I’ve had an epiphany recently. I believe I first started thinking about it as I was reading War and Peace. I found the characters’ growth and their personalities to be so diverse and yet natural, so unbelievably deep, and yet they could be fit into flat, uniform black letters on a thin sheet of paper. I told my mom that I would like to write characters like that one day. To be able to write a character that would make my reader think “Wow! What a deep, developed character!” She replied that I would need to know a lot of people to do that. And not just know a lot of people, but understand them, truly know a lot of people.
I knew that, but jeez, I don’t even know myself. Neither do I think I truly know anyone, even those closest to me. And that’s when I began realizing how blind I was.
My prideful, self-absorbed personality blinds me to the beauty of others. It doesn’t let me appreciate the skills of people I haven’t accepted as “skilled” or “good”. I can’t see why everyone likes her ____ and not my ____. What does everyone see in it? What makes it deeper, more intricate, more beautiful? What makes it better? Why do they like it so much? I can’t see because I don’t try to look. I don’t want to look. Looking means I acknowledge their ability. And acknowledging someone else’s skill, beauty, thoughtfulness…Means that I can’t be better than them.
But why do I even want to be better than them?
Because I want to stand out. I want to be special. But you can’t be special if everyone else is special. Yes, I can see how that contradicts itself. Yet it is both true and false at the same time. I can see that now. Why is it so hard to be special? Why is it that everyone has such a deep and complex personality, yet such a shallow frame? Why can’t I just stand out? Why is it, that when I find pride in something I do, it’s always diluted by the works of others? Why do merely find pride in the works of myself and those I’ve accepted? Why don’t I want anyone else to be like me, yet I become happy when I find a like mind? Why do I work so hard, honing my skills, merely for my audience to applaud me, and yet when they do, I become uncomfortable and become unable to enjoy my victory?
I think I’ve come to some kind of conclusion. It’s not an answer, but it’s something.
I think this problem of mine, can only be solved by me. A lot of things in life, I believe, are personal battles. Of course, I’ll be influenced by outside sources, but in the end, I think this is a personal battle.