I’ve been thinking about originality lately. I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably have no real originality, at least not as I’ve been trying to uncover it in myself. Everything I do has been done before. Most of what I say has been learned by reading books or listening to other people.
Do you know, I really, really struggle with this. I have, ever since I was in high school and my sister would say things like “pegged me in the head” or “I just stubbed my pigs.” I thought she was SO.COOL thinking of things like that. Since hanging out online, I’ve witnessed even more brilliance and originality – everybody has something catchy to say.
It is hard not to wish that I was my sister. Or these other people who are pithy, witty, and downright amazing. It’s hard not to want my photos to be just like the photos of the photographers I admire. And it’s hard to put myself out there with my astounding lack of originality and pretend that I still feel comfortable existing when so many other people are more original than I am.
But here’s what I’ve figured out: It’s okay to do it anyway. To be me, a little stuck-in-the-mud, hung up on beauty, and sometimes-clichéd. It’s okay to say it anyway – even if it’s been said before. Even if somebody else has said it better. Even if five other people you follow write blog posts on the same thing in the span of a week.
Originality – or the lack thereof – doesn’t always mean success, but putting you out there is a pretty good recipe for achieving it, whatever you look like.
So I’m a little redundant sometimes. So I’m still learning and growing in what I make and do and say. So everybody else is smarter or prettier or pithier than I am. OKAY.
I am alive in the world, and I’m meant to be me. The most important thing is that I am the me God created me to be, that I stop wishing He’d made me someone else. Speaking, doing, writing, living what is true to my heart – that is original to me. Choosing not to let the rest of the world force me to be someone else just to achieve greater originality – that is me, being original.
If you’ve got something on your heart to say or be or do – then DO it, even if somebody else has said or been or done it before. It’s the YOU in it that makes it unique.