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As much as we all want to be known and seen as unique, we also want to fit in. The one that we often address with this blog—like even the idea that Life is Messy and Life is Marvelous!Those adolescents who are striving so hard to be different also want to fit in—even the ‘outcasts’ in schools, group together and look alike.I had to let that one go eventually and follow the advice of my favorite poet and philosopher of all time, Dr.Seuss, “” The second time this drive for uniqueness occurs is after we move through early adulthood when we tend to conform more to the social standards that we grew up with believing this will make us more successful whether professionally or in our personal lives, such as parenting.(This is how I imagined myself.) I don’t know when or in what context this question first got my attention; but I began to use it in group presentations in which I needed to get a group working together and sharing personal things.It seemed easier for folks to generate an idea than if I asked them, “Tell us something interesting about you” which appeared to activate the self-deprecation filter of “I’m not a very interesting person.” For me it initially began when I was rediscovering parts of myself following my divorce and being out in the dating world again.We see in in adolescents who work to stand out in a crowd, whether with blue hair, clothes that are more like costumes, or mad talent.We coach them on how to stand out in college applications. And so, we teach them about the importance of conformity.

Host: RU Student Life When: Thursday, November 21 2013, PM to PM Where: TRS 1-073 Ryerson Toastmasters’ annual public speaking competition is back!The International Tea House is a monthly event run by International Student Services Peer Supporters.Treats are served, music is played, and participants enjoy cultural performances.Some folks erroneously judge this as a mid-life crisis when we return to the ‘follies’ of our youth, but perhaps, if we do it responsibly, it is more of an imperative.The great choreographer and dancer Martha Graham aptly noted, “You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.” “I wrote 2 novels in 6 weeks.” “I do community theater.” “I brew my own beer.” “I ballroom dance.” “I write poetry.” “I play bass in jazz combos.” “I do Reiki on my plants.” “I host house concerts.” “I fly my own private plane.” “I’m a blogger.” “I intentionally use ‘Spoonerisms’.” (Look that one up if it’s unfamiliar to you.) These answers led me to think about how it is our uniqueness that connects us with others.

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