My gingerbread house


I had my own gingerbread house built up. With swirls of white frosting and candy gumdrops of green and pink. It was sturdy. 

No cracks in the foundation. 

I thought it was acceptable; I was proud of my creation.

Then you guys came with your gingerbread houses. 

You welcomed mine, but yours were all very similar. There were many things that you had in common. 

The way they fit together made mine look like one of Cinderella’s stepsisters.

I felt left out.

I wanted mine to be like yours. You came to me with your peppermint rooftops, gumdrop shrubbery, and coconut snow. They seemed perfect.

I looked back at my own house and suddenly I did not like it anymore. I wanted a peppermint roof, and I wanted gumdrop brush. I hated the way the swirls of sugar paste slid down the slanted sienna-stained roof.

 I detested the way the forest and fuschia-colored, citric-acid-covered gummy chews lined the sides of the house. 

I desperately wanted to change it. 

I wanted to make it like yours.

So I did.

Slowly, I chipped my snow-white icing off the cocoa roof and replaced it with ruby red and milky-white swirled roof tiles. 

I thought that changing my house would make me feel like I belonged with you, the thing I did not know then was that I was putting cracks in my house.

It was breaking.

It was breaking, and I was too caught up in trying to make it like yours. 

 I did not see it until it was too late. My house collapsed, and then you all left, taking your houses with you. 

You left, and all I had now was a pile of broken gingerbread and no instructions on how to fix it.

I acted like everything was fine. I pretended it was built up, and I pretended it was perfect.

It was not perfect.

It was breaking, and I was too caught up in trying to make it like yours. ”

It was ugly.

I wanted to fix it, but I had no idea how.

I saw other people’s houses, and I tried to copy them, desperate to have my house whole again. 

I tried.

I tried so hard to make those houses work again.

I tried, and I failed time and time again.

I was tired of failing.

I took a step back, took a deep breath, and I started to slowly rebuild my house, not paying any attention to others. 

I rebuilt it myself. 

Once it was done, I looked at my handiwork. It was different from before; it was a bit more extravagant. I put weeks of time and effort into that house. 

And I am still improving it.

It is different. 

It is not like anyone else’s.

And I am happy it is different.

Because different is good.

Never again will I try to make it like any other house.

Finally, this is what I am asking you. Please do not change yourself for anyone. It sounds cliche—I know—but if you do, you may break. And chances are, that person or those people will not stay and help you build yourself up again. They will leave and let you scramble for the pieces. 

They will leave you there with no instructions on how to rebuild yourself.