Using Other’s for How to Live

Catherine - Midlothian, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I never would have thought Lil Wayne and I had anything in common. But A few weeks ago I was sitting at my computer watching the YouTube video of Katie Couric’s CBS interview with Lil Wayne and became inspired. Lil’ Wayne made the point that no one should need a role model to show them how to live. I had trouble with this idea beginning in second grade when I started looking to other’s for how I should be. I wanted my bow to be perfectly placed like Mallory’s, my comebacks as witty as my brother’s, and my stories as entertaining as my dad’s. Not until my senior year of high school did this pattern of following other’s change. I believe no one should aspire to be just like someone else and do what he or she has already done.

This is extremely hard to live by in middle school. Growing up I wanted to be my best friend Emily. She was funny, outgoing, pretty, and confident. When Emily told a story everyone was captivated just staring at her, waiting until they could respond in some way to impress her. One day I went to the mall with my mom and convinced her to let me buy a bright pink flowered tank top Emily had. I hoped it would make me seem more like her. It did not. I was the shy and awkward kid. Emily had a natural ability to captivate people, which could not be achieved by anyone else.

My next target to follow was my older brother Joe. He was strong, ambitious, hilarious, and on top of it all, a star athlete. I first tried being a tomboy wearing t-shirts and baggy shorts constantly, rattling off everything I knew about sports constantly. It did not work. I liked dresses and did not enjoy spending all my free time learning about sports.

In high school the qualities I admired changed. I tried to be a social butterfly and party girl that all the boys wanted to talk to and all the girls wanted to be. In twelfth grade this changed. One Saturday night I was sitting with a group of my peers and looked around. They were not really my friends; everyone just pretended to like each other. I concluded at this moment I wanted to live my own life, not someone else’s.

Who wants to be just like someone else? It is so boring and never achievable. The people who have impacted my life the most are those that do not doubt what they do and know exactly who they are. I will always see what’s next for me if I am following another person. As Lil Wayne stated, “If you need an example for how to live then you just shouldn’t have been born.” Although a little extreme, I finally learned my senior year of high school to not do as others do.