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apple nocom, never be famous,

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 says, and goes on to propose the value of everyday meaning and fulfilment in the ordinary life over accolades.

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 addiction? A misinformed conviction that happiness is at the nearest stopover, no matter the route (read: shortcut) you choose to get there. So obviously and naïvely, I obsess with that shortcut.

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 crowdsurf closer to the stage. Longing for those increased chances to make things right and get things right, in the end, it doesn’t just come from hunger for recognition. They also come from this exhausted need to be so secure I have the luxury to be content with—or even just focus on—less milestones and a life where I don’t have to work so hard to be happy.

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.

Apple Nocom

Apple is a witch, a writer, and a mental health advocate from the Philippines. She keeps a blog as a creative outlet and a self-care diary, so she writes about depression, self-improvement, art projects, spiritual practices and other things that help her cope.

3 Replies to “I’ll never be famous—and I don’t know if that’s okay.”

  1. Apple !!!!! This hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel like… I have so much thoughts but I probably shouldn’t post them all down in a comment section for all the world to see. I’d probably message you on facebook instead.

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