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My tribe

Don’t spend your life trying to be a copy

manuelita otero

Every person is unique and imperfect; so are families. That is, in part, the great joy of life: the diversity, and genuineness… not the impossible perfection or the boring copy.

Have you ever spent a long time visiting friends and ended up discovering unique characteristics about them?  I don’t mean the easy labels that many times we give families, like: “The Smiths are so funny”, or “The Rochester are so snobby”. As if every member of the family could be described with just one word. I am talking about a more in depth description that takes time and can only be done as part of a process which makes each family unique.

I dream with giving “wings” – even if it sounds as a cheesy phrase – to that wonderful feeling of being  unique and achieving something important in the world.  And as any dream that deserves respect, sometimes it keeps me up at night.  I decided to try to understand and find what is that something that could make each person in my family feel free to be who they are meant to be so they won’t lose their identity or spend their life trying to be a copy of someone else. It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to imitate the achievements, dreams and style of other people. But thanks to experience, I finally found that the key to allow my family members to be themselves is to understand that being ourselves is a step by step process.  In that journey some steps will be in the wrong direction, some we wish we could forget, and there will be some that will be small and yet important.  We can’t wait until the end of our life to applaud and celebrate our achievements.  It is not fair to only enjoy and value the final results.  Just imagine how much more fun life would be if we celebrated small steps… ours and other people’s too.  This is how we keep the authenticity of our family and of each member in it.  This is how we stop obsessing over comparisons and we finally understand that we are traveling at our own speed; therefore, who cares how fast others are going?

Maybe I will never be able to describe my family with specific words or phrases, but nothing could compare to the life we live and how much I enjoy our step by step journey.  This is happiness.  

By  Ana