The War with Yourself

Some say that copying is the best compliment. Or imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

I don’t know if I buy it.

I think it’s one thing when someone says — OMG, I like totally love that –– and I’m clearly going to buy the same thing / do the same thing / etc etc. It’s a whole different story when someone just creeps on you and starts taking the things that define you as theirs.

A story…

A few years ago I was casually dating this guy. The relationship ended on good terms and we both continued on being friends. A few years later he started dating a girl who was clearly a nut bar. Their relationship ended on bad terms and she continued to demonstrate her crazy side. She knew that he and I were friends — and was extremely threatened by relationships that he had with women. It was evident she already thought he was shady and I can only presume thought he was interested in these other women more than he was interested in her. Likely some truth to that!

Anyways, although I had never met her, I learned a lot about her over the time that they dated… and because of the world of social media, I knew what she looked like. We were two different people. We were interested in completely different things and to some degree, opposites. Soon enough, I spotted her at my usual hangouts. I’d run into her on the train. She would consistently favourite my tweets. She requested to follow me on Instagram time and time again.

We didn’t know each other. She knew of me. I knew of her. But we weren’t friends.

Every so often she had so much of a presence in my life that I would get curious. I’d peek at her photos or read her blog.

What I found was a young woman eerily similar to me. She picked up running. She signed up for the same races. She booked trips to travel to the same countries. She stayed at the same hotels. She raved about my usual restaurants — and favourite cocktail {French 75 by the way…}. She preached about eating local, the farmers markets and being utterly in love with this beautiful city.

Do I sound like a crazy person right now? Yeah I was thinking the same thing… It’s easy to pick up on people who aren’t being true to themselves. We can all tell when someone is being fake.  I’d flip back to her blog a few months prior and she was entirely a different person. All of her ‘new habits’ seemed forced. It seemed like she was desperately trying to be liked or fit in.

I read her posts and felt overwhelmed. All I wanted to do was shake her shoulders and say — he doesn’t matter. 

Not too long ago, I was an entirely different person. In high school I was quiet and introverted. I was super academic and would consume myself in books. I could never figure out where I ‘fit’ and bounced around social circles as a follower. In 2003, I walked away from everything I knew, started a new chapter and decided I would figure out who I was.

In the past 10 years, I have completed 7 years of university {including a Diploma and Degree!}, worked for three companies, read an obscene number of books, dated 4/5/6 guys {I have no idea}, danced my heart out, travelled all over the world and learned a hell of a lot about myself.

I have evolved as a young woman through experience and the ins and outs of life. Over time I have learned the power of — surround yourself with who you want to become. I followed the lead of others and continually learned from the best of the best. I owe a lot of thanks to so many people — everyone from… Doris, who originally saw potential in me… Dawn, the best work friend I could every ask for… Dani, who gave me my first speaking opportunity… Lesley, who supported me when I was totally in over my head as a first time Supervisor… my Mom, who gave me a kick in the pants when I was placed on academic probation {and the list could go on and on}.

I remember what it felt like to not know who I was… hell I still have those moments of confusion time and time again!

What I’ve learned is that regardless of the decisions you make in life — it’s important to be you. 

Yep, the world wants you to be you!

Make mistakes. Learn from them. Embrace your strengths — and your weaknesses. Some people will like you and love you — others will hate you. The goal is to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are.

A friend recently told me, none of us are perfect and that’s a-ok. Just keep on working on being the best person you can be. {… I was like uh huh… ok there, you psycho. ;)} Lots of truth to the statement — thank you D.

Learning from others is no big deal. Buy the same nail polish as your friend, identify with an article someone has written, copy someone’s rituals, whatever.

Just don’t consume yourself in being them.

Figure out what’s important to you and then don’t lose sight of it.

I used to be a follower. I used to think the same as others. I used to be in the shadow.

I know that was a complete disservice to myself.

Accept you for who you are. Shine. 

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” ~Andre Gide


  1. Adele Young (@adeleyoung) October 2, 2012

    Awesome post my friend. For years now my motto has been, and always will be, TRUTH IS LIFE. Be true to yourself. Be at once vulnerable & confident. Nothing more beautiful.

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