that makes me want to jump up and work out or signing up for a new course online that enhances my technical skills. The internet provides endless resources, inspiration, and knowledge for those eager to start something new.
But at the same time.. the internet makes it incredibly easy to copy or flat out steal other people’s ideas. And that, my friends, is no fun! I don’t care what that old saying says about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, when it happens to you, it hurts.
And, yes, it happened to me. At first I wanted to kick and scream and call my best friend to vent, but instead, I went to yoga and got some perspective (no surprise there) and here’s what came of it…
I don’t want to be just another health and fitness blogger.
I don’t want to be just another wedding photographer.
I don’t want to be just another yoga teacher.
I don’t want to be just another web designer.
I don’t want myself or my work to blend into the crowd.
I don’t want to copy ideas from Pinterest, other bloggers, my peers, my teachers, etc.
I want to be ME. I want to be ORIGINAL.
Because I have a story no one else can tell, and that’s what makes what I have to offer so great.
I spend hours practicing headstands against my closet door until I’m dizzy and full of giggles. I brush my teeth in the shower because I like the contrast of cold and hot. I wear spandex under my jeans in the winter more often than not. I make to-do lists on top of my to-do lists. They’re usually color coded. I love the smell of gasoline, I hate the taste of coffee. I’ve never tried red meat, nor do I ever want to. I love windshield wipers (no seriously..) and the sound of rain when I’m trying to fall asleep.
This is what makes me ME. This is what’s important. This is what no one else can copy.
One of my photography teachers shared a quote on his tumblr a while back that I thought it was perfect for this situation.
So many of my friends are locked into a logic pit or endless learning loop. They spend hours every day reading about someone else’s photographic techniques as though reading about it is an osmotic process that will embue them with the knowledge they need to do something with their cameras. I used to look to the web for indications of where photography was going. All I discovered is that everyone’s work is going in all different directions and none of those directions have anything to do with my work.
— from Kirk Tuck’s New Year’s resolution
Where is the fun in trying to be someone else? That person is already taken.
Because the people that are living true to themselves are so real and genuine it jumps off the page. People like Katelyn, who is taking time off from college to pursue her passions and kick ass. Or Jenn, who quit her corporate PR job to follow her dreams. And Christine, who dares to travel the world and navigate an unconventional path.
These girls (among many others) are an inspiration. They’re not afraid of other people’s expectations. They’re not looking to other people to tell them where to go next, how to act, what to write about, etc. They’re following their heart and paving their own way.
So here I am. This is my own path. This is me. Copy cats, you just look silly.