What is uniquely you?

We all have things we like or love such as food and movies (crawfish, Tom Hanks films), hobbies (tennis, quilting), activities we’re good at (writing, cooking), or random quirks (ambidextrous). And some of us excel at certain things — maybe we always have, or maybe we’ve newly grown into it.

If you’re like me, you’re competitive, you want to be good at something, maybe a lot of things, and you like being recognized for your skills. Since I was a little girl, I’ve considered myself a good writer, but didn’t feel really recognized for it among my peers until college. I also grew up in a family that loved to cook, and I pride myself on making a darn good gumbo and being able to throw together recipes on the fly that are healthy and delicious. I took up running races about a year ago, and as someone who hated running as part of practicing for basketball, soccer, and tennis, I am proud of how much I’ve fallen in love with it and the level I’ve taken it to.

But sometimes I hit a funk, and I feel like nothing is uniquely mine. Thousands of people run races, obviously, but more and more, I meet people in my circles that do it too, and are faster than me. I’m meeting other people who cook a lot and have fabulous photos of their creations, too. I have friends who are also writers and doing something about it. I may be the one of the most zealous Sinatra fans out there, but again, I’m not unique in my love for him. Or corgis.

Bottom line, I get sad thinking that I don’t have anything that is mine — that I can say, I do this or love this and no one else does, and therefore this makes me special.

And then I realize, I don’t need one thing to be just mine. Or even two things. And part of the fun of relationships with people is that you can share these things in common — and can learn from each other and revel in it together. And what’s even better is that the sum of all those things that you may share with others is what makes up you — and of course, how could I forget, that YOU are uniquely you. Everything about you as a person is YOURS. There is no other Jenna Sauber (even if someone else may have the same name). Why?

Because no one else has my memories.

No one else has my feelings.

No one else has my exact dreams and goals and desires.

No one else shares my relationship with my parents.

No one else is all of me wrapped into one —  the Sinatra and sports-loving, corgi-adoring Cajun who loves writing, reading and red velvet cake (see Twitter bio). Hit in the face with a hockey puck, adopted by my dad at 16, 11/11 birthday, born on the bayou — those are all me, too.

How are you uniquely you?

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What is it that makes you YOU?

We’ve all heard this question over the years, or variations of it. What makes you different from everyone else? What makes you most you? Write an acrostic with each letter of your name starting a word that describes you…and so forth.

Well tonight I was reminded of that question. It wasn’t from a teacher or a counselor or even a prospective employer. It was from a friend, but it was right on. I’m at a point where I’m learning my way around in my profession, at my place of work, in this city, in my relationships. There are plenty of people just a few years older than me that are the “go-to” for a particular subject – because they own it and know it inside out and they have really made a name for themselves on it. I can say I know a lot about corgis, or Cajun cooking, or Jane Austen books or Frank Sinatra, but I’m still trying to figure out what that one interest area is that I want to work on for years and years as a job, as a passion – that people will come to me for. We all want to be recognized for something we know, right?

What is the area you feel you want to be the go-to for? What will you do to get to that point?