“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” Harvey Fierstein
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
“Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Sometimes we forget just how special each of us—we all are. there’s no one who’s lived our lives, had our experiences, felt our pain and joy, and pushed on from day to day. And no one who can write the way we do. Whatever it is we feel called to say, it is unique to us.
When I was young and green, I had a wise friend. We were opposite personalities in many ways, but I learned a lot from her. One day I told her I was hesitating to put my work out, to share it, because I was afraid someone might take my ideas. Without skipping a beat, she said, “If you hold everything too close to you, it will wither on the vine. No one can steal your mind.”
Her message rang out loud and clear: Get out there and say what you have to say—no one can say it the way you can. What a gift her words were and how often I’ve thought of them!
So let’s not let accept anyone else’s definition of who we are!
Let’s define ourselves!
We define ourself when we say what we have to say clearly and boldly.
We define ourself when we refuse to let other people’s opinions or judgments about our work get in our way.
We define ourself when we believe in our work and its value.
We define ourself when we see that we can change and grow, and improve or craft through trial and error.
My inspiring friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert often says, “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but no one can count the apples in a seed.” How true this is! No one, not even ourselves, knows our full potential. So why accept anyone else’s definition of who we are and what we’re capable of? Write on!
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