Don’t let yourself think you’re not special.
I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I get into these slumps. It’s really just lack of a better word, but what else can you call these odd breaks in the understanding of reality? Maybe that’s just a smidge dramatic, but that’s what it can feel like when you get stuck in a pattern. Personally, I feel like 2020 has just been one huge pattern. It’s been like 20 years stuffed into 365 days, and I am not here for it.
Growing up, I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of having a hobby to spend my time on. I wasn’t ever the sporty type, just like I’m definitely not now. When you can’t fall back on little league or a basketball team, you can feel pretty boring in grade school! It’s intense stuff. I was always trying whatever hobby I could get my hands on, and like any other kid, I thought I’d just.. know when I found the right one.
You may not have all had the childhood I did, and maybe some of you didn’t watch Tinkerbelle growing up, so I’ll summarize for you. Essentially, Tinkerbelle is a real outcast in the Neverland world, okay? She’s no normal, regular fairy. She doesn’t talk to animals, or control the weather, or water. With all this being said, every fairy has to go through this ceremony where they basically get told what their life’s passion is. Tinkerbelle gets told she is meant to, well, tinker.
She hates this news, and I mean absolutely hates it. I can’t blame her, okay? That’s like growing up wanting to be a popstar and ending up an accountant. Long story short, that’s what I thought would happen to me. I thought I would try drawing, and suddenly create art like Bob Ross. Or, I thought if I tried dance, I’d be an instant ballerina. Since life isn’t like that, though, I gave up on all my hobby attempts fairly quick. Like Tinkerbelle, I didn’t respect or think about the hobbies and passions I had, because they weren’t shiny and stereotypical.
No, I can’t paint a mural on my wall confidently. No, I don’t know Mozart by heart. No, I definitely cannot kick a soccer ball correctly. However, I can listen, and I can write, and I can study like nobody’s business. It took me way too long to realize that being a little different can be okay sometimes. Improvement is created on the foundation of originality. You can’t change the world if you think like everyone else. If everyone was perfect, the world would be perfect.
In society these days, it’s borderline cutthroat. There’s literal books called “You’re Not Special,” and while some of these messages are aimed at those who believe they’re more deserving than the rest of the world, they’re also harmful. Nothing is positively impacted on the idea that we all are average and we all are in the same boat on the same route in life. That doesn’t make sense, and from my standpoint, I can’t see how it could ever make sense.
The world changes and evolves when we look into ourselves and decide that our ideas are worth something. Here’s a thought — if your idea isn’t original, or special, why hasn’t anyone else had it? Furthermore, maybe someone else has had a similar idea, but why haven’t they elaborated on it? You should never let yourself think that originality is anything less than an advantage. There’s obviously places where people profit on being similar, but that’s not the kind of place you should be at anyways.
The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality. -Conan O’Brien
It honestly blows my mind how people still associate creativity and originality with something to be ashamed of. Think about why society judges people, and when it judges them. I’ll bet that most of the time, they get talked about because they’re doing things that are out of the box. Heck, I bet they’re breaking the whole box down, and for some reason, that bothers humankind a whole lot. Originality is merely a pair of new eyes, and if we belittled every example of creativity and individuality, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Don’t get me wrong, it is way, way easier to go with the natural order of things. Why? Because it’s the safe move in life. We do the things that others are doing around us because we know what the outcomes will be. We become accountants, lawyers, and doctors because we know that we’ll make good money for our education and efforts. Think about the founders of the ‘influencer’ era. Back in the mid-to-late 2000s, people were quitting their jobs to begin creating names for themselves on the internet, and now they’re making just as much as those with degree-backed careers — if not more.
Personally, I love to see it. I love how people are breaking barriers and finding new ways to live life, without being bound to tradition. Life is hard enough when you’re just trying to lay low, so for the sake of spreading happiness, let people be adventurous. As long as what people are doing isn’t harmful to themselves or others, you really shouldn’t worry yourself over it. Perhaps instead you can try to understand, and think on how you’d feel if you were in their shoes. After all, you may think they’re crazy for doing things on their down, but just as Herman Melville quoted, “it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”