I’m not you, I’m me.

Rachel wanted a purple popsicle.

Isaac wanted a red popsicle.
So Rachel wanted a red popsicle.
Isaac was upset – he didn’t want Rachel to copy him.
“You can’t have a red popsicle! I’m having a red popsicle!”
Rachel then replied, “I love you – that’s why I do the things you do!”
Isaac changed his mind after Rachel said that, and then they walked outside eating red popsicles.
Becca said confusedly, “I thought you two were fighting.”
They responded, “We love each other, so we want the same popsicle!”
 The other day after going to the park and when we were driving home, I overheard Isaac and Rachel having a conversation similar to the one they had earlier.
Isaac: “How are you doing?”
Rachel: “How are you doing?”
Isaac: “Stop copying me!”
Rachel: “Stop copying ME!”
Isaac: “Ra-chel 🙁 STOP!”
Rachel: “Ra-chel 🙁 STOP!”
Isaac: “Uugggghhh.”
Rachel: “Uuggghhh.”
Isaac: “I’m not YOU, I’m ME!”

These conversations reminded me of some childhood thought processes I have.
My memory of my childhood is interesting – I remember thoughts I had more than specific events.
I remember being very intrigued by the “Freaky-Friday” idea – what would it be like to be another person?  But then that confused me because it would still be my brain would be trapped in someone’s body – I wanted to know what it would be like to be someone else – to think like them and to see things the way they see them.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ever since I read this book in eighth grade, (and I believe I even wrote my five paragraph essay on this subject – this was the attention grabber) I have remembered this quotation. 
I know I do this all of the time in my every day conversations.  I process how the other person is processing what I am saying or what I could potentially say…I try to walk around in their skin and think about how what I’m saying could make them feel.  This is one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest weaknesses.  I try to really know people, to not judge them.  I want to see their perspective on something.  But then they ask me for a favor, and because I don’t want to offend them, I can’t say no. Strength and weakness 🙂  Sometimes I read way too much into other people.  I try to understand them so much that start becoming offended for no reason at all.
At the same time, I don’t want to actually be anybody else besides me. I can think like you, empathize with you, understand you, but I am me.  I am uniquely Emma, and I always will be.
Like Isaac’s conundrum with Rachel, she was copying him because she wanted to be like him, he just wanted to be himself, no one else. (I’ve been talking to him a lot about this too.  When you hit Rachel, how do you think it makes her feel?  Would you like it if someone hit you?)
What I’ve taken from this?

Before you climb around in someone’s skin and walk around in it, know yourself.  Know that “I’m not you, I’m me.”
Once you know yourself, look at life from all sorts of perspectives.  Know that there is a lens in front of you and how you see life.  Then try on a bunch of different lenses.
Be open-minded.
Just don’t forget yourself and what you stand for.  Sometimes, you might find that open-mindedness can change your original lens.  Don’t be afraid of that.  Embrace it.
Use those lenses to serve other people.  To love them.
Just don’t forget yourself 🙂

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