I always balk when potential employers, business professors, prying family members ask me to tell them something unique about me.
I am not unique.
I am a product of the people who surround me, the books that I’ve read, the films that I’ve seen. Everything that I’ve ever said or written or thought has been said and written and thought of before.
So, really, how can I be unique? What can I tell you that others have not already told you, flaunting their shiny accolades and flashing their sparkling smiles to win you over?
I could tell you that I’m adventurous and brave and daring – but that is only because I read about Hermione Granger being those things and decided that I, too, would be like her.
I could say that I’ve walked long trails and hitchhiked with strangers and drunk from roaring rivers – but that is only because my best friend gave me my first backpack and made me follow her to the forests.
I could also allow that I am whimsical and logical and passionate all at the same time – but that is only because I loved my calculus teacher and literature teacher equally in high school.
So you see, I am not unique at all. I am a wonderful, magical, quizzical blend of all of the things that I have seen and read and lived. I am Mary Zakheim, but I am not unique.