Saturday, January 14, 2017

as only you can

[via Pinterest]

We compare too much.
As people we compare our lives.
As girls we may compare our beauty.
As guys we may compare our strength.
As students we compare knowledge and grades.
As employees we compare wages and positions and achievements.
As friends we compare circles and contacts and how many people we know and how many of those people are important.
As writers we compare our words.

And every time we fall short.

There is always--a l w a y s--someone better than us.
Someone more beautiful, successful, productive. Someone smarter, faster, better. Someone who has it all together when we are falling apart.

We have the unfortunate tendency to compare our failures to another person's successes.

This comparison game makes us feel better sometimes. "Oh look, I'm further ahead than they are." It's probably true. You're more skilled, more disciplined, more accomplished. But it's also true when you turn the other way and realize, "But other people are further ahead than I am." Wherever you are, there will always be those behind you and those ahead of you.

Who cares?

It's terribly cliched, but you're on your own journey! You have a unique life made up of
your background
your upbringing
where you live
who your family is
what you've learned
what you've taught yourself
who you know
where you've been
what you've decided
what others have decided for you
what you care about
what you dream about
what you absolutely cannot live without.

No one else has that combination, that magic elixir that cannot be replicated. You are a limited edition, a one time only sort of thing.

We hear it all the time. "You're special. You're unique. Be you--everyone else is taken." We've grown deaf to it.

Deaf to the truth that you are you and that's pretty amazing.

Where you're going is amazing.

Your life is amazing. I love your story. I love who you are.

Whether you're rocketing forward in a blur of breathless light
or you're plodding forward step by painful step
or your path is wandering, looping, falling back on itself and finding its way--
it's your path.

This life is yours.

What do you want out of it?

Not what everyone else wants out of it. What does success look like to you? (I'll give you a hint: ask the One who created you what your success looks like to Him. You'll find an even better answer.)

Forget everyone else's perfectly filtered photos and snappy blog posts and put-together facades. (Yes, forget mine too.) There are things crumbling behind those fronts. We all have those broken bits.

Go out and really live. Live the way you and only you are supposed to live. Doing anything less is a disservice to yourself and to the God who invented you in the first place.

And writers--you beautiful creatures with wings of ink--stop wishing for your voice to sound like anyone else's. You are not some other author, no matter how poetic, tightly written, skillfully crafted, surprisingly plotted, allegorical, straightforward, intense, or fantastic their books are. Admire them; that's all right. Don't try to be them.

Try to be you.

That's hard. I know. Sometimes you'll borrow bits of other people in an effort to discover your own voice underneath. It's part of the process. But stop trying to stuff yourself into another person's box--be it in writing or any other part of life. You're too wild and original and incredible for that.

[via Pinterest]

I don't think I could sum it up any better than that.


  1. This is lovely, Tracey. I feel like this is one of those messages that we get from the world all the time -- but the world has twisted it into something less than it is and perverted it. "Be yourself" is used as an excuse for mediocrity and sin. What's good in the message is drowned out by other ideas and fashions and the desire to get ahead.

    You pointed out a truth that is often forgotten no matter how loudly it's screamed. It reminds me of a quote I stumbled across on Pinterest, attributed to C. S. Lewis: "I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking."

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

    1. Thank you, Lucy! "The world has twisted it into something less than it is and perverted it." It's true, all those flippant, fluffy messages about following your heart and being yourself are watered down, and sometimes they become excuses not to change.

      Oh, I LOVE that quote! I haven't heard of that one yet. Thank you for sharing it! ^_^ Born in God's thought--what a beautiful way to put it.

  2. Tracey Dyck. You are an incredible human being and HOW DID YOU KNOW I NEEDED THIS? Seriously. You're epic.

    I basically could just quote THIS ENTIRE GORGEOUS THING in my comment - but it would be rather pointless xD. Really though - this touched me. A lot.

    "And writers--you beautiful creatures with wings of ink--stop wishing for your voice to sound like anyone else's." TRACEY. *hugs all the gorgeous Tracey-words* I'm just going to have to stop trying to be coherent. Because I'm not kidding - this whole post was so something I needed to hear right now.

    THANK YOU for being the epic person you are and for being so honest with us. <3 *hugs*

    ~ Savannah

    1. That's got to be God, because I had literally zero ideas for a post when I sat down to write this yesterday! Isn't He amazing?

      Well, you could. But you're right, there wouldn't be a point. XD
      I'm so glad! Honestly, looking at all the comments today is pretty amazing. Humbling. <3

      Again and again, I see that it's the things that matter most to us that end up making the best writing, because the chances are high those things matter a lot to other people too. *hugs* And I have to say thank YOU for being so epic yourself! ^__^

  3. Tracey, thank you so much for this glowing, soaring, so-true post. I'm technically "on internet hiatus" but I saw this and read it and I'm SO glad I did. I just... words are not happening for me right now, I can't form them in response to this so I really just want to say thank. you. <3

    1. I wish I could put a real hug into a comment, because that's what I would do right now. <3 You are a beautiful person, Deb.

  4. TRACEEEEY. You always do it. Every single time. You say exactly what needs to be said, even if its a hard truth, and turn it into encouragement. I needed to read this! I ALWAYS need to read this. Because, man, do I play the comparison game a LOT. It's bad, like really bad. I spend so much time measuring myself to other people, and then end up having self-hate issues because of it. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

    But you said it perfectly. There's only one me, and God put me on this earth and gave me exactly how much and how little I need to fulfill His goal for my life. What an amazing thought that is! We just need to live and follow God's plan for us. One person's journey is not ours, and that's okay. That's GOOD. We each have our journeys. We each just need to be US.

    GAH. Thank you for this reminder!!! I'm totally bookmarking this page and coming back to it when I start playing that comparison game and feeling down. I think I've needed this post my whole life!

    1. I don't know how you do it, Christine--you say I'm encouraging you, but your responses always uplift and inspire ME. <3
      I'd tell you to STOP PLAYING THAT COMPARISON GAME RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE YOU'RE INCREDIBLE... but I need to tell myself that too. ;) You're right, it's not okay. We're meant to see ourselves through God's eyes, and every time I get a glimpse, I'm completely astounded!

      Yes! Just be you! It sounds so cliché, but if I stop and think about it, it's kinda powerful. You're the only Christine Smith with that exact personality and set of gifts. I think Mordecai's words to Esther could be ours too--that we were placed here for such a time as this.

      Aw, thank you, girl! I'm speechless! *hugs*

  5. This post is so amazingly accurate and I am literally in love with it. Thank you so much for this Tracey. I really needed it. <3

    1. Oh, Madeline, thanks for telling me! You keep being amazing, okay? <3

  6. That opening image of the paints is very fitting, since I often find myself trying to be other artists- Glen Keane, Bob Ross, etc. But I can't seem to copy something without adding my own quirks. It's for the best, I guess. Influence is fine, but complete imitation is impossible.

    1. Adding your own quirks is actually a wonderful thing. When I'm worried about originality, I find it comforting that it's impossible to 100% imitate someone else!

      I'd love to see some of your paintings sometime! :)

  7. This. O.o Tracey, you have such a gift with words, and they always manages to get to me in a really deep way. Just aaah. I can't with this. <3

    I wanted to quote some of my favorite parts, but as it turns out, the whole thing is my favorite. ;) You seriously are an incredibly talented writer.

    1. EMILY, WHAT AM I TO DO WITH YOUR SWEETNESS? Thank you! I don't even know what else to say, so... *hugs* <3

  8. Thank you for this. I needed it right now. XD

    1. God has good timing, I guess! ;) I'm glad it was encouraging.

  9. This post... Oh, this post is so wonderful, Tracey! <3


  10. Beautiful post, the most encouraging thing I have read in a while!

    1. Thank you, Skye! I'm honored to hear this. *hugs*

  11. Love dis post!
    Yes, that's sounds like the past me, trying to make my art look like someone else's. I feel like I'm doing better at not doing that now. But I'm still learning.

    1. Aww, thank you, sis! <3

      Imitation is part of the learning process in ANY creative area. (Just take a look at my old stories. o.o) I love how your art is becoming your own--you're so good at it!!!