Earlier today I posted this photo and caption on Instagram:
It got me thinking about this concept. If there really is nothing new under the sun and we’re all destined to repeat the same tedious and mind-numbing cycles over and over again, why do we even bother?
Why do we get up in the morning? Why even step outside the door?
Why do we bother to travel and explore the world, if it’s all been seen before?
And that got me thinking about that Barenaked Ladies song, “It’s All Been Done”. Here it is, because I know you’re all singing it in your heads now:
I understand it can be frustrating, when you’re trying to be original and create something truly unique, only to find that it’s been done already. So, what’s a gal to do?
I say, do it anyway.
Whatever it is, it hasn’t been done by you. That story hasn’t been told by you. And so really, it hasn’t been told at all.
This is not permission to plagiarize someone else’s work, please do not misunderstand me. But we have to give ourselves permission to be creative, even in this exceedingly ‘it’s all been done’ time we live in.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a great book about living a creative life, called Big Magic. In it, she discusses the difference between originality and authenticity. She says, “These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me. Just say what you want to say, then, and say it will all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me – it will feel original“. Smart lady.
The same concept applies when exploring the world. If it’s the first time you’ve been somewhere, explore it like you’re the first to set foot there. Because, to you, it is the first time and it feels the same anyway. I can tell you that the sense of wonder I feel when I hike a new forest path or visit a new-to-me place is not in the least diminished by the knowledge that thousands of people have been there before me.
So, let’s take the sage advice of the folks at The North Face and Never Stop Exploring.
Because yes, there is nothing new under the sun.
Except absolutely everything.