A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast. It had to do with people glorifying their mental illness to gain notoriety. Originally, I wanted to write about that, but like most of my etch-a-sketch ideas, it went on the long list of things to write about. And it’ll possibly die there.
Anyway, the guest on the show had made a comment about society’s perception of being a “loser.” The one thing that struck a chord for me was when he said, “few things are sadder than the 40-year-old guy who’s still trying to sell his first screen play.”
Ouch. My 38-year-old self, attempting to write a blog/book/anything someone will read, felt that in the core. Is he right? Maybe the better question to ask is: Do I care?
I used to. Fortunately, I think that’s waning.
I have always been one to worry about what people would think of me. Before every big decision, and even most small decisions, I would weigh the pros and cons according to everyone else. I would actually go as far as to interview my friends and family and then decide on what to do based on their feedback. I disregarded what I wanted, and instead chose what appeared to be the best move according to the collective “them.” This held me back from pursuing so many things that I’d dreamed of doing. I couldn’t handle the fear of judgement from society or my community, so I did what was expected of me.
I flew well under the radar, where it was nice and safe.
It took me too long to realize that nothing matters more than me, and my happiness should be a priority.
I did have to agree with the podcast guest when he went on to say that “We have more visions, or more paths, to being a loser than being a winner in our society.”
People are so desperate to be noticed that they’ll go as far as to glorify their illnesses for attention. I don’t want to explode that can of worms, so I’m going to leave it there. But point taken is that there is this insatiable human desire to be unique, smart, and interesting to others. To stand out in the crowd. Where do we draw the line to reach this goal? And is there a timeline for this? Do you reach a certain age and it’s just off limits to do amazing things?
Am I a “loser” for thinking that I could still do something special and change the world? Or would I be better off if I just kept my words to myself, aging appropriately while…