In the last few years I’ve given up on the idea of general fame (Partially because I’m 37 and I’ve already posted 5 or 6 videos on youtube, none of which have gone viral) because what does it really mean?
I’m not saying I want to stop achieving goals or growing as an artist or becoming a better human. If any of that leads to a following, cool. But the idea of doing anything for ‘greatness’ is just insane. When I say ‘greatness’ I’m not talking about working hard for years and one of the pay offs is fame. I mean the idea that I was destine to rise above the average person because there’s something in my DNA that has determined that that’s my eventual outcome. How is this possible? The universe didn’t start out tryingto be the universe. The universe was just doing what it does and because of chance, quantum physics and odds, particles collided, exploded and combusted and voila! Universe!
I think the idea of this arbitrary ‘greatness’ was implanted in me as a kid. Pop culture seems to have a real underlying message that there’s some sort of greatness humans are destined for. It’s bullshit and can cause a lot of stress but you can’t tell a kid that they’re destine for mediocrity. No one’s going to the movie where elves and Orks cross distant lands and fight magical creatures just so they can get the cubicle job at Best Buy’s head office they were destine for.
What is this arbitrary idea of ‘greatness’? Blank canvased humans, ready to do anything and be anyone so other people can approve them. The achievement in life is to understand yourself and we can only truly do that by triumphing over obstacles. ‘Fame’ and ‘greatness’ aren’t achievements. They’re results. I used to believe that fame would lead to some bullshit life altering change. It’s this idea that If I could survive the pain and depression of trying to please the majority of people, if I try to do all the right things and meet the right people, then I would truly be happy and finally be myself. The higher I climbed, the more I realized that’s a falsehood.
There’s a freedom in just trying to be good at what I do. Like the other day, I threw on some old worn out jeans and headed out for a coffee first thing in the morning. I didn’t really think anything about it, however when I bent down to tie my shoe and my pants ripped from my crotch to my knee, it just reenforced that ‘greatness’ might not happen for me. There’s a good chance I might not become a historically important person. Let’s face it, no one’s going to make a bio-pic about me. My life is just a series of continuous ‘pants ripping’ moments with the odd flash of greatness thrown in here and there. Don Cheadle is never going to win an Oscar by walking down the street with a sweatshirt tied backwards around his waist to hide the fact his testicles are hanging out of some rip in his pants. No number of dumb-ass Hollywood inspirational speeches is going to make that a Rudy moment.
*But seriously, how many photos of my lunch do I have upload to Instagram before someone builds a statue dedicated to me?