In college, I had a friend. He is not my friend anymore, and most of his opinions I have grown to disrespect. He is a very elitist person, one who often ridicules what he considers inferior works of art. Music, in particular. Considering my musical tastes, I saw this side of him rather often.

That friend has stayed with me, in spirit if not in mind. Every time I move to express myself, or put up a song lyric, I hear his voice remarking how insipid and hackneyed that is. His voice is soon joined by every english major and film teacher I’ve ever met, telling me how one must find one’s own voice.

I have always found it a great irony that my voice sounds completely different in my head than it does on tape.

I cannot say if I am a unique snowflake. I cannot put in words how I differ from other people. I doubt that anyone could prove that I am qualitatively different from every other human being in the world, living or dead. Ten years ago, this would have upset me deeply. Not anymore.

I’m not settling for mediocrity. I’m not letting myself just stay put. I am coming to terms with who and what I am, and not letting notions of singularity and originality bother me.

For the first time in a long time, I can feel again. Even if what I feel is pain, sorrow, and bittersweet love.

To quote a bad Papa Roach song, just to piss off my ex-friend:

Those scars remind me
That the past is real
I tear myself open
Just to feel