Apr 052012
 

I’m just going to leave this here…Maybe it will be taken to heart. 

When I think about imitation and inspiration I think about two kids in the playground. Meet Jim and Peter. They’ll be our example of the day.

Imitation

Jim is playing happily with a car toy.  Peter sees this. Peter immediately grabs a car toy, sits down right next to Jim and while looking at Jim the entire time, he ‘starts playing’: If Jim goes to the left with the little Mercedes, Peter goes to the left with his little Ferrari. If Jim makes a U-turn, Peter makes a U-turn. If Jim makes a looping in the air, Peter makes a looping in the air. If Jim is sick of the car toy and throws it away, Peter is sick of the car toy and throws it away too.

Inspiration. 

Jim is playing with a car toy. Peter sees this. Peter might even look for a little while longer. Then, Peter starts looking around for a car toy, finds one he likes, sits down somewhere and starts playing. Who knows? He might just make ‘vroom vroom’ noises and skate around a little on the concrete. Or he might go and follow an ‘Extreme Racing Track’ (read: the sandbox). If Peter and Jim are buddies he might even challenge Jim to a race. Or maybe Peter is going to scootch towards Jim and they’ll act out the Fast&the Furious together – they might have parents who don’t look at the Parental Advise Guidelines, guys. You never know.  

See my point? And do you see the difference? It’s the same with us. It’s fine to see something in somebody else’s life style, motto, ways or wardrobe that you like, and make it your own. What’s not fine, and what’s actually not constructive in any way is just taking on parts of other people in the hope it will make you look cooler or help your life in any way.

Because even when you get the idea from somebody else, it has to be something that comes from you still. Therefore the moment you do something identical to somebody else’s, that’s just pretending. I can smell the pretense from miles away and so can anybody else.

I actually have role models for a few different areas in life. I have one particular yoga teacher that motivates me whenever I see her practice. Sabine from some-like-it-raw is my inspiration when it comes to healthy food. Gala Darling is my beautiful positive self-love warrior blogger whose posts always make me excited for life and puppies and pretty things. My best friend Lin inspires me to not look like a homeless person with her chic outfits and pretty lipsticks.

But have I ordered everything from BFF’s wardrobe? Am I now walking around in blouses and high heeled ankle boots? No. I just did a kick-ass wardrobe update with the help of ASOS and started wearing mascara again. She just makes me realize I don’t want to be a slob.

Did I change my blog to pink, dyed my hair and changed my ‘bye’-signature to ‘Superlove & Leopard Print XO Gala’ ? No — even though that last bit is awesome. All I do is trying to live more positively and go after my dreams, corny as it sounds. She inspires me to make my life an amazing adventure, even if it’s nothing like hers.

Have I copied everything from Sabine’s diet and lifestyle and do I slavely make every menu option she writes about? No. However, I did take an interest in juicing, raw food and superfoods that I implement in my daily routines every single day. My way. Nobody else’s.

Have I taken it upon myself to start imitating my yoga teacher’s killer advanced poses after class? Um, hell to the backbreaker no. But I listen to her intently when she teaches and gives me instructions, and whenever I’ve seen her I can’t wait for my next class.

That these people inspire me does not mean I have to imitate them. That’s not inspiration. I take the things that I love about them, look at my life and think about how their ideas and influences can have a positive effect on my life. Then I put some work into it and soon enough it’s part of me. In an original, pure sense.

Don’t waste your time copying other people. When you’re Peter on the playground, just get your little car toy and make it a motherfucker Transformer.

  9 Responses to “Inspiration, not Imitation.”

  1. Hey girl,

    (haha, every time I write ‘hey girl’ now I think of Ryan Gosling.) Thanks for this post. I think a lot of people struggle with the idea that just being yourself is good enough. I mostly have this problem with beauty. I always felt like I wasn’t beautiful enough. Even though I would never judge a person by his or her looks, I always feel like I am being judged by mine. Although I rationally know that it’s what’s inside what matters most, I’ve always seen the more ‘beautiful’ people get things handed on a silver plate to them and it bothers me. How many actresses are there that are not talented at all, yet they are famous and even get to play in amazing films just because they are (objectively? Is there even such a thing?) beautiful. It also frustrates me that when a pretty girl is ‘messes up’, crazy, emotionally imbalanced, it’s considered hot/interesting/special whereas with a less attractive girl, she’s merely labeled a weirdo.
    Anyway, yeah, I admire you for being able to be inspired by people without going overboard. Making yourself a better you without trying to emulate someone else. I am trying to do the same, but it’s hard. I often look at others and can’t help but think: yeah, but it’s easy for you to say…you are gorgeous. Don’t laugh, but I even thought that of you the first time I saw your picture. Guess it’s all baby steps.

    • It’s definitely a process, Farah, and I’ve felt like you for a very long time. With babysteps I let go of those ideas and just felt more self-love and inspiration than insecurity and jealousy. It’s a process, and I am totally insecure/jealous sometimes. The best thing is to not let it mean too much. And I thought you were very pretty in your FB profile picture too. Now you just gotta see that too.

  2. You surely are an inspiration to me, but what I love about you (one of the many things) is your own style. Which works for you, but not for me. That’s the thing with imitation, what we so often love about other people and wish to have for ourselves is not just the discipline, the looks, the skills or whatever, but the authenticity and there’s just no way of faking that.

  3. “The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.” And you are sincere.

  4. So true! I love this post :)

  5. helemaal waar enzo.
    daarom lees ik jou dus ook. als je precies dezelfde blog had als gala, had ik je lang niet zo interessant gevonden.

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)