I have been to this city so many times. Found family and support and enchantment, just like the license plate promises. I have sat outside every morning each time, coffee in hand, staring at the sky, and wondering why I didn’t choose a different life. Before my life even began, this place has offered me solace, peace, nostalgia, growth.
Though my family never seems to fully realize I keep aging, laughing and loving with me in some time warp where I am old enough for dirty jokes, but still too young to explore by myself or take care of my grandmother without the aid of one of them, I do not remain unchanged.
I sometimes think that the definition of greatness would be to beget this lifestyle for another. I often exclaim to those significant in my life how important it is to experience acceptance like this, and strive to have them accompany me more times over than they could possibly ever commit to. Then other times, I have thought that it was my role in life to become the matriarch, to foster a family like this one, wherever I settled, so that my open mindedness would spawn a whole new generation of wonderful people, built specifically to bring the world to a better place.
I suppose it is selfish of me to no longer wish to do the latter, but to bring as much joy to the world as I possibly can, without the humble sacrifice of child-bearing that would accompany it. Because how do I really know that my greatness would spread so easily to others, and that a family experience like the one I have could be so easily duplicated?
Many of the things I do to create joy involves my writing, my singing, and my relationships with others. What then, would enrich me enough to consider myself great? What if I am already considered great? I have heard it, and thought I’d heard it, and yet still. I have not proved it to myself.
I worry that once I choose a route, I will realize it was always meant to be another instead. But then, isn’t the whole point of the path to greatness the path, instead of the goal? What happens after greatness transpires? You don’t always do everything right on the way to amazing, but at the very least, you don’t stand still. You don’t stagnate.
You deal with the not so great in order to rise above it. You become, you coalesce.
You keep breathing.