It is not easy to stand out these days. In a world where trends run like wild fire, and ideas are quickly shared, the original, becomes the fad all too quickly. Everyone is guilty of this to some extent. But where do you draw the line? Where does inspiration end and being a copy-cat begin? Inspiration is a wonderful thing. I love to be inspiration. I also, love to be inspired. There are many people who inspire me. In fact, most people I meet do. The line gets drawn when people forget completely about who they are and perpetually live off of others.
I have been struggling for a long while to find my place. I have been looking for something to call my own. I tried many things to appease my inner need. And it seemed that whatever I did, there was someone behind me, following and reliving. I became really frustrated with it. To the point where I gave up a small business that I started and put a lot of time into. All of the things I tried were short-lived. I just didn't want to be doing what everyone else was doing. I have always been a leader, so to speak. I hated to live in shadows. It discouraged me so, that I decided to step away from everything I was doing. My mother's voice came into play. She once told me,
"Lauren, since you were a child, you have been different.
You have always done what you wanted, regardless of what anyone thought.
You are full of wonder. Your way of thinking and living, is unique.
People are drawn to that. People are intrigued by that."
These words sat with me a long while. Although I didn't truly understand them, yet. I took a break and thought about who I was and who I wanted to be. Were these endeavors for real? Or were they merely phases in my life? They were fun to do, But...they were more of a hobby and not what I wanted to be doing 5 years from now. My heart was else where....somewhere that it has always been since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I just wanted something for my own. When I came across my first blog. I had no idea what a blog was. I saw that someone was sharing their life & words through their blog and it was exactly what I needed in my life. I remember when I first started blogging, I tried to write about what I thought others would want to hear. I scoped out other blogs and wrote about similar things and posted similar photos.
But I didn't get many new followers. And I wasn't getting anything out of writing either. I was writing and posting for someone else....and I had no idea who that someone else was! Early on, I caught that and reminded myself, "This is for me, not anyone else. I'm going to write for me. And if others don't like that, they don't have to read it." It was after this mind frame change, that I really started to love blogging. People started to visit my blog more often, my daily hits went up and it seemed effortless.
That was when it dawned on me: When I am completely me, people are drawn to it, without effort. It was almost as if they could tell when I was trying to write and when I was truly writing for me. I think that most people can tell the difference. I know I can.That is why I am always genuine. Now, I never post something that isn't truly me. I may be inspired by someone, but I take that and mold it into my own. I don't plagiarize it. Same goes for life. I never do something because someone else does it. I do things because I want to. And I write because it's in my blood. It's a passion.
Over the last 9 months, I have grown as a blogger. I have changed things/ideas on my blog, many times and found my place. I have discovered more about myself. I think it is important to be yourself. You can try to mimic other's lives or go along with the latest fad, it's easy to do. But at the end of the day, who are you really? Have you fallen off your own path while following along on someone else's? Maybe you don't think that your ideas or life are good enough or interesting?
The Lesson I've learned:
People are always going to jump on the band wagon, imitate, and follow. But the one thing that sets me apart, is that I am who I am. No one can ever take that from me. As I go about life, I make sure that I stay true to me. I was so busy trying to find something that was all my own, that I didn't realize I already had something that was just mine. It had been with me since I was born. It was my gift, my coping mechanism and my passion. Writing. There is no one that can take that from me. Because it is me. (And thank God for Copyrights, lol) I say we all find who we truly are in life, and we just be it. Don't look so hard to others to be someone or something. You won't find it. Because who you really are, and the way to stand out, lies inside of you. It's who you've always been. You would be surprised by how many people will be drawn to the real you.