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    Who are we?

Lauryn Wachter, Current Issues writer

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Originality has always been a really big thing for me. I’ve always wanted to be an original person but I’ve never considered myself “naturally” original. Perhaps someone else can relate to this: the feeling of constantly trying to appear original by filtering every thought and action.

I’ve always had this picture in my head of the type of person I want to be and the person I want other people to see. I want to be creative, happy, motivated and original, but I’ve never really been any of those things. So, taking up an entire wall in my room, I created a mural of a tree that I made out of book pages and magazine clippings.

I remember imagining what people’s reactions would be when they saw my tree. I imagined them looking at the tree, looking at me, and finally, in their eyes I would see the person I’ve always wanted to be. The thought brought me comfort, motivating me to actually create it. While originally I made the mural to fool other people that I’m creative, happy, and original, when I finished my project I realized I was staring into the face of a lie. I used this beautiful and creative idea as a way to control how people saw me so I could be something I wanted to be. I felt fake—the exact opposite of what I was aiming for.

Humans crave control, as we all want to be someone other than who we think we are, and thus use creation and other people as a way to manipulate our identity. But when we create things that don’t truly capture ourselves, perhaps they do represent exactly who we are. It is possible that the things we do that appear as lies are actually riddled with truth. We are the people we want to be because we make other people believe it. If we want to convince people we’re a creative person and we come up with a creative idea, then we are creative. Everything we do represents who we are, even when we’re pretending as sometimes the “fake” things are a more truthful expression of who we are than the “natural” things. Nobody is certain that they know exactly who they are, but we know what we want to be. When we create these “lies” we’re developing our personalities and uncovering who we are.

My tree represents who I am, even if I made it to be someone else. Every single person is a language of absolute nonsense, and my fake tree is just a translation.

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    Who are we?