Posted by: jspiegel | May 29, 2009

#31: Dream of Being Famous

DaydreamRemember when you were a small child and the skies were the limit to what you could accomplish?  You became president of your homeroom in fifth grade and thought, “I could do this for a living!”  You got an A on your first book report and already were planning out your acceptance speech for the Pulitzer Prize.  There were no limits what you could do.

Then, in seventh grade, you got a C on your report on “To Kill a Mockingbird” because you kept referring to Boo Radley as ‘that big retard’ and you received no votes in the election for hall monitor; and you voted for yourself!

Eventually, people come to terms with their mediocrity and normalcy.  Such acceptance allows for a consistent population of middle-class workers who, while not happy with their jobs grow to be content with their lives.  Most importantly, they have stopped fancying a more glamorous existence since the reality of their lives and their jobs does not give them enough time to do so.

This gives you, the unemployed, a rare opportunity for a new and unique lease on life.  Perhaps it is time to start dreaming again about being an award-winning writer.  Sure, you haven’t written anything since your last writing seminar in college (where the professor questioned whether you even belonged in the class), but more importantly  you already have prepared a series of answers to questions that will be asked to you by a reporter from Rolling Stone AND you have picked out the outfit you will wear when they put you on the cover.  You might not have acted a lick since you played Tevye in your camp’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” but you can already recite verbatim the first thirty minutes of your talk with James Lipton when you are on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”.

Unemployment gives you plentiful amounts of time to dream, even if you never do.  Sure you now have the option of taking up painting again, but wouldn’t it be more fun to skip through all of the angst, effort, and failure and just simply imagine that you are a world-famous artist?  In your delusions of grandeur, no one will criticize your works (if they do you have much larger issues to deal with).  Taking the time to actually labor away at your imaginary talent is foolish and wasteful, but realizing its fictitious possibilities will give you visions of fame and glory that only could be achieved in your mind.

Being famous has become a profession in and of itself.  There are plenty of people who have no talent, gift, or substance to offer to society and yet while we look upon these people with jealousy disguised as loathing, these people give all those with no jobs and no special skills a small ray of hope and teach a very important lesson.  Sure they will never sell out Madison Square Garden, but it’s more important that they’ll be able to tell news reporters the incredible feelings they felt when they did.

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