Growing up shy and reserved, I didn’t think I wanted to gain much attention to myself. I didn’t think I was special in any way, that would be of any good use to others, or in a distressed millennial’s words, being “easily replaced”.
When I was 14, someone I considered a friend told me that I was the only one who was a true friend to her. For me, who constantly found myself alone, was astounded to hear that even though I did nothing save for being myself. I suppose it was then that I began to seriously think about the influence I had on others, that I was determined to show that I can be an asset to the society. At the age of 14, I was intrigued by the idea of fame, enthralled by young stars, musicians, actors that I watched off TV or heard from older siblings. Like perhaps most kids at that age, I would have loved being famous, starring on a Disney Channel series or showcasing my writing.
Yet I’m not entirely sure if I knew what it meant to be famous, or why I wanted to be famous. In fact, I’m still not sure about now. I have been considerably chill about whether or not I make it big with my work, even taking it slow about making money. So what is my motivation?
The Backstreet Boys are performing on the day that I fly to London. Out of nostalgia, I started looking them up on Google to see what they had been up to, naturally diverting to my childhood crush, Aaron Carter. The very first result that came up on Google was his return to rehab. Having not heard about this but aware of his party animal nature, I pulled up his Wikipedia. Needless to say, it was excruciating to read. I turned to Nick Carter, my next crush. Again, nothing pleasant, but somewhat better. Amidst this discovery, a sentence from Aaron Carter popped up loud to my mind, “I’m human and […] I make mistakes.”
I don’t wish to judge, but having watched the devastation surrounding people like Michael Jackson, Carrie Fisher and even Chester Bennington, I couldn’t help but wonder about the lives they led with fame and constant scrutiny from public eyes. Was it burden? Plenty of celebrities shared how they didn’t want their personal lives pried, and yet we read about their private encounters everywhere. It seemed to me that it’s inevitable once you become someone adored or abhorred by millions, once you become famous.
If that happens to me, can I handle it? Will I feel burdened, weakened to my knees, desperate for privacy?
After all, as a writer, I aim to inspire, to motivate. I don’t write because I want to appeal to the audience, to tell them, “hey, I’m human too, so it’s okay to be bad sometimes”. I write because I want to tell them, “yes, I’m human too, but I’m trying, and I’m doing better, so can you”. Because my life has been about improvements, little steps that I take to learn about myself, about what it means to really live, and then enduring with positivity of my life.
Maybe I won’t feel burden. Maybe I’ll feel inspired.
At least, I aim to do so, if I do become famous. Whether that happens, it is up to God.