As I'm getting older, I'm starting to feel like my chances of being some crazy inventor ala Nikola Tesla are declining. I guess we could take the view that, because I am no brilliant scientist in the first place, my chances of being a crazy inventor were zero in the first place... but I guess I mean achieving any real notoriety for awesomeness in my lifetime. I'll probably never run the fastest mile or write The Great American Novel. I probably will never create an art movement. Slightly more likely is that I might create some sort of an annual event that people around the world would come to... except I'd have to really want to do it and, frankly, the drive just isn't there.
In fact, the drive to do much of anything that could get me any notoriety has pretty much drifted off into things I consider only in my most manic phases.
This is kind of depressing to me. I'm 36. Once I die, what have I left as any kind of legacy? Would anyone remember me at all? Would I even be someone's crazy aunt who lives on in stories like my Great Aunt Lutie does?*
No, probably not. The Farrar family line probably ends with me and my brother, since neither of us are making great strides at breeding. Though I do weird stuff, I don't think any of it is really notable enough to be retold to other people after I'm not agitating the pot anymore. Though maybe... in fact, this is probably the only potential dent I might make in any sort of oral tradition. It's only by Splat and Andy's photos (mostly Splat) that we are able to record any of this for future reference at all (see photo, right, from the Grampage). I'm a terrible documentarian.
But what then? Do I redefine greatness as "doing the best I can"? Do I define it as being known as great in a work capacity? Everyone at work seems to regard me as pretty awesome, which gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction. Do I define greatness as whatever Diva sees in me?
And further, does everyone feel this way? Does everyone yearn to be famous? Big? Popular? Notorious?
Side Note: I heard on NPR the other day that some psychologists were considering defining narcissism as a psychological problem. They ultimately decided that narcissism is not a problem, since so many successful people fall into the category of narcissist.
* Aunt Lutie was my grandma's reclusive sister. She claimed that there was a rocking chair in her house that would rock by itself. At one point, she quit living in the city and moved to a small pioneer town to pan for gold. Because she didn't particularly like kids, the stories my mom tells of her are kind of mysterious.