When I was a bit younger and a bit foolish than I am now, I used to think pain equalled greatness. With respect and reverence in my eyes, I looked up to the greats, for the more I read them, the more I found brokenness among all of them, connecting them through time. It was how I defined writing, too. It was the sharing of what ails us so others might feel at home, and in that slice of a moment, I too felt greater than I was; I felt greater than my words were.
Now, I see it for it is, and it is nothing but a habit. The greats did not write about the qualms and complaints of being human. They only wrote out of habit. It was the people who assigned them a role—the poster-children of all things that broke us. A note of optimism by any of them was left alone, considered branching from their usual, and forgotten as a lesser work. Perhaps, they were only asking people to stop with the clapping.
And so, I wish to never be great. I want to be commonplace, forgettable, and even dull. I hope you find nothing but a mild intrigue in my words, and occasionally, if they are good, I hope you’re entertained. No one remembered a poem that made them feel joy. Our narratives were always bookmarked by things that destroyed us. We thought of our lives in a stream of significant loss. It took substantial effort to think about the good, run of the mill days. It took less than a second to remember the pain.
The human capacity for suffering was astonishing. I would not fuel the fire. Naturally, life will break me. Out of habit, I may record a few words about it, and maybe they become all you remember from me, but I have to try. I must try to write more about the days when nothing ever happened—when I walked only to walk, when I drank only to have a drink, and when I was by myself not out of loneliness but happenstance.
Here’s to us—the commoners, the forgotten, the insignificant. Here’s to the people who lived and died for nothing in particular.