Be-Yourself-Everyone-Else-Is-Already-Taken

you are you, that is truer than true.

there is no one alive who is youer than you.

dr. suess does it again. such existential gems in his books. reading this book to elinor the other day got me thinking about being a you in this world. being yourself. and being more than okay with that. reveling in it, even. embracing the quirks and preferences and qualities that make you, you.

you don't have to be prideful or obnoxious to be you. existing with the unflattering attitude that says, "this is me, world! take it or leave it. in your face!" and it surely doesn't make sense to be stubborn or stuck in your you-ness. "this is me and i am awesome just how i am...and i'm not changing for no one. no way, no how. never ever." we adapt as we go. we learn and grow. we are molded and shaped by the nouns in our life. our experiences help to mature us. we deepen. we soften and harden as necessary. but there is an art to just being who we are and going for it along the way. being a lifelong learner who walks in wisdom but who is also living life boldly. there is such beauty in people who are just doing their thing, comfortable in their skin. secure. confident of their place in this wild world. there is truly an art to being you, and being you well.

you know those super talented artists who copy the greats? their work is exquisite. no one doubts the ability. but the nuance and genius isn't there. everything that makes the original, original isn't present on that canvas. it may be good. it may even sell for a pretty penny. and the untrained eye may not be able to discern the copy from the original. but those paintings are mediocre. they are copies. they aren't quite "it". and who wants to be that? wouldn't you rather be the one and only you than a not-quite version of somebody else? even the greatest forger is still a forger. why settle? each of us has something remarkable to bring to those around us. our personalities and eccentricities make us who we are. we are created in the image of a creative God who has unique plans for each and every one of us. we just have to know how to use what He has given us to make a masterpiece. something that only we can do. that's the art of it. learning how to take what we've got and make our way through this world in a way that is big and bright and you. of course, there are times when we need to borrow a brush or some extra paint. we might need to take a class or so to refine our technique. we may even model the brushstrokes of another. but the beauty of the masterpiece is found when the signature elements of the artist shine through. that's the wow factor. and that is what should be celebrated.

this whole you thing is tricky sometimes. after all, there is nothing new under the sun. everything is a copy of something else, it seems. but our job is to grab the palette and brushes that God has given us and just have at it, making something cool on this canvas. we only get one. and i want to make it creative and let the you shine through so that my Creator looks at the canvas and says, "that's a rachel, right there. look at how she is using what i gave her to make something lovely for Me". i want Him to be honored and i want this life's onlookers to find enjoyment as well. and ultimately, for my work of art to point to the ultimate Creative, the God of the universe.

and while i want my acquaintances and friends and family (my daughter, especially) to see me grow and change and improve and always striving for increased knowledge and wisdom, i also want it to be clear that i am me. and that i am content with how God made me. this pretty little mess that i am. the control freak and perfectionist. the learner. the striver. the starter but not always finisher. the hopeful dreamer. the critic. the cheeky chick. the quiet and contemplative spirit. the bossypants. the extrovert. the drama queen. the thinker. the overthinker. the planner. the nerd. the lover of pretty things. the designer. the curator. the collector. the earthy crunchy granola. the gourmand. the literal and figurative hat wearer. the conservative. the independent. the leader. the follower of Christ.

here's to being a youer you.