My Legacy: A Post in Cooperation with Brazen Careerist.

Sometimes it is extraordinarily difficult to think about one’s legacy when one lives basically hand to mouth or less, as I do. One can get swallowed up in the every day and become so pre-occupied with finding a way to keep one’s head above water that the very idea of a legacy seems not only distant, but vulgar. I find myself in this position.

But I have also found myself standing on the other side of the pendulum swing, maddening myself with thoughts of making a difference. Being remembered. Having mattered. And not having any of the resources or connections with which to make that happen, no matter how hard I try. Which in turn makes me try harder, and spin my wheels even faster, smoke, asphalt and dirt flying everywhere obscuring the view and accompanied by no real motion in any direction.

Yet even I attain balance sometimes, and can see both the challenges in the proper size, and the aspirations with a proper perspective. Time when I can evaluate the nature of what has come before me, what is around me now, and where it all might lead. And where I would like it to lead. Love it to lead. At such times I am most in tune with my truest self, and therefore most able to establish some sense of a legacy without obsession. A sense of mission without guilt. Of planning without punishment.

That may not be how most do it. But if you have read this blog anymore than, oh, twice, you know that I am not like most. I may even be unlike any but a very few. Because I have in my life, both by force, and by choice, come at life from an angle both unorthodox and unpopular. A slower course. A lesser embraced course. Not only the road not taken, but the road not mapped. There are a few grainy photographs of the road I take that have been filed away in the basement floor of the archive of life by a handful of people who have been foolish or brave enough to go this route. Those that have done so against all opposition from not just a cynical society, but from the inner critic that lives inside every marcher with his or her own drummer, no matter how confident they appear to be whilst moving confidently in the direction of their dreams.

Not all of us make it. Not all of us can keep it up. Sometimes I do not wish to. But I have. And I will as long as I am mentally healthy enough to do so. I will follow the road not mapped, and I will take some of my own pictures. But they will not be grainy shots snapped in the heat of a hurried moment. They will not be shots in the dark that only luckily capture some semblance of the lay of the land for future Too XYZers to use as a loose reference point. No, they will be crisp, clear, beautiful shots. Landscapes stretching into the horizon at dawn. Towering skyscrapers from every possible angle. Leaves of endless colors across the autumn forests and the cloud embraced, snow capped peaks of the distant behemoth mountains on the horizon.

And in all likelihood each of them will be taken from a vantage point that few others have considered. Or that have been rejected as too different, abnormal, or crazy by most others on their own journeys. I will have to take these life pictures with the camera of my heart amongst shouting and doubting. Sneers, jeers and scoffing. And worst of all, in the face of total indifference.

But I will experience those things. On this road. And take those pictures, those perfect pictures to lay out behind me, beside me, all around me, and around everyone else who wants to see them. I will, when all is said and done cut my own road towards my destination, with or without any help, capture the essence of the journey, and share it in an inspiring way, with those who want to make a similar journey but know not how to begin it.

In other words, I will find a way to get where I want to go while still being the strange me that I am. And I will leave behind something, or hopefully many somethings that are beautiful, that move people to do the same thing with their own lives, should they find themselves Too XYZ to be branded and herded by society.

That is what I want my legacy to be.

This post is part of a blog series on Brazen Careerist being sponsored by Entrustet. They asked Brazen members to answer the question:  What do you want your legacy to be? 

1 Comment

  1. Interesting. So you want your legacy to be “it's okay to not be status quo” – obviously I'm simplifying, but I need to do so for my lack of brain function at this juncture. I like that. And I really like the way you led up to this. I have not done this post yet because I realized I don't have a legacy I care to leave to anyone but my family. Is that bad?

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