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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

there's no such thing as more unique. we're all just plain unique.

     "There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost."    --Martha Graham


     What a responsibility we have.  To be ourselves. To not lose that precious commodity that is oneself to the ever-present temptation to imitate, or worse, to give up.  Because it is easy to think that it's been done before, probably better than you could ever do it, anyway.  

    But that's not true.  Just look at your finger, the print that you leave that is unlike anybody else's. What more proof do we need that we are unique?

   Sadly, we usually need proof everyday.  At least I do--I can be that weak sometimes.

   See, I try not to compare myself.  This is hard, especially in this business where they literally line you up, one at a time, outside of some door in some sterile corridor in NYC, and you can hear everybody else sing their 16 bars, desperately trying to prove that they are the best.  [Gulp] and then it's your turn.  Go knock 'em dead! In 20 seconds.  Go book that job! Without them knowing a thing about you that really matters--like if you are in love, what you look like when you really laugh, your favorite book, and that you really don't like that weird candy you find in grocery stores, circus peanuts (wait--they probably do know that last fact actually, because nobody likes circus peanuts!)...

   But here's the truth: life is not a talent contest.  Uh-uh, nope, not now, not ever.  The world is a place that needs your story, your gift, your view-point, your light--and yes, for the love of all that's good on this earth, if you wanna sing a song then maybe you should get voice lessons so that you can portray that song that much more accurately--but, bottom line is that if you aren't gonna step up to the plate and be you, then that piece of the puzzle that makes up the universe is lost forever, incomplete.  And it's all your fault.

    And the stupid thing about comparison is that it never really works out for the better of anyone.  Because there will always be somebody who is more or less gifted around, then you will either end up with an inferiority complex or an over-inflated head (which we all know makes the wearing of hats very difficult--and who doesn't want to wear a hat, if the occasion calls for it?).  Anyway, both are bad.  

   So, how about we concentrate on the path that lies ahead; how about we get our hands dirty with our garden, the one that when we alone tend, good things grow?  

   Sounds good to me.
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   On another note, the audiences here in Boston have improved drastically. I don't know if word has spread that the show is worth seeing or if audience goers have just finally found their voice, but I am loving it.  

   It feels great to be laughed at (well, when you are going for funny, it does, at least).
   And I am not gonna lie, it feels pretty great to be applauded...

    So thank you, Boston!  Lately it's been so fun to be on your stage...

14 comments:

Hank Baskett said...

I love circus peanuts.

kathiek said...

Very nice post, Jess!

BTW, I have always liked circus peanuts!

christine said...

Just so you know someone agrees with you...I think circus peanuts are disgusting : )
This post is very applicable to my life right now and sounds similar to our discussion on the phone. If only it came naturally to know that your thoughts, that your expression of God's gifts in you were good enough. And not just good enough but needed as you said.
Well done on another inspirational post!

Jessica Latshaw said...

guess I was wrong about nobody liking circus peanuts!!!

And Christine--you are so right; our conversation must be where I got the motivation to talk about this...and I am glad that you agree on the circus peanuts;-)

Susan Marie said...

Jess, that is such a beautiful expression of what I believe God's heart is for each of His children. I love that quote by Martha Graham- she was such a cool person!

jason said...

Drew and I have this argument all the time, but I think there is such as thing as more unique.

Here is a good expression of why.

http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/some-more-unique-thoughts/

jason said...

And yes I HATE circus peanuts.

Jessica Latshaw said...

jase--I suppose if you are talking statistics, like percentages of people who can actually do what you do, then yeah--there is more unique.

Like there are only a certain amount of people who can sing and harmonize with themselves (these are some chanting monks, or something); in that, they are more unique then me. I sing, and rely on others for a harmony, like most other singers in the world.

However, I do believe that each of us--our spirit, our personality, our mind--then things that make us US, that are not a product of what we do, necessarily, but of who we are, are absolutely unique. No one person is more unique. Each is special.

And I knew I'd have a backer in you about the circus peanuts. I guess Kathie, Drew, and Darby singlehandedly keep those things in business!!!

jason said...

oh, I'm not even talking about people. Drew is dogmatic that you can't say "more unique" about anything. I feel like if you have a bunch of blue towels, and then one towel that is half blue and half red and then another towel that is all red, the red one is "more unique." Drew vehemently disagrees.

semi anonymous said...

It's so important to appreciate our uniqueness, usually we spend way too much time trying to conform or please other people rather than just appreciating what makes each of us special.

I absolutely LOVE circus peanuts, or at least I did before I got diabetes. Sob. Circus peanuts are also my husband's favorite; it's how I knew we were right for each other. UNIQUELY right, I guess. But there's also Boston Baked beans, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, cotton candy, Skittles, Skor Bars, Snickers, .....

That list could go on for a few days, I guess deprivation is inspiring. You MIGHT like circus peanuts though if you couldn't have them anymore

Jessica Latshaw said...

If circus peanuts had been served on a tray as an appetizer tonight, then I probably WOULD have liked them! But as a general rule, uh-uh--I don't like them...

Sorry you can't have them anymore, S-A!!! It's hard to give up tasty things we love;-(

Jase--I was referring to people, when saying no one was more unique than another...and it sounds like you and Drew have something to work out...

Husband of Blogger said...

The half-blue, half-red towel is AS unique as the the red one. More different, more dissimilar, or more unusual would all work.

Unique is defined as "the only one," and comes from the Latin unicus, or "single, sole." Unique means "one of a kind" or "unlike any other" or "without compare."

Unique does not have degrees. You're using the wrong word. And trying to convince you of that has been "more impossible" than climbing Everest. :)

jason said...

by your definition every single thing in the world could be described as unique because there is at least one attribute, however small, that distinguishes it from everything else. So how useful is a word that could apply to everything equally? My point is that the way people use it isn't in this way, because then people wouldn't use the word. They are comparing an object to this idea of "one of a kind," and when something has enough noticeable attributes that are singular that a thing it gets labeled "unique."

kathiek said...

I have nothing more illuminating to add to this "unique" discussion, but I did want to say a couple things. First of all, about circus peanuts. While I really like them a whole lot, I haven't eaten them in forever, so Drew and Darby are probably the only people keeping them on the market! ;-) Secondly, while I hate to contradict a fellow lover of circus peanuts, Drew, I must take exception to your statement, "And trying to convince you has been 'more impossible' than climbing Everest." I did not know you tried climbing Mt. Everest, let alone failed to do so! There is so much about you I never knew...circus peanut lover, mountain climber...wow! Since people have climbed Mt. Everest, the only way it would be correct for you to say something was more impossible than climbing Everest was if you had unsuccessfully made the attempt. What surprises me is that I was able to point this out before Jase! Jase, you must be slipping! Maybe you were thrown by this blog post, which is more unique than any I have ever read before!! ;-P