The more I write, the less convinced I am that I have anything to say.
In this particular universe, on this particular planet, we all exist in an age where conversations can take place among people living on opposite ends of the world. We have the tools to raise our voices to the stars and beyond, pushing past and breaking down barriers of communication in an ecstatic crusade of self-expression. It's as if the currents of words and information have swept our spirits along for the ride - we talk about uniting nations and understanding others, caught with our heads in the cloud of data, awestruck by infinite possibilities.
So, as a mere college student with barely twenty years of life experience, how are my opinions supposed to stack up to everyone else's?
The struggle to set yourself apart is a human thing - we've always needed communities to survive, and we want a place where we can "fit in." At the same time, we want to be recognized as a sovereign, independent being within the definitions of our community, and we don't want to give up our individuality out of fear of becoming lost in the crowd. Without getting sidetracked too far, I would argue that this discussion isn't so much about the conflicts inherent to the self-versus-society balancing act, but is more about the worth of certain individuals when weighed against others.
For most of my life, I grew up believing that every life has value - human beings are, by the simple virtue of having life, immediately worth a certain amount of my respect and understanding. With that being said, I'm supposed to be able to produce writing and put thoughts out there that compare to the publications of renowned scholars, philosophers, and journalists the world over. The odds simply aren't in a young writer's favor to be able to spark conversations on the same level, let alone grab people's attention in the first place.
Communication, even on a smaller and less instantaneous scale, is something we truly take for granted, and I'm just as bad as anyone else at this. It's bad enough having to go a day with my head full of gauze and fog-inducing pain meds after wisdom teeth surgery - just from that short time alone, I became incredibly frustrated and frightened because no one could understand me. I had lost my voice, and even though it was a mere inconvenience that made my life only slightly more difficult for a day, I felt like one of my most valuable possessions and tools had been stolen from me. The more I dwelled on that idea, the more terrifying it became.
Now, that's just an isolated case due to surgery, right? It's not even a real problem, is it?
Maybe, or maybe not. You see, inspiration ought to come from the small things - every tapestry is made up of many different threads. Without them, we can never see the big picture. When a small, inconvenient thing happens to us, we should be open-minded enough to begin exploring the possibilities of what it could mean in a larger context, whether for our own sake or for the sake of other people. That, to me, is what it means to be inspired. That is what it means to have something worth saying. When we allow those little bits of life experience influence us, and then we share our revelations with others who are going through something similar, then we have started a conversation that is completely unique to us.
Therefore, I urge you to do this: get the conversation started.