chandler collins: on originality

Nearly everything that I say or write isn’t original. It’s influenced by the people, media, and possessions that I encounter. I struggle with trying to “find my voice” when I sound like so many other people.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth trying to “fight the system” and have a unique opinion when my opinions aren’t as articulate or as worthy as the others that I read. I feel like a recycling bin. Churning out other people’s thoughts and giving my opinions on them.

One of my favorite quotes from Birman is about this idea of constant criticism. “A thing is a thing, not what is said about the thing.” I often feel like a labeler that provides nothing constructive.

I’d like to voice my own opinions, yet I don’t know how to filter out the nuggets of my truth from the constant barrage of other people’s (better written) musings. I don’t want to give up, because admitting defeat in writing feels that I admit defeat in becoming unique.

To end this piece, I’d like to steal a nugget from e.e. cummings, ““To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”