emulation v imitation .

There is something to be said for individuality. There is something extremely appealing about someone being who they are unapologetically and owning it.

I’ve noticed lately that my “image”, if you will, is being cloned. SO a few months I decided after all the drama subsided that I would no longer make my only social media account public because of the harassment and threats I was receiving. Again, as always, I own up to the responsibility of following the individual in question just because of the need to document certain things that were specific to myself and my significant other.

As of August, there has been no way to access my social media account, even with the 3rd party “viewers” available on the internet and I myself have not accessed, looked at, “stalked”, followed or creeped around her account or anyone associated with her. I do not click on her profile or picture, as I feel she is the type of person who pays to have some sort of tracker to see who looks at her profile. I have actually blocked everyone I can think of that is associated with her as well as anyone who may know each of us mutually because the Marine Corps is so small and I trust no one. Everyone of my followers I actually know personally and the only place she is visible is in that blocked list.

Now my significant other thinks that I previously “purposely” looked in an attempt to “create drama” even though I have never initiated ANYTHING with this individual. But, he’s a guy and guys think everything we do is for some sort of attention or drama. For me its the latter, I have feelings of isolation and anxiety and I constantly feel the need to keep myself aware even if it creates those energies.

I noticed that the last email she sent with threats, she kept disappearing and reappearing in my blocked list, and I kept receiving questionable follow requests from individuals I did not know. The work of nosey friends? Fake accounts? Either way, I denied them and then she would reappear. Because of this I regularly checked the accounts in my blocked list, to ensure that she remains there, but then I noticed something. I like to update my photo regularly because I enjoy taking photographs of nature, my pets or myself and my boyfriend, so one of the days I un-coincidentally did both, I noticed that her profile photo was eerily similar to mine. I decided to ignore it, but kept it in the back of my mind as something to look out for. The next time I changed my photo, I hesitantly checked my blocked list, scrolled down…and there it was, another similar picture, this time of her and her fiancé. I had just posted an older photo that was sent to me from a family member from an event that he and I were at over the summer that I thought was gorgeous. And there I sat…”wow, she is mirroring everything I do”. My profile bio I’ve made sure not to be uber personal or at all possible of instigating or eliciting any sort of response she could misinterpret by reading it. So, I started an experiment of my known, unbeknownst, I am 100% certain, to her. Each time I changed my picture she changed hers, so I actually stopped putting pictures of myself or of he and I, altogether for the past couple of months.

After not having changed my profile picture for about a week and a half I decided that I actually wanted to put a picture of myself, just because. I had no intent of looking at my blocked list because I really haven’t thought about her or all the drama after enjoying a great holiday vacation with family. I found a picture of me, over the holidays, with a baseball cap, a camouflage shirt, out on our family’s land, with the blurred out rear end of my youngest dog. I updated my bio to a quote I really like that spoke to me. But then, that ever resounding voice I hear said “just look”, so I did….and lo and behold she had changed her photo, to that of one TOTALLY similar in style and context. She was in a baseball cap, with her dog, with a blue sky behind her. To say that’s just a coincidence? I know better. Which leads me to this post.

Emulation by definition is “an effort to match or surpass a person or achievement, typically by imitation”.

Imitation on the other hand is “the action of using someone or something as a model” or “a thing indented to simulate or copy something else”.

So to me, there is a significant difference between the two and I interpret that difference as one is to act as paying homage by means of inspiration OR to become a mirror image/carbon copy of another person. I say the latter is where we’re at today.

My point is this: In the past I have had friends who have either copied my style, my taste in music, my ideas and it has frustrated me. It wasn’t until I confided in my Mom about it, because an outside person reached out to me and asked specifically about someone being a “clone” of me, that my mother told me to find a way to be flattered by it because it meant that someone either looked up to me or at me for inspiration. I am okay with someone doing that and putting their own spin or touch on it to make it specific to them and their personality, but I am a little less than okay with someone trying to be or look like exactly who I am.

When you choose to imitate someone, in my personal opinion, you lack creativity, self-assurance or an identity. Becoming someone you think you need to be as opposed to being who you truly are will honestly get you nowhere. It will not garner the acceptance you think you deserve from whoever you’re trying to catch the attention of and it will eventually become very hard to be seen as an individual. Our uniqueness and personal choices, our likes and dislikes and personal style make us who we are in world full of millions of people. Pretending to be someone that you’re not will absolutely hinder the relationships you try to have or the persona that you’re trying to achieve. Understand that it’s okay to take examples, because we live in a society that promotes emulating/imitating, but that exact reason is why individuality is so rare and so desirable. You have to be who you are 100% of the time to be taken seriously, trusted and in order to make an impression. No one wants to interact with a second-hand version of someone else OR themselves.

My sister shared a quote with  me today after I felt the need to confide in her about this situation, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” by Oscar Wilde and how much more true can that ring?

Only I can be me. See below, me on the left…

 

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