Thursday, May 01, 2008

Passion Quilt Meme: There is Only One You

I've seen this lots of places, but it was Lauren's post that actually motivated me to do something. I've been thinking about this for a while. I don't really instruct students. Not in an extended format. So I thought about what was the best lesson I've ever learned; what would I want my daughter to carry with her into the future.

I doubt my parents realized the impact it would have on me, but from a young age, they stressed to me how every person is unique. My father especially. I really took this to heart. It's shaped who I am today.

Whenever I've felt doubtful about myself, I think, there's NO ONE else on the planet like you. There is no one else who puts ideas together, places one foot in front of the other, chews food, in the same manner that I do. So even when I question what I'm doing, what I'm thinking, I take solace in the fact I am unique and no one can take that away from me.

Here's the magic of this. I am not confined in thinking that I need to be like everyone else, think like everyone else, or act like everyone else. I can't be. We're all unique. And being unique means that none of us are alike. You couldn't follow the crowd if you wanted to.

So how is this helpful? Why would you want to tell this to students? For me, it removed my inhibitions, it removed my fear of failure. No matter how awful things might feel in the moment, you can know deep down that you bring something to any situation you get into because you are unique. You might whiff on today's project, but tomorrow's project might be that big home run. You can achieve some truly amazing things if you aren't afraid to make a few mistakes (or even a lot of mistakes).

The library world sometimes feels very safe. Very tried and true. This has been frustrating for me coming into this field. Sometimes you can butt your head up against so many obstacles just trying to get the simplest things done. And other times the things you sweated the most sail through without problems.

Just always remember, "There is only one you."

Original photo by Irina Souiki