A few years ago, I was serving as a missionary for the England London South mission. I had countless experiences that left an impression on my life. I met so many people who have helped shape me and my testimony. There are endless stories I could tell about my mission. I remember a conversation I had with a companion one day. It doesn’t seem significant or empowering but I think of it often. During our conversation, we continued to repeat this phrase.
“I don’t want to be a cookie cutter”
A cookie cutter… What is a cookie cutter? A cookie cutter indicates something that is mass-produced. Something that lacks any sort of distinguishing characteristic. A cookie cutter is labeled as sameness and is incapable of originality.
After reading that definition, would you want to be a cookie cutter? I’m assuming your answer is NO. I want to be me. I want to be unique, one of a kind, an original.
So if we all agree that no, we don’t want to be a cookie cutter, why is it that we’re always comparing ourselves to others? If only I had hair like hers. I wish I had clothes like that! I want to be as good at painting as she is. (and my least favorite…) Ugh, can’t I just be her? She’s perfect.
I think it’s time we take a step back from those feelings and embrace who we are. If we were all the same person, the world sure would be a pretty boring place. What if all of us had the same blonde hair and blue eyes? What if all of us weighed the same and were all the same height? What if all of us had the same talents and same ideas? What if all of us went to the exact same places to do the exact same things? Bored yet? If all of us had won an oscar before, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If all of us had the same voice, music would get old. Don’t you love to hit shuffle on a playlist and look forward to what comes next? A new genre, a new groove, a new emotion entirely. If it was all the same, it wouldn’t speak to us, it wouldn’t inspire us.
So what makes you different? What makes you unique? If you find yourself wishing you were like someone else, stop it.
“We spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others-usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does”. – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I often feel I haven’t done much in life that holds any significance but then I think about the people in my life who have been influential and have taught me important lessons and made a difference for me. It’s not a movie star I admire or a musician that I love. It’s not the blogger I follow on Instagram. It’s my family, my parents, my friends, my teachers. Those are the people who really make a difference in my life. If those seemingly “ordinary” people can make such a big impact on my life, surely I can do the same for someone else. I don’t have to fit any certain mold, I don’t have to be a cookie cutter. I can be me.
So this is me. I’m Chelsea. I love to write poems. I’ve been skydiving. I don’t like Swig cookies. I am an introverted extrovert. I’m afraid of the dark. I am really good at Just Dance. I don’t own a blow dryer. I would rather sing in front of a room full of strangers than sing in front of three of my closest friends. I have a ping pong table for a dinner table.
Who are you and what makes you unique?