Individuality And Comparison


I owe my inspiration for this post to my blogging buddy and fellow-Pennsylvanian, Matty. Wednesday, he shared a brilliantly charming post on some wise advice he gave to his young son.

At the end of the post, he asked his readers….

“What advice would you give to yourself for those elementary school years?

------------------------------------

As a young child, I was very influenced by my comparison to other kids.

I compared myself to their intelligence, looks and talents.

I was extremely insecure; looking to fit in.

I spent years wishing I could be more like some of the kids I went to school with and longing to be someone other than myself.

Our elementary school years can be a very challenging time for a lot of us. Not only because we’re so young and impressionable, but also because we’re placed in a situation of blanketed learning. And if we don’t meet the criteria, we often feel less accomplished and left out.

I was never a school smart kid. I seem to learn more by investigating and doing. I follow my instincts.

I was also never good at sports because I had no interest in them, therefore I was in a league of my own.

I was more the creative type; writing poetry, making my own greeting cards, and pretending I had magical powers like Samantha Stephens on Bewitched. Back when I attended elementary school, creativity was something that was never nurtured or considered anything of real valuable.

I can’t say that I was an unattractive kid, but I was smaller in stature than most boys my age. I was also very shy and timid. I was one of those kids who gradually grew into my looks and personality.

Kind of like a flower seed under the ground; blooming later in life.

I don’t think it was until I got into my late teens, did I even begin to notice and appreciate myself. As soon as I was given the outlets to express my love for the arts through acting and writing, it unleashed my soul. And not only did it tap into my creative energy, but ironically it also made me a better student scholastically.

I remember when day when one of my family members who hadn’t seen me in many years was over for dinner. I must have been around 19 years old at the time and was talking up a storm; expressing myself with grand gestures and vocal freedom. She suddenly looked at me and said, “Oh dear heavens….where did this Ronnie come from? It’s like you’re a totally different person than how I remember when you were a shy little boy.”

It was then that I realized I was starting to bloom. Coming into my own. I could feel it.

I was beginning the journey to embracing my own self; celebrating my individuality.

Luckily, I was blessed with parents who supported my creative desires; allowing me to follow my heart and be myself.

Thank you, parents!

So, in going back to Matty’s great question on his blog post, I think the best advice I’d give myself for those elementary school years would be this….

To embrace my individuality and not compare myself to others.

Yet, even if I had given myself that advice back then, do you think I would have really understood what that meant?

No.

Because I had to discover it through blooming.





Wishing you an individuality weekend everyone!


X

49 comments

  1. Hi Everyone!

    I've got a very early day at work today, therefore I'll be responding to comments and visiting your blogs later this evening.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience.

    Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  2. I guess I was made in a similar mould to you, Rom. School for me was a most uncomfortable experience. I learned as you did by exploring and doing but not until later life when confidence began to set in. I have no-one to thank, my mom put me down over just about everything so confidence was a long time coming. Life has a habit of changing things though. Although I suffered from a lack of self-confidence, others thought I oozed it. Thus, I learned to hold my head high and move up in the world. Thanks for giving me the chance to reflect x

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  3. Hi Ron,

    I'm both surprised and honored that you found the inspiration from one of my posts to write about your own experiences. That anything I say would be the impetus for someone to write an article is humbling.

    I think each one of us can look back on our lives and after sifting through the difficult times, find something positive. Like you, I was insecure too, and a lot of it was due to how I was treated by others. That's why I felt compelled to air it out in that post.

    Thanks for linking up, and perhaps this will inspire your readers to return to their yesteryears for some soul searching themselves.

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  4. I think we go through many transformations as we're growing up Ron. As a young child I was apparently very talkative and loved an audience. In my teenage years I became very shy, I think because I was self conscious of my (increasing) weight. Then when I became a mother I became me - a person I am happy with. :)

    Will you get to see any of 'the wedding' today?

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  5. Good advice, Ron! Everybody just wants to fit in and it's amazing how even the so-called popular kids later in life say the same thing. My advice to myself would be to get my nose out of a book and be more social!

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  6. You were very much like me ;-)

    When I look back to those years in school - I conclude that spent that entire period of life competing and comparing with those better than me.

    I very much regret it now - because I would not lead the lives they lead as grown-ups today.

    I bloomed after I left home to live in Canada. I struggled various ways during college years and I was alone. The only support I had was from my parents living on the other side of the earth.

    That period of life taught me a lot about how the world works and how to deal with people. I learned how to be logical and how to enjoy life in a mainstream society whilst adhering to my morals and beliefs and the importance of being flexible in what you believe in.

    My advice to me would be to "stop living in a box - question everything - especially that is illogical and doesn't make sense - study people in general - their behaviours and attitudes to life - be conscious about people around you including strangers - and as a minority, be conscious about how you represent your own community in front of the world - just thinking about yourself and how you feel is selfish and will not take you anywhere but instead push you back.

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  7. I love the pencils
    what a perfect image for the post

    I think I would have told my elementary school self to not be so tough and angry
    which of course was only because I was insecure
    my family stuck out in the neighborhood - we were poor and had crazy parents in a very suburb like middle class area

    I'm so glad you bloomed into who you are
    cause you're my favorite flower

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  8. This reminds me of a song I wrote and recorded a while back, for our TV puppet show (that didn't happen) called 'Individuality'. It was basically telling kids exactly that :)

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  9. Such a great post! Celebrating what we are. Unique. You. Me. Every single one of us. That is it. So easy, yet so very hard. I am still learning and I feel like I am making some progress.

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  10. Great post, Ron. Many of us (myself included) expect these changes to happen instantly when it's really a gradual process. You can't grow a giant oak overnight. Have a great weekend!

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  11. I was shy as a kid, too, and took to expressing myself through writing, drawing, and puppet shows. Yeah, I know. Puppet shows?? Thankfully I outgrew that phase. I'm not sure how well received it would be these days.

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  12. There comes a point in life where being diffrent is Fabulous! Learning to OWN it takes time. When that happens, the fabulousness shines thru. Whe I was in jr. high, I wanted...okay I'll just say it...I wanted boobs! All the other girls had them, but I was too tall and skinny. So, I would have said to my elementary self is, "Tracy, dear, those boobie girls will also have big hips when they get older." I would not have understood and gone on with the bra stuffing. Oh gosh Ron, the things you make me admit here.

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  13. It's wonderful advice if only children would take it. I think it takes maturity to really be able to embrace our individuality.

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  14. Hello Valerie~

    "I guess I was made in a similar mould to you, Ron. School for me was a most uncomfortable experience."

    Yup, sometimes I wonder HOW I ever got through school because it truly was an uncomfortable experience. I dreaded it. And like you, my confidence came later in life.

    "Although I suffered from a lack of self-confidence, others thought I oozed it. Thus, I learned to hold my head high and move up in the world."

    You GO, girl!

    I think those of us who were shy, timid, and lack self-confidence back then, are making up for it as adults now - HA!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, dear lady! Muchly appreciated!

    Have a glorious weekend!

    X

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  15. Hey Matty~

    "I'm both surprised and honored that you found the inspiration from one of my posts to write about your own experiences. That anything I say would be the impetus for someone to write an article is humbling."

    Ever since I read your wonderful post on Wednesday, I've been thinking about my time in elementary school and the things I learned. It TRULY inspired me to reflect and share. So, THANK YOU!

    "I think each one of us can look back on our lives and after sifting through the difficult times, find something positive. Like you, I was insecure too, and a lot of it was due to how I was treated by others."

    I agree! I've always believed that the difficult and challenging times in our lives are teaching tools; preparing us for the future. As difficult as my elementary school years were, I learned a lot from them.

    Thank you for stopping by, neighbor! And again, thank you for the inspiration!

    Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  16. Good Morning Akelamalu~

    "I think we go through many transformations as we're growing up Ron."

    You are soooooooo correct. And even now as an adult, I find myself going through transformations.

    "As a young child I was apparently very talkative and loved an audience. In my teenage years I became very shy, I think because I was self conscious of my (increasing) weight."

    Isn't it something how we each experience confidence at different times in our childhoods?

    "Then when I became a mother I became me - a person I am happy with."

    ((((( Akelamalu )))))))

    That's the thing I LOVE about getting older, we become more content and happy with who we are.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, m'dear. You're added much!

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    X


    P.S. Yes, I will watch 'the wedding' on the news this evening. Can't wait!

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  17. Hi Bijoux~

    "Everybody just wants to fit in and it's amazing how even the so-called popular kids later in life say the same thing."

    You're absolutely right! I've spoken to several people I went to school with who were VERY popular back then, and I was shocked to hear that they too felt the same similar insecurities as myself. I guess the grass is not always greener on the other side.

    "My advice to myself would be to get my nose out of a book and be more social!"

    HA! I wish you had been sitting next to me in class because I could have learned something from you!

    Much thanks for stopping by and sharing on this post, my friend! You've added a lot!

    Have a super weekend!

    X

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  18. Howdy Jaffer~

    "That period of life taught me a lot about how the world works and how to deal with people. I learned how to be logical and how to enjoy life in a mainstream society whilst adhering to my morals and beliefs and the importance of being flexible in what you believe in."

    BRAVO, buddy! I admire your ability to see what you learned.

    Isn't it great to look back on a time in our lives that was very challenging, and turn it around; taking the lessons learned and applying it to our future?

    That's growth!

    "My advice to me would be to "stop living in a box - question everything - especially that is illogical and doesn't make sense - study people in general - their behaviours and attitudes to life - be conscious about people around you including strangers - and as a minority, be conscious about how you represent your own community in front of the world - just thinking about yourself and how you feel is selfish and will not take you anywhere but instead push you back."

    Woot! Woot! Excellent advice, Jaffer! And advice I think we ALL can learn from!

    Thank you so very much for stopping by and sharing your experience on this post. You've added much, my friend!

    Wishing you an awesome weekend!

    X

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  19. elloooooooo Lady Dianne~

    Funny you mentioned the pencils, because I searched and searched for an image to conclude this post and found it lastly. It's a good image that refects my elementary school years because those catholic nuns ONLY allowed us to use a #2 pencil - HA!

    "I think I would have told my elementary school self to not be so tough and angry which of course was only because I was insecure...."

    I know exactly what you mean because I too developed an anger during those year. And of course, it was because I was insecure and defensive.

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing on this post, dear lady.

    And thank you for you sweet words.

    (((( Dianne )))))

    Have a supa' weekend!

    X to you and the gang!

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  20. Hey Babs~

    "This reminds me of a song I wrote and recorded a while back, for our TV puppet show (that didn't happen) called 'Individuality'. It was basically telling kids exactly that :)"

    OMG....that sounds faaaaaabulous!!! I would LOVE to hear it on your blog!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Always a joy to see your comments!

    Wishing you wonderful weekend!

    X

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  21. Hi Rob~

    "Many of us (myself included) expect these changes to happen instantly when it's really a gradual process. You can't grow a giant oak overnight."

    That is sooooooo true, my friend! And LOVE how you said....you can't grow a giant oak overnight!

    Growing is a process and takes time!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by! Wishing you a GREAT weekend!

    X

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  22. Howdy Mark~

    "I was shy as a kid, too, and took to expressing myself through writing, drawing, and puppet shows. Yeah, I know. Puppet shows??"

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHA! OMG, puppet shows! Yes, I did those too as a kid! I think a lot of 'creative type' kids were very much the same.

    "Thankfully I outgrew that phase. I'm not sure how well received it would be these days."

    Hey listen, I think they would be VERY well received these days! Maybe you and I should consider doing it for living. We could take a puppet show on the road and travel the continent - HA!

    Thanks for stopping by, buddy! Have a super weekend!

    X

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  23. Hi SuziCate~

    "I think it takes maturity to really be able to embrace our individuality."

    You said it! And I find that I'm STILL embracing my individuality, even at this age!

    Always FAB to see you, my friend! Much thanks for stopping by!

    Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  24. Bonjour Susu~

    "Celebrating what we are. Unique. You. Me. Every single one of us. That is it. So easy, yet so very hard. I am still learning and I feel like I am making some progress."

    Me too! Self-acceptance is an ongoing process. It comes in waves.

    Thank you for stopping by, beautiful lady. And thank you for sharing on this post!

    Have a glorious weekend!

    Ciao.....X

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  25. Hi Tracy~

    "There comes a point in life where being diffrent is Fabulous! Learning to OWN it takes time. When that happens, the fabulousness shines thru."

    BRA-VA! Beautifully said!

    "So, I would have said to my elementary self is, "Tracy, dear, those boobie girls will also have big hips when they get older." I would not have understood and gone on with the bra stuffing. Oh gosh Ron, the things you make me admit here."

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahaha! OMG....that made me HOWL, girl!

    Okay, I'll admit something to you too....

    I use to pad my underwear!

    Bwhahahaaahahahahahaahahaha!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! LOVE your comments!

    Have a FAB weekend!

    X

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  26. I think that is wonderful advice. It's so hard to accept who we are sometimes though. I wish I could have not accepted who I was but stood up for myself as well.

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  27. Hey Peg~

    I think you and I would have been best friends in school.

    "It's so hard to accept who we are sometimes though. I wish I could have not accepted who I was but stood up for myself as well."

    That is true for me as well. I think that's why, now as an adult, I don't take shit.

    HA!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, dear friend!

    Always a delight to see ya!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    X

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  28. Hi Ron. Don't know how I got here but I am glad I did.
    I always tried to compete with the other girls and on the surface it appeared that I was one of the really popular ones, but on the surface.
    I now tell my family and clients to break free from the influence of the tribe. It isn't important what they think and you can't change their thinking. So go out and enjoy life.

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  29. Greetings Judith~

    Welcome! Thank you for stopping by and sharing a comment. It's so nice to meet you!

    "Don't know how I got here but I am glad I did."

    Oy vey, me too!

    " I always tried to compete with the other girls and on the surface it appeared that I was one of the really popular ones, but on the surface."

    Isn't it ironic how true that is.

    On the surface.

    "I now tell my family and clients to break free from the influence of the tribe. It isn't important what they think and you can't change their thinking. So go out and enjoy life."

    BRAVA! Great advice, Judith!

    Thank you for sharing on this post. Stop by anytime. You're always welcomed!

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  30. Hello Ronnie dear!

    Ah, my younger years. I was terribly shy as a girl. My best friends were books and I was forever hiding behind my Mom's legs. I think because I was already out of the popularity loop (and like Tracy didn't have any boobs to compete with the more popular girls) I learned to rely on myself. By the time I hit highschool, I started to come into my own. My friendship circle grew and we were a mixed bag of misfits. I love that these girls were my friends, as that again helped me to find the strength to be ME. Really, that is the only thing we can be, but we try so hard to be what others expect of us sometimes.

    My advice: love yourself for who you are and then look around, because there will be other people standing in line to say that they love you just the way you are too!

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  31. Hello Katherine dear!

    Your comment utterly blew me away!

    "By the time I hit highschool, I started to come into my own. My friendship circle grew and we were a mixed bag of misfits. I love that these girls were my friends, as that again helped me to find the strength to be ME."

    BRAVA! Isn't it wonderful coming into your own? And I too hung around a bag of misfits, Kathrine. All the artist types.

    "My advice: love yourself for who you are and then look around, because there will be other people standing in line to say that they love you just the way you are too!"

    Flawless advice!

    MUCHO thanks for stopping by and sharing yourself, my friend. Always enjoyed!

    Have a fantabulous weekend!

    X

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  32. IF I could remember my elementary years, I'd probably say something similar to myself. I don't remember them. Probably for a reason, eh?

    I do remember fainting as the Etiquette Book in a school play rehersal on the day that JFK was shot.
    So--that being my sole memory, I'da told myself to stand closer to the cute fella. (I'm sure there was a cute fella dressed as a Car Manual somewhere in the mix.)

    Talk about an oxy moron--me.....an Etiquette Book.... Sheeeeeeeshh.

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  33. Hiya Mel~

    "I do remember fainting as the Etiquette Book in a school play rehersal on the day that JFK was shot."

    OMG, me too!!!! Isn't something how we ALL remember that day? I was sitting in my class room when the announcement came over the loud speakers from Mother Superior. You could hear a pin drop! Sad day that was.

    "Talk about an oxy moron--me.....an Etiquette Book.... Sheeeeeeeshh."

    HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHA! You are tooooooo funny!!

    Thank you for stopping by, dear lady! Hope you're having a great Saturday.

    X to you and the bug!

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  34. beautiful post, my kind friend, and lovely wise words for all....isn't it true, we are all so different from the other, no matter we are all in rows of desks faced in the same direction...no matter we come from different homes and people, experience and love, conditional and otherwise....that the school system must rear it's ugly head so young in a young person's life is a crime, imho. much lovexxxooo

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  35. Hello Dearest Linda~

    OMG!!!! I've been thinking about you for the past few days and wondering how you were. I hope WELL, my friend. I've been sending you Reiki too!

    Yes, it's so true what you say...

    "we are all so different from the other, no matter we are all in rows of desks faced in the same direction...no matter we come from different homes and people, experience and love, conditional and otherwise...."

    Any YET, we are all he SAME in discovering our own individuality.

    Isn't it something?

    Much thanks for stopping by this evening, Linda. You made my weekend!

    (((((((( You )))))))))

    Have a great rest of your weekend!

    xoxoxoxoxooxox

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  36. Hi Ron! I love your posts as always! I gotta say I would go back and tell myself to not worry so much. In elementary school I was always worried about grades as well as fitting in and that left not time to enjoy the time I had. I would go back and tell myself that its only a short span of life that you can explore and have fun without worries and to enjoy that time rather than creating worries that hardly matter later in life.

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  37. Greetings cestlavie22~

    "I would go back and tell myself that its only a short span of life that you can explore and have fun without worries and to enjoy that time rather than creating worries that hardly matter later in life."

    BRAVA! LOVE your advice! And I ditto it, because I was a worrier too!

    As ALWAYS, I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post.

    Hope you're having a FAB Sunday!

    X

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  38. "To embrace my individuality and not compare myself to others"

    Excellent advice, and one that I intend to teach Tyler. It's important follow your heart, but make the right decisions in life that will allow for you to provide for yourself everything that you'll need to survive. As my dad always told me, "Work hard, play hard." Words to live by...

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  39. Howdy Herman~

    "It's important follow your heart, but make the right decisions in life that will allow for you to provide for yourself everything that you'll need to survive. As my dad always told me, "Work hard, play hard." Words to live by..."

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT!!!

    And I think it's faaaaaaaaabulous that you and Karin will be teaching Tyler that.

    ((((( Tyler )))))

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Hope you had a supea' weekend!

    X to you and the family!

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  40. Lovely post, Ron!

    And one that allowed me to remember that advice. Thank you.

    xo

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  41. Helloooooo Denise~

    Grrrrrrreat to see ya!

    MUCHO glad you stopped by!

    So, thank YOU!

    Hope you had a terrif weekend!
    X

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  42. You could not pay me enough money to go back to being a kid. Growing up is tough. Learning how to accept yourself and being yourself is the hardest thing. I think it's important to keep telling our kids this. A lot of adults still haven't figured it out.

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  43. Hey Jen~

    "You could not pay me enough money to go back to being a kid."

    Yes, I know what you mean.

    "Learning how to accept yourself and being yourself is the hardest thing. I think it's important to keep telling our kids this. A lot of adults still haven't figured it out."

    You're sooooooooo right, Jen. A LOT of adults still haven't figured it out.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Hope you had a supa' weekend!

    X

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  44. To embrace my individuality and not compare myself to others.

    AMEN!

    i am who i am and it's what makes me me. i do wish i could run as fast as others, i compare in that way or i wish i had more time and freedom like others do, but i don't. still not having some things has made me more creative. i wouldn't be me if i weren't ME. i love me some me. :)

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  45. Hey V~

    I LOVE what you said here.......

    " i wouldn't be me if i weren't ME. i love me some me."

    You GO, girl! That was BRILLIANT!

    And you're absolutely right....

    "I am who I am and it's what maked me me."

    That reminds me of a song from the broadway musical, La Cage..."I Am What I Am"

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! And thanks for being YOU!

    X

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  46. Oh, Ron!

    "To embrace my individuality and not compare myself to others."

    Yanno what? I REALLY needed to hear THOSE VERY WORDS today. Thank you my friend.

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  47. Hola Meleah~

    "Yanno what? I REALLY needed to hear THOSE VERY WORDS today. Thank you my friend."

    (((((( Meleah ))))))

    You're so welcome, my friend!

    X ya!

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  48. i was also blessed to have parents who supported whatever crazy endeavor my heart desired.

    it's interesting how we are constantly trying as children to blend in, but as soon as we get older all we try to do is be unique.

    sigh.

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  49. Hey Blunt~

    "i was also blessed to have parents who supported whatever crazy endeavor my heart desired."

    How wonderful! Don't you feel REALLY blessed to have had parents that supported our endeavors and to follow our hearts? Even to this day, my mother continues to support me.

    "it's interesting how we are constantly trying as children to blend in, but as soon as we get older all we try to do is be unique."

    You said it!

    Thanks for stopping by, girl! ALWAYS a joy to see your comments!

    Have a great week!

    X

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