I have pursued the essence of greatness for a large portion of my life. With no clear understanding of how I will achieve it, my heart and mind push me forward in the endless expanse of darkness hoping to achieve this obscure and nonspecific goal that, to be honest, is one of the few things that keep me up at night. I can say that my singular greatest fear in life is this fear of oblivion. The idea that everything that I ever was and will be was destined to be lost into the analogs of time as generations pass forgetting my existence entirely. It feels then that my life is only ever really just sand sitting on the shore. If I were to become a castle, in time, the walls would collapse and this seeming foundation I had laid down will be crushed and crumble underneath the waves of time as all sand does, becoming an indistinguishable part of the ocean deep. I want to make the castle of my legacy out of metal, stone, or crystal so I may, at least, have a chance to beat the test of time in which I am pitted against. Problems arise from this, I do not know the path I want my future and legacy to take. Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s quote describes this point perfectly ” If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Without direction, I am doomed to wallow in an indefinite expanse of the ocean of life, drowning trying to determine which way to the surface. The other problem is that finding a direction, by no means guarantees my survival in this big world, only that I know the heading. What will happen, I am denied by the very heading that I choose. Of course, I am getting ahead of myself, a great deal of pessimism is drawn from something I haven’t done yet. Where does this come from? I ask this to myself when I am faced with the existential crises about the where my hand in life will lead. Only hoping I can achieve one of the greatness Shakespeare spoke of long ago.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. ” – William Shakespeare
Now life has a cruel sense of humor, making me dance to this song to desire and admire greatness but has ridiculed me for trying to achieve it. It started early on, though, this training that I was not the ones who would achieve anything. Through the slight urging of my teachers at school, I understood that I among others would be left and forgotten. Passed over so the best of us can move on. By the time I had entered my middle school years, it was evident that some would be set to rise above others, at least, the teachers made sure we knew that. Unfortunately, those they raised up were placed upon the hunched back of those trying and praying that we would be graced with the opportunity of being able to look up at the spotlight above. Month after month, year after year the same people being rewarded, hoping soon it would be my turn to be recognized, but with each passing day, the unworthiness of my position seeped into my skin poisoning my mind. Head to the floor, hoping to keep my sanity as my eccentric nature and the raw edges my personality were forged into something more suitable for their liking. Stones in their path to step on. I had become afraid of who I was, hiding so that even now the thought of someone knowing me in entirety terrifies me. Things I had difficulties with, became amplified to represent who I was. My worth became what weaknesses were, and I could tell in eyes of my peers, it wasn’t much. I even believed what my teachers were showing us about where my position in life was. Reinforced over and over again, the chances to defend myself or grow was an endless struggle through the packed dirt of a beaten path. I can tell you, that being in the same class with exactly the same people for years at a time only works for those people who are liked and are popular. Never being able to change the image people had of me. Feeling like I was worth nothing, these things it ate away at me until there was nothing left. Learning to keep my head down so I wouldn’t have to suffer as much. My fear of oblivion began to arise as I realized I was to be passed over and forgotten. In my heart, I felt my destiny was to become nothing, achieve nothing and slip out of the minds of those around me like a passing fad. All I wanted was someone to tell me that I would become something, that I was worth something… but that person never came.
I turned inward, finding solace in video games and anime, where meaning could be given and derived from the characters within. Healing and new purpose began to arise, watching and reading diligently for the first time in my life. Heroes arose and showed me a different way of looking at things and as I entered high school I was given room to grow. To these characters I am eternally grateful, without them I would be still lost. Though never really being popular with teachers, I was at least acknowledged by my peers for knowing something, I was finally able to believe that I may have a chance in this world. Building what I had hoped to be a world of stone for the tower to the heavens. Even now, I keep building without knowing where my plans will lead me. It is surprising to me as what I have become, an unraveling of myself that finally had room to see the light of day and grow.
I still have trouble feeling worthwhile, never asking for help because some part of me thinks I am not worth it. I am afraid that I am lost, not going to amount to anything and all of this wanting and moving towards that goal will be for naught. I can’t help but build and build this Tower of Babel, hoping to make it to the heavens. My goals are not without purpose. Wanting create give the world something more, something that will improve the lives of others. I want to relay the message that people can be worth something, and that the anyone one can achieve anything. I still stand by the statement I am not anyone special, but in that means, when I do achieve something, so can anyone else. It is the same thing idea my boy scout troupe would say to me at the end of the night to get us to clean up (way back in the day before I left the boy scouts). Leave a place better than I found it. Slowly building creating the world bigger and better that before. I know it’s silly sometimes but I hope to create a lasting change that will fill this heart afraid of oblivion. I don’t know what fate has in store for me, but I can’t keep still and hope that something happens. Do I fight against the fate that people have shown me, or do I set down my sails and travel into the unknown hoping to arrive someplace new?
I don’t know where I will be or what is in store, but this obsession with becoming something of worth will, at least, keep me moving forward. I have hope, that I can, that I will, and that someday I will reach the heavens so I can reach down and help others to reach upwards too.