A personal rambling about legacies and the stories we leave behind.
Created: Apr 10, 2022
By ENBYSS~5 min read
Everyone has one. Our lives are all stories on their own. Reality can be considered a story of its own, but I believe that it also serves as a chronicle, or a compilation, of all the stories that lie within it.
There’s many ways you can look into this main story, everything’s plot thread. Many scales. It can span the entire universe, planets, cities, individuals… You can zoom in and out as you please to read a story. There’s only one problem however - unlike many stories, this one can’t last forever. Everything has a timespan, and once it ends, its story has a countdown timer.
No one knows how much time is on that timer. No one can really know. All we know is that the timer ends when the last person who remembered the story goes away. Unless their story has yours in it. But by that point, you’ll be such a small part of the story that all that’s left would be for it to fizzle out.
It’s sad, but I don’t want to focus on that. It’s meaningless to end there. I know my fate - my story’s fate - is to inevitably fade away. That does not matter to me. Everything dies, but everything will have lived… once. The instances in time that I, and my story, existed in will remain forever etched into the truth. Just because something is the past, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Even if no one knows it, it’s always there.
In some ways, you could say we have three lives then. One ends with our body. One ends with our last memory. And one never ends. It isn’t with us, in our current moment, but it exists on the tapestry of time itself. If you, as a person, accept that “what happened, happened” or “you can’t change what happened”, then no one can change the fact that we existed once. That’s going to forever be the truth. Our third life will continue forever, in stasis as a moment in time, but it will continue.
Our life is a story, and Time is the book. Our story may end, but the book will remain. Its writing ends one day. The last person to read it may have gone. But the book remains, even if there is no one left to read it. A story doesn’t die simply because no one reads it. A story just is, and it will remain.
These are the words I said to myself when the conundrum hit me. It helps me deal with things. However, there’s one other thing. If this life of mine is in stasis and unchanging, then I want it to be everything I’d like. I want my story in the book to be something that leaves me proud.
I want to live on my own terms. I can remain in my field of work, and no doubt I’d be able to get a more than comfortable salary that can fund a very nice life. But I want to create stories. I want my story to be something worth reading, its value surpassing any story I can make out of a comfortable life.
I want to provoke emotions. For people who read my story to feel things inside, have my life resonate with them in ways that help them understand themselves more. It’s not enough to just be a story - I want my writing to be an experience, an event, that people go through one way and come out the other with new thoughts and perspectives.
To put it bluntly, I want to be worth remembering.
I’m not looking to be superior. I make no claims that I am superior. My goal isn’t to make a story that’s better than everyone elses. It’s also not to be remembered forever. That’s not only an impossible goal, but to me; a meaningless one.
All I want, is for those who do remember me, to gain something from it. To look back at their memories of me and smile, feeling glad that I played my part in their story. It can be one person, it can be a thousand. I can be a significant part, or I can be insignificant. What matters is that my story touched their heart, and helped it feel better.
My legacy… It doesn’t need to be a worldwide story. Nor a very interesting one. But I need it to be emotional. I need it to represent who I am, and I need whoever out there remembers it - to be glad.
My story may end someday. The last person who remembers it may end as well. However, that one story - etched into the whole of Time alongside all the other stories - I want it to be Me. And whoever Me is… I want them to smile. Because they went for it. It won’t matter if it didn’t work.
All that matters is that the story happened. And that it was my story.