I’ve had the thought recently that I can’t come up with new or unique ideas. That my creativity is limited. I have this probable silly belief that my life is useless if I don’t contribute something special to the world. “Leave the world a better place than when you came into it” they tell us constantly. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. How big is the world vs your world? What of your meaning of better? This expression is limiting me. My life is, supposedly, to fall within the parameters of the world and betterment.
It’s not just these definitions that can limit us. If I make a sound similar to that of a cat, why is it “like a cat” and not just because I’m so weird motherfucker who makes noises? That’s a silly example, but the point is that it’s hard not to be compared to something. If you’re a genius of new modern day technology you might be called the Einstein of that technology instead of being you, the badass who mastered something. Our accomplishments never feel unique because there is always something or someone we can be compared to and that feels like our accomplishments are not worth as much. It’s a similar case to anyone who has siblings, constantly being compared to them. In many ways you cannot even be yourself because of the limits others have tried to place on you. “Well, your brother/sister did this when they were your age…” “Back when I was your age, I did all sorts of amazing things”
It’s not just comparison that is troubling, it’s the definition of the abstract. I’ve spoken on love before (See my previous posts) and that is a complex subjective emotion that is often used to describe your passion for pizza in the same manner it’s meant to express your feelings towards someone you care deeply for. “When you’re in love you feel like…” and with that your definition of love is limited. If nothing matches that thing it feels like, is it love? (Baby don’t hurt me). We want so badly to have a definition because we are used to being able to describe abstract concepts with words not realizing that by doing so, we’ve taken this broad abstract concept and put it into a box when there’s so much more that goes into it.
We see in shows all the time how creativity is valued and allows for many wonderful character moments. In Food Wars, a character will use a new ingredient instead of the one that is usually defined with it’s dish. They break the limit of what definitions have been given to them by their own creativity. This is what I want. I want to break my own limits, I want to shatter my limited concept of the world and how to improve upon it. I want to break the limits on who I am. Just because something has been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the correct way. By that same logic, the way we’ve been living our life may not be the way that we want to, but we’ve never known any other way to do it.
In order to to understand how it is that you’re living your life, it’s important to recognize what those limits are before you can move forward. It sounds easy on paper, but the mental process of figuring out why you will not do a certain thing and how to fix it is a time consuming process that seems unlikely to be done by flipping a switch in your brain. The way we were taught at a young age does not go away so easily. Someone in the world was told, “The sky’s the limit” and they said no, looking beyond the sky to the stars, and beyond the stars further and further beyond. That’s amazing and I believe that similar idea can occur within people as well.
I am depressed constantly. It’s never really gone away in the years that I’ve had it. Yet, because I tell myself I’m depressed I have limited myself to the idea that I have of depression, another complex feeling. “When you’re depressed you feel like…” No. Fuck that. These are my emotions and be them good or bad I can, I WILL, find value in them. I don’t want to limit myself to who I’ve always been, to how I’ve always felt, to the actions I use to define myself. I will be me, and it will be hard, but I’m trying to avoid defining who that is.