Friday, December 21, 2012

*insert another witty post-apocalypse joke here*

Well... Hello.

In honor of the failed attempt at our impending doom, I thought I would celebrate with a long overdue blog post. So... After Honduras, my life kind of kicked into overdrive. I was working two jobs, designing my first show (for which I got a nomination for our district's ACTF, which is pretty stellar), worked crew for another show, and still fought to get a 4.0 (which I failed at... I got my first C, which makes me incredibly sad, admittedly, but I also got an A in a class that was supposed to be impossible to redeem from where I was). Plus, there were friendships that had to be fit in somewhere, so all in all, I got stuck in the real world. I know that's not the best excuse, but it's true. Hopefully this will get me back in the game, no?

So... Today, instead of putting a new post, I'm going to post one I wrote a month or so ago in response to one of Hank's videos. I shared it with all my real-life Nerdfighter friends, so I thought I'd share it with you, too. Happy Apocalypse Day, guys, and congrats on survival!

To begin, you should probably watch this video (We’re All Scared, Hank Green):

Part of this is saying things he’s already said. Part of it’s my response. I’m not going to try to distinguish which is which, but so much of this stems from him. I don’t know. But I’m saying it anyway; I am going to create.

We are all creators. Beyond being artists or writers or builders or craftsmen, we are all in this insane process of creating ourselves. Rather than the idea that we find ourselves, Hank points out that we create ourselves - how we handle things, what we do, what we think, what we do about what we think. (This is not saying we choose everything; there are things about all of us we cannot control, but how we handle those things is just as much a part of the creation as the things themselves, no?) We are in this process of developing as a person. And it's not the creating that's scary. It's the fact that once you've created something, it must be shared. Obviously, you can choose not to; you can box up yourself, your ultimate creation. But- and I kind of wander away from the video for a moment- isn’t that the worst feeling in the world?

I have written for as long as I can remember. It’s part of who I am; using words to create is part of the person being created in my case, I guess. Thinking about it, I flash back to when I was something close to a freshman in high school. I was more of a writer then, really, and at the time, I was completely infatuated with poetry. I am not saying it was good poetry- it was off beat, didn’t flow well, and always followed the ABCBDEFE, etc, rhyme scheme. But it was mine. I made it.

I would always post my works on this blog I created, one that I wasn't even sure I wanted people to see. I was too nervous to put them out there where people I knew could see them, but I still needed to put them out there somewhere, even if it was in the depths of cyberspace where none (well, as it turns out, only three) would dare to look. It’s like something inside of me needed to show the world this combination of words and letters and syllables that had never all been strung together in quite the same way before simply because I was the person who was able to string them together to look just like that.

I think that’s the instinct of all creators and the instinct by which all creations are revealed; it is nothing more than that the creations need to be shared. But sometimes, people are terrified to create because they will one day want- no, need- to share that creation, and sharing a creation is utterly terrifying. And so, they take shortcuts. They decide that maybe if they don’t put in too much effort or if they create it to please their future viewers, the fear will go away. But it won’t, because they still have to reveal it. It is still theirs. Try as they might to not care about it, they do because it is tied to them just as much as the words they say or the people to whom they say them are. Except, now they are tied to a creation with which they aren’t even pleased.

But eventually, terrified, all creators- those who invested all and those who opted not to- may choose toss their art out into the void anyway. They may put it out there where people can dissect it, stomp on it, and attempt to invalidate it in every way, if they so choose. It’s inferior to another’s creation, the critics might say, or it’s too similar or, heaven forbid, too different. It is not good enough. They just don’t like it. Or maybe they do, but that’s not always what you’re thinking when you put it out for the world to see. Especially not when that creation is the one you have spent years developing, that you have put blood, sweat, and tears into. Especially not when that creation is you.

You cannot control people liking your creation. Sometimes they won’t. But the other things, well, they’re wrong. You have created something fragile and rare and beautiful, something that no scale can measure. So how can it ever be said it is not enough? And to call it inferior... Your creation is unlike anything else in the world; you have put together thoughts and ideas and likes and loves in a way no one else has ever dreamed to assemble them. To compare it to another’s creation is like comparing Beethoven to Dickens or Star Wars to Star Trek. While yes, they are two amazing things, they aren’t even in the same league or genre. There is no way to draw a comparison because they are simply too different in every way.

I will not say there is no reason to be afraid. There is every reason to be afraid, but that’s what makes it worth it. That is what creating is about. It is about going into uncharted territory; it is about taking things that thousands of others have used before but putting them together in a way that no one else can even fathom. Then it is about genuinely loving and honoring that creation by sharing it with the world because it is worth sharing. You are worth sharing. Will there be people that don’t like you? Probably. But that doesn’t mean your creation is not valuable. It does not mean that you have failed to create beauty. It just means that the other person hasn’t been able to see that yet.

Create a you that makes you happy, one that you are comfortable with. Create a you that is the you you want to be, or as Hank says, “Make the you that you feel best inside of.” Then find people that can see the beauty of that creation and delight in their creations as well. Draw them close to you; make them your friends. And never- never, nevernever- forget that that creation, that you, are beautiful and rare.

Writing this, there have been two quotes floating through my head, so tie them in where you will, because they’re related:
  • “You’re arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that’s a lie, and you know it.” -John Green
  • "Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it...It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more." -Erica Jong  (This one may not make sense, but think of it in the sense of loving your creation, I guess?
And on that note, I think I'm done. Good night! DFTBA. (And DFTCA, don't forget to create awesome.)