Be Somebody

Excerpt from a paper I turned in towards the end of my sophomore year.

I made a decision eight years ago that I would be unforgettable. Everything I do is with the intention of impact. I am deathly afraid of becoming dull and obsolete. I fear that my name will be just another floating in the distant subconscious of everyone I’ve ever met. I fear that I’ll be just a face at a high school reunion, a name in the yearbook, an identity of lukewarm nothingness. Am I inspiring? Am I intriguing? Unique? These are the questions that sing me to sleep every night.

Then, I become hopelessly entwined with “enough.” Am I inspiring enough? I don’t want to simply make somebody laugh and cheer up for a day, or even a month. I want to shake someone to their core and change their life. I want to stay with somebody for years upon years, decades upon decades. To be inspiring is a goal, but to be inspiring enough is a fantasy. “Enough” is the bully that ridicules each and every one of us, each and every day. “Enough” is sandwiched somewhere between the two ends of infinity. It’s an invisible, subjective bar that we can never quite reach. Aren’t we the ones, though, who raise that bar for ourselves?

One day, all these papers I’ve written will be discarded. New students will come in. The class of 2030. I’ll be off somewhere living, crying, breathing, and laughing—but I’ll be obsolete. Just somebody’s eccentric next-door neighbor. Who will I be to my school? Even more importantly, the world? I can’t just be watering plants, making chit-chat over a white picket fence, and attending awkward cul-de-sac barbecues. Nobody wants to be just another dull person, but sadly, that’s who most of us end up being. Really, somebody has to be the plant-watering neighbor. Somebody has to grill the cheap hotdogs. Somebody has to paint those white picket fences. Somebody has to be the nobody.

But maybe, just maybe, can I be the one in a million who isn’t?

 

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