When you go through your life buying, wearing, using things, you know full well that because those items are available in stores that there are going to be other people buying, wearing, using them as well.
I get it, the world is a big place and other people will be wearing the same clothes, shoes or jewellery I wear. That’s why I’ve bought so much online. Ebay has provided me with a massive amount of kaftans, kimonos and jewellery that no one else around me will have. So have my handy jewellery making skills.
Which is great. It means I get to be an individual and not look like a million other people.
The problem I have is, what happens when family start buying, wearing, using the same things you do?
The rest of the world I can deal with, my family I can’t. I call it copycat-ism and it gets really bad when it’s your family.
We all want our own place in our family. We all want to do our own thing unless we’re raised in a family where the family business matters. How many families have we seen where everyone joins the police force, or become doctors?
But that’s other families, not mine.
In mine I am the creative. My clothing personality is creative, my brain is hyper overdrive creative and all of my life I have drawn, written and made things to keep my brain active.
Now I have my books for one half of my brain and jewellery for the other. Everything that comes with those two things also come along for the ride, such as fashion, styling and designing, not just jewellery and clothing, but book covers and social media headers and pictures as well.
I have been making jewellery since I was sixteen and I’m 42 on May 21. I have been writing since primary school in the 80s and I’m still writing now.
In the last year I found out my sister-in-law is doing, or wants to do, the same things as me.
I’ve had enough of my four sisters copying each other the last 30 years, with their hair, their animals, their clothes, their furniture and everything else. And for the last few years sister #2 has been throwing paint on canvases. That’s her creativity. She calls it abstract, I call it paint on a canvas. And I certainly don’t call it art as animals and kids can smear paint on something and call it art. Now I have my sister-in-law copying and it makes me want to scream (see the above picture).
We didn’t seen her and my brother for fourteen years, since 2001, because he threw a tantrum and stormed off because mummy didn’t sign his little piece of paper. We only started seeing them in Feb of 2015 after sister #2 harassed mum into calling him. I found out that she was also making jewellery. Now when we last saw them in 2001 I’d only made a few bits and pieces and only owned a few more. Now I own over 2000 pieces and have my own company and now she’s making copper wire jewellery. Of course she knew about my jewellery business because sister #2 told her as I clearly hadn’t.
Back in December I find out she’d just gotten a computer and wants to write a book. Now, every time I write, I burn inside about her doing that. Why in God’s name can’t I be the only one in this family to do that? Sure, millions of people in the world write a book, and sure, millions of people in the world make jewellery. But the world becomes very, very, very small when it’s your family doing the exact same thing as you and you are no longer the only individual in your family.
I guess I can thank God I’ve got 26 years of jewellery making experience and know stuff she doesn’t. I guess I can thank God I’ve got 10 years of novel writing and experience and know stuff she doesn’t. But now I’m busting my butt trying to get all of these books out of my head as well as look after mum and try and run a household, and all I’ve got in my head is her wanting to write a God damn book.
Just once, just once, I want something for myself in this bloody family of mine. Something to call my own. I’m 10-15 years younger than them and just want something for myself.
I’ve never told my family I write books. Mum knows I wrote one or two, but now I’m up to 22 and have more in my head that needs to be written, and I still have not said anything. Why do I need to? But I knew whoever saw my Facebook style blog page (I’m friends with sister #2), that she would see it and it would possibly get around. She’s known as someone who cannot keep shut her mouth and stay out of other people’s business and then one day last year mum told me sister #1 knew. And I’m like, “why didn’t you tell me”, she’s like, “it slipped my mind”. I’m like, “I never said anything to any of them how would they know?”
Well, it’s my family, they can’t shut their traps for anything.
Just once, just once, I want something for myself, and now I can’t even have that. I have thought of being a know it all (I do love putting people in their place when it comes to them having a lack of knowledge) just to see the looks on their faces as it would give me some sort of weird satisfaction over them. But that would be letting the cat out of the bag, so I’ll say nothing for now.
So, do you guys have copycat relatives and how does it make you feel?
And what do you think about it being Friday the 13th? Superstitious?
I totally understand where you are coming from on that issue. When you are creative and want to be unique, it's got to be frustrating that relatives are trying to emulate you. The good news is though, they may TRY to copy your expertise and style but I would bet money that they can't actually do things as well as you do. As you said, you have been making jewelry and writing for a long time and have experience that will take them years to get.
I only have one sibling and it's a brother. He is very different from me and wouldn't want to live my life at all. I live in a larger city and he lives on a farm on 22 acres in Colorado. He claims the traffic here makes him crazy. I am pretty sure "crazy" comes fairly easy to him. But we get along really well and appreciate that we like different things.
L.J. Diva says
Cheryl, I'd love to have just one sibling but then it might make it ten times worse, lol.
Plowing Through Life (Martha) says
Well, that certainly sucks. I get in a way it is a form of flattery but also very frustrating. Some people can't be unique; they need to follow others. I don't have any copycat relatives, thankfully, but I don't know if that's a good thing since it implies that there's nothing to want to copy! LOL…
I'm not a superstitious person, so Friday the 13th is just another day for me!
L.J. Diva says
Oh Martha it sucks so much, especially now my sister in law is doing it all too.
I have seen so many people so blatantly copy those they see online. I really don't know why they can't be bothered using their brain to come up with things they like instead of copying everyone else.