i saw mia michaels interviewed yesterday, and she said something that i can't get out of my mind. they asked her how she felt about her emmy, won for last year's work on sytycd. in response, she got a little emotional and talked about how hard she has had to work in this business because she wasn't a typical dancer. she said, "to be recognized for being exactly me, and nobody but me, was powerful." i wonder if the award would have been quite so powerful had she spent her career copying other styles instead of honing her own? when she was trying to make it, all her critiques at auditions were: "you're an amazing dancer, but you need a better body. sorry." would she be quite as proud of her work if she listened and went the eating disorder route rather than saying, "screw you, i'll just coreograph?" (which is what she did).
you will never be proud of work that is not your own. i struggle with what to do when i'm clicking around etsy and see exact copies of things i've designed that someone else is selling. example: i sell the pattern to my crochet booties, copywrited and for personal use only, and i see them being sold in etsy shops by people who have bought the pattern. one woman is even having them featured in a magazine soon, without any thought of giving me credit. someone is selling the wool quiet books i made. like, NO difference. it wouldn't even bother me if like the tree was a different color or something. but it is exact, mine used as a pattern.
i am totally realistic about how "there's nothing you can do that can't be done" aspect of making things. quilting, bunting, booties, it's all been done every way there is to be done. i'm totally aware that we are all inspired by each other. i have no desire to call these people out, no desire to be mean. it just makes me sad. they just need a healthy dose of mia. i'm sure things i've made have been reminicent of someone else's style. but i never ever ever ever ever seek to do anything but be me. i would never dream of copying exactly someone's work. i can't imagine how that's even fun.
a long time ago i made some rules for myself to be sure i was being real, and not letting the blogging world make me feel inadequate or like i needed to compete or copy. i know so many people who struggle with reading blogs and feeling envious and bad about themselves. quit it! what's the point of that? follow my rules: 1. only read blogs that truly inspire you to be your best self. if you are reading a blog that makes you feel bad, unsubscribe. 2. limit your time on the computer. don't read a million blogs. this is fake life. it will skew your vision of your real life and what's really important. i only read a handful of non friend/ family blogs, and they make me happy and motivated. 3. it's ok to love what someone makes/ does/ creates without feeling like you need to do it too or you're not as good as them. our worth is not defined by our skill at hobbies (that's craziness). hobbies are for relaxation in this life. life is for your family, your friends, and knowing your worth as a child of god. some of us are more interested in making stuff than others. i'm sure there's people out there who get dressed before 3 pm. different strokes for different folks. the world needs us all. 4. if you love to blog, blog. you don't owe anyone anything, nor does how many comments you get on a post have anything to do with how awesome/ not awesome of a person you are. don't participate in or read mean-spirited blogs. don't compare your blogs to other blogs. do what you like and don't worry about what others think. 5. be exactly you, and nobody else.
comparing is a really hard thing about being a woman right now. i do struggle with it too. (hence, the making of the rules). i can feel really bad about myself around skinny chicks wearing the style of clothes i wish i looked good in (read: skinny jeans). or you know those super young couples who have already bought like the nicest house? and then when they decide they're ready to finally have kids they have like as many as they want no problem? that makes me feel really down. in those moments i take a step back and remember that we are all children of god. he wants the best thing for all of us (to return to live with him) and he is not concerned with our fashion or our cool house. he gives us each different experiences that are tailor made for each one of us, for what we need. for our growth. for our good. he gives us each different talents to contribute. some of the most important talents are not tangible ones, like kindess and generosity. and what he is concerned about is what we do with what we've been given. our gratitude. our service. our sharing.
elaine jack said, "sometimes comparisons creep up on us. some of you may say, 'i’m just average. there’s nothing special about me or my life.' and yet what is manifested plainly to me is that you are extraordinary, you whose average day is lived in accordance with our heavenly father’s laws. you show your love for the Lord daily as you support husbands, nurture children, care for parents, benefit neighbors, serve in your schools, sit on community councils, and do much of the work of this world in and out of the home. no one is more impressive than you."
here's to loving ourselves for who we are. here's to finding out what god has designed for our life. here's to developing and sharing the gifts we have been bestowed with and enjoying the gifts others have been given. here's to shunning covetousness. here's to being happy for others' successes, rather than jealous. here's to feeling powerfully true to ourselves as children of god.
ps.- yay for joshua! and i cried like a baby when all our old friends from other seasons performed. neil! benji! ivan! anja! dominic! travis! i love them all. i'm so sad it's over.