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April 27, 2007 / TildeWill

Well Blended

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The thing I fear the most is “blending in”; living a life unnoticed. I don’t need to be the center of the universe, but I do need to know that I’m different than everyone else. When people say “Will, you’re crazy.” I look at them and smile because I’ve accomplished my goal of not being the same as the masses.

When I was in middle school and later on in high school on in to college, I wore mis-matched shoes. They were Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, usually high top. The left would be blue for example, and the right would be yellow. They colors themselves didn’t mean much, but the fact that they were different was key. It was like being goth, or emo, or preppy, only I was my own group. And thus I stood out.

I gave up the shoes in college when I realized that I had learned the skills needed to stand out in other ways. I could be a leader of a small group like fencing. I could be responsible. I could be a caring friend. I could be an entertaining story teller. I no longer needed my clothing to help me stand out, I could do that just as well by being myself.

The worst thing you could do to me is to put me on a remote island with no one to bear witness to my life and the person I am. Worse still would be living in a world with nothing but clones of myself. I could never stand out. The world is just fine with one me, and I’m happy to leave it at that.

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