Who wouldn’t want to live forever? Sure, everyone dies. No one can skirt the grim reaper, but we’d all love to pull one over on him by making a name for ourselves that’s powerful enough to be spoken of through the ages.
Achilles, Moses, Cleopatra, Jesus, Genghis Kahn, Christopher Columbus, Tyler Orr . . . well that last name doesn’t quite fit.
I used to work in the music industry. I was surrounded by people who wanted more than anything to be famous. I knew a few who probably should’ve been, and a few who shouldn’t have been but were. Unfortunately, that’s the way the music world works nowadays. Somehow, the ones who don’t deserve it seem to come out on top—look at Internet fads like Rebecca Black and Antoine Dodson. The truly talented strive to reach legitimate celebrity while others with less ability—but better gimmicks—rise to the top before being dethroned overnight by the next fad with a zillion views on YouTube.
I was often asked the question, “Do you think I have what it takes to make it?” I usually responded, saying, “Do you have what it takes to live with yourself if you don’t? And if you do make it, do you have what it takes to like yourself if your career is short-lived?”
More than ever, fame is fleeting. Even still, I’ve spent a lot of time with people who fear normality, people determined to not be forgotten after they die. This is a fear shared by most simply because of an even bigger fear: the fear of not existing.
Here’s a reality check for you: One day you will die. The self that you know as “me” will no longer exist, and no one will remember you. Your name will be forgotten, lost in time.
Sorry if I just ruined your day.
Coming to grips with this has been difficult for me. I’m one of those people who fears normality, and it hasn’t been easy accepting that one day no one will remember me. Example: I can’t tell you my great grandfather’s name, and I bet you don’t know the name of yours either.
You may be thinking, Well, what’s the point of it all then? Why try and make something of myself?
Maybe you shouldn’t. At the very least, stop trying so hard to make everyone remember you. Instead of trying to force a place on a page in the history books, make good memories with the ones who matter—friends and family, the ones who will be forgotten alongside you. In my opinion, this sounds better than squandering this life trying to make strangers like me.
But if you are a stranger, and you like me . . . thanks!