Same same but different…

I was sitting around with the girls from work the other day, enjoying a Friday afternoon beverage after a long week, and the subject of the ‘free pass’ came up.. Now I didn’t know this even existed, let alone the supposed rule that you get up to 5 “free passes” (honestly, perhaps I should hand in my girl card?) and what this means is a list of 5 supposedly “unobtainable” famous people you’d be allowed to hook up with should this situation arise, and your partner would be all like “you go girl” or something to that effect. (??)

And as we all sat there comparing notes (at first I couldn’t even think of anyone as this was a new thing for me) this weird feeling came over me.. I got into the conversation a wee bit (a generous pinot noir lubricating not only my conversation but jogging my memory, apparently) and threw out some names… now, when they didn’t ‘get’ these choices, or recognise the names of these chaps we would all furiously google their names for images representing their worthy hotness… and we’d smile knowingly at each other when we saw/agreed what the other one saw in this person….

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but in retrospect: who the hell cares?

We were comparing whether or not we found images of some random person attractive, and it seemed to matter that others agreed… why? Something like human attraction (and this was purely physical too, so not even real world attractiveness which encompasses such valuable things as humour, warmth and not being a complete douchebag etc) is completely subjective… It’s one of those gloriously unique facets of ourselves, coloured by our filters and experiences… it’s not meant to be one of those things with which we connect and identify with our peer group.

But as human beings, there is this never-ending cycle of balancing being “same same but different” …. so we look for traits of those we admire, emulating their physical characteristics, clothing choices, behavioural nuances etc – all in the quest to appear likeable, to be a part of the tribe and to fit in…. while at the same time trying desperately to be noticed… (Which is where “but different” pops into the equation)

I posted one of my favourite Marianne Williamson quotes the other day, which ties into this, in particular “it is our light, not our darkness, which frightens us the most. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, talented, fabulous – actually, who are you not to be?”

  • So what matters most to you?
  • What are you passionate about, truly, in your heart?
  • What makes you unique that you might be afraid of showing?
  • What makes you feel sparkly? If you didn’t spend so much time trying to fit in, how would that feel?

What would you do? Say? Wear? Listen to? Read? If you stopped and thought about it, how would you articulate the unique and special way that you are “same same, but different“…?


The things we humans obsess over (Part 3)

I’ve had several conversations about this of late, both face to face as well as online… and if I were to define this aspect of contemporary human obsession it would be “online persona“… let me dig a little deeper here and explain what I mean:

You’re in a room gathered together with a bunch of friends, on the pretence of ‘catching up’ – at any one time you will have:
One person texting, pxting or checking their emails
One person wanting to take pics of you all together to post later (once they’ve edited our their dark circles, wrinkles or spots)
One person checking and/ or sending a snapchat, checking into foursquare (for some reason people still use this?)
Three people posting pics of their food to instagram/ twitter / facebook
One person updating Facebook to tell the world that you’re all there in this location, having SO MUCH FUN, tagging you all to articulate that fact..

You’re all there, together, but you’re not.

Since when did posting about what you are doing, rather than being in the moment and experiencing it become more important?!

We are so obsessed with trying to reassure the world that we lead these awesome, exciting, glamorous lives, that we’re not even living them. 

How do I know this? I’m part of it. I blog, tweet, update, instagram, snapchat along with everyone.. but it bugs me that in a room full of people, I can be the only person who leaves their phone in their bag. It’s a sign of respect, of wanting to actually listen and engage with the people you are physically with. And its amazing what it can do for the quality of conversation.

Why are we so obsessed with creating this online persona? This BEST person that we could possibly be? The one with the flawless pics, interesting social life and outgoing winning personality? We work SO HARD on this, and then spend the rest of the time trying to live up to this unrealistic image and expectation that we have created for ourselves…

And we wonder why people are more unhappy now than ever before?

Perhaps if we spent a little more time barefoot, walking on the grass, or dragging our toes across the sand, and left the smartphone at home for a wee bit, we’d start to experience our lives again in an organic way. We could connect in the ways that humans are supposed to, with conversation, listening, smiles, questions, touch and laughter.


Rather than WIFI.