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Posts Tagged ‘matter’

There is nothing new under the sun. I used to have quarrels with that idea. I could sit in front of a notebook for hours in college, doodling deformed stars because I felt washed up at twenty years old. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? What could I possibly know at this age that meant something?

Some stories really do feel new, and then some just feel like a repeat of something else. You think up an idea one day, and the next, an author has just published a book about an idea that you were going to start. There is a lot of competition for ideas in the arts. But that doesn’t mean that our art, our stories, aren’t important. The endings still make us cry, still give us hope, still remind us something about life or imagination beyond the life we know. You can use the same chords, but change the notes and words on the page to create something new. You can use the same storyline, but change the characters and circumstances and still find a way to have a fresh perspective on it.

Some friends I made in college had lived in the city or a suburb. They talked about how flat Minnesota was; but where I live, the land is covered in hills and bluffs. They hadn’t spent a lot of time on a farm, but my mom used to work on a dairy farm, and I live on a hobby farm with cattle and pigs. I grew up riding four-wheeler and picking bales of hay off the fields. I rode with my dad on tractors and in the back of trucks down gravel roads. That life wouldn’t really be new to anyone in my small hick town, but my perspective would be new to them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t criticize artists for creating something that is similar to something else. Just because it may not seem different to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to someone else.

So keep writing. Keep changing note progressions and keep painting lines because people can still be amazed. They can still be moved. And that’s all we ever hope for. If it matters to you, it’ll matter to someone else.
Isn’t that a beautiful concept? You matter. Even if you’re not an artist. I’d like to think you could make anything an art if you put your mind to it. When I was in college, all the professors liked to say how they thought their subject was most important. But you and I are both needed in different ways. We both have unique understandings that the other person doesn’t have, as well as understandings the other person can relate to so we don’t feel so alone. We can both leave some kindness and hope in a place the other person isn’t.

There is already an excess of complainers. It’s become the norm. Instead, be a daisy in a field of dandelions. Don’t give up on your art, don’t give up on hope, and don’t forget that your perspective is needed, no matter where you are, no matter who you are.

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I’ve always had people ask me who my favorite singer is, what my favorite song is. But I don’t pay attention to the singer. They don’t necessarily matter to me. I look at what they sing about, what story or message they are giving. I am not interested in someone singing about getting high up in the club and getting all the girls. I like the songs that sing about holding on, thanking God, and being grateful through the hard times. I like the songs that sing about real love, taking chances, taking time to live life and dancing because you can. I like songs that sing about the brave men and women fighting for our protection, knowing they could die any day and sacrificing time away from their family.

To sum it up, I love songs that sing about the things I value. I value God, family, friends, music, love, happiness, living off the land, animals, not letting money change me into something prideful and greedy. I am here to love people, to give them strength when others tear them down, to remind people of their own priorities and values.

What is it that you value? Are they material things that can be replaced? Are they similar to your priorities?

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You see pictures of some sort of group of black and white animals with a colored animal either by itself or in the middle of the group, sometimes doing something stupid. Underneath it says something cliche like “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” or “An original is worth more than a copy.”

You start thinking, “You know, they’re right. I am unique.”

Then commercials come on with overweight people who lost 100 pounds and show the chick with nice abs. You change the channel and you see Covergirl models with beautiful flowing hair and clear skin. You change again and they’re the newest fashion or showing you the newest Iphone 12, though they just made one eight months ago.
So basically they mean: yeah, you can be yourself. But if you buy all this crap you can be awesome. Be like everyone else, because we don’t really care about you; we just want your money, so we will tell you that you look beautiful in anything if it means you will buy it.

They take movies that could be made into one and split them up in to three. They write survival guides for the end of the world. What a joke. If it’s the end of the world, no one is surviving it, and even if you did, why would you want to? I’d rather be killed in seconds by my house crushing me than to survive and freeze to death in the next ice age.

They are taught to be good sellers. They use the right colors, put ads in the right places, make you think that you need something better or different than where you’re at. Sometimes you need it, sometimes you don’t.
But you know what? That doesn’t always make you happy either. If you sway your hips towards the hottest guy and he sees something for you because you talk the talk and wear the small black dress, good for you, I guess. You can watch the movies and YouTube videos that tell you how to get the guy or girl and how to make him fall for you. But what happens when you get married and you get tired of playing the part all the time? What happens when he or she finds out who you really are? Eventually, you’re going to get tired of being what they are looking for and strive to find yourself back. Well they didn’t want the real you, they wanted the you that you let them think was you.

Maybe you can keep up the act, but then it just makes you exhausted. You can’t just be happy because you are too busy keeping up with what they expect out of you. What’s the point in getting the “right guy,” or whatever it may be, if you can’t even just enjoy it? Isn’t it easier to just act and be the way you normally are?
I’ve gotten to the point when I roll my eyes at the pictures that say “Be Yourself,” because sometimes they are from the same people that throw the pictures of beautiful people at you. But if you can look past the clichés, reach into yourself and see that they have a point. Don’t follow the world, because the world is going to shit with people who are obsessed with money, good looks, and constantly being sarcastic with tiny shorts and plunging necklines. But screw them. I wear baseball caps when I’m having a bad hair day, sweatpants when I feel like being comfortable while I’m out and about, and eat the movie popcorn without thinking about how I’m going to have to go for a run on the treadmill when I get home.

Sure, working out to get a little skinnier will make you healthier, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a size one. If you want to splurge a little on a shirt that you’ve been wanting, go for it. They may lie to you by saying it’s cute, but if you like it then that’s what matters. By buying a shirt or a plate of food that you probably didn’t need, we are actually keeping companies in business so their employees don’t lose their jobs. Just don’t overdo it. Just because you like clothes, doesn’t mean you need new ones every week, especially the ones that degrade you by being see-through and itty-bity. You’re setting yourself up to be someone’s imaginative porn star. You deserve better than that.

If you don’t treat yourself or your body with any respect, don’t expect any respect from anyone else.

If you act like someone you’re not, you are going to end up with someone who isn’t right for you. The person who will make you happiest is the person who loves the person you really are.

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