An opinion piece made the rounds some time back, and it hit me like a brick. From the first glance at the headline, it took courage to open and some forced grit to finish. “You’ll never be famous—and that’s okay,” Emily Esfahani Smith
Her thesis was a truth I understood, maybe genuinely agreed with; but it was so, so, hard to stomach.
Here’s a quote from Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, aptly about depression or so I’m told, which I’ve held to heart: “That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.” I can guess what she herself meant, but in my head I interchange “purposeful” with “useful,” with a meaning and result that adds up and makes sense.
I want this grind, that I accept as necessary, to build towards some reward that I (probably fooled myself into thinking I) deserve. Earned. Am entitled to, delusionally put.
And I blindly, rashly and desperately felt that the only reward that could possibly make up for that struggle is applause that someone else provides. I exhaustedly and stubbornly refuse to just “clap for my own damn self.”
And that’s why I find it hard to believe I’ll ever be okay with never being famous.
With the entrance of hypomania, affectionately nicknamed summer, into my life, I found an unusual impatience with transitions. In betweens. Where I used to find gaps to justify my breathing, I found loathing for wasted time. I wanted to get to the next stop and get started, keep moving on to the newest pursuit.
“Destination fixation,” I think they called it. Or was it
And the shortcut to be set up for success seemed to be fame.
Fame wouldn’t set me up for life, but it opens more doors than the usual. Fame doesn’t translate to be a total hit, but it sure helps you
And that’s what I really want a shortcut to.
If by some miracle I find another way to it, then maybe I’ll never be famous and there’s a chance that that will be okay. But that could mean the premature death of present pursuits, in favor of something truer. Which births a new conflict now: I don’t know if that’s okay.