I’m no Elon Musk, but today I feel just a little like Kanye West.
Only just this evening—while my mind wandered as I cooked dinner—did I realize a paradigm by which I’ve operated for several years. It was founded from the notion, posed by Russell Brand, that “fame does lose a bit of its cache when you have to tell people that you have it.” While Russell Brand was speaking of his fame in England, I had always found it humorous in parallel to my “fame” on the internet.
This isn’t to say I compare myself with names regularly making their way into the topic of conversation. Innovators who are fostering positive change across the social web. Actual influencers like Casey Neistat, Gary Vaynerchuk, or Mark Zuckerberg.
No, I don’t compare myself to them. I do however model myself after them.
Many of you have questioned how I’m able to do so much all at once and the truth is far more simple than you’d want to believe, I don’t do anything else. For the last two weeks, I have literally ‘worked’ from dusk to dawn… and then kept working. While some activities aren’t exactly what I’d consider “fun”, they are all something I genuinely enjoy.
Even right now, I’m sitting cozily on my couch and listening to the whurr of the cars drive by outside and the quiet thumping of the neighbor’s dryer. I’m writing about things I think and how I feel. It gives me a sense of release and peace. The tiny little moment of bliss I experience as I send each of these emails is the single thing that keeps me writing them.
It’s in that moment—as I see MailChimp’s threatening gif of a monkey’s finger sweating as it hovers over a large red button—that I know you all will begin to receive what I’ve written and hear your responses in return. When just one of you respond, I feel so overwhelmingly fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with you. Let alone the conversations with depth that would make the Marianas Trench look of but a small scar on the face of the Earth.
I’d always sought fame(if you want to put a label on it) to some degree and sure, fortune is right along with it. I felt as though things were broken and needed the platform for which I could fix them. It’s the same mysterious force that drove me to get into fights in boarding school when the other kids would disrupt the perfectly organized nature of my things.
What I realized tonight—as my logic brain was occupied with the task of preparing my dinner and my creative brain had freedom to roam—was that I had become blinded by the drive towards that future and had neglected to look at what laid right before me.
Much like Keith realized yesterday, I already have what I need.
A few days ago, I got a message from an old friend still living back East. We first met in a bar and were so drunk that neither of us remembered the conversation. As we discovered months later, I had been unable to find her on Facebook—and with her phone dead—she took my phone, logged out of my Facebook, logged into hers, and said “look, there I am right there.” Knowing I was far too inebriated to follow suit and find myself with her account to add me as a friend, I (in a moment of drunken brilliance) snapshotted the cute girl’s profile so I wouldn’t miss the chance to see her again. It was only when I found the snapshot the following morning that I remembered having even met her in the first place.
Sadly, I never got the chance to make a move as she moved to Boston the next day.
We did however stay in touch over the last few years. We’ve run into each other—coincidently outside of a different bar months later—when she visited Burlington. We also saw a Red Sox game when I happened to find myself with last minute tickets and the time for a spontaneous road trip. She took me on a Halloween adventure through Harvard as I ventured through to Mexico and snaps me videos of her horse named Skittles. Mariel and I never dated, but we’ve been thick as thieves since the night we met.
Out of nowhere—having not talked in months—she wrote me on Facebook.
It prompted a laugh, but its true message had gone overlooked until today. Aspiring to create a platform for fostering change, I looked—and unwisely compared myself—to innovators that frequent news headlines. It was Mariel’s message, a conversation with Madi T. today, and the freedom for my mind to wander that made me realize…
I’m kind of famous already.
Don’t get me wrong, I laughed at the absurdity of this notion when it first popped in my head, but go with me for a second. I’m not making news headlines and having my every move dissected by the media, but… people are talking about me. Even if in a drunken stupor amidst the insanity of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Boston… my name came up.
I’ve also been granted the opportunity to help many of you through this series. While I’m not the next Steve Jobs—standing in front of the world about to alter its course—I’ve saved more than a few emails to remind me that, as Kerri M. packaged and positioned it to me so eloquently, “keep doing what you’re doing. It’s real, it matters, and it’s needed.”
I might not be breaking news on CNN and you won’t see me driving a Ferrari anytime soon, but I do consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with you.
I suppose I’d consider myself Famed and Fortunate.
Think about where you want to be… and how far you’ve already come. What’s one thing you’re fortunate to have accomplished or overcome along your journey thus far?