I cry for everyone I’ve ever lost
That I meant nothing to.
For every dream I ever dreamed
That will never come true.
For every expectation that I failed to live up to.
For the world I was always
Dancing on the fringes of
But couldn’t get in….
Not quite good enough.
Money, fame, brilliance, meaning something,
Then losing all you have.
The Sylvia Plath experience I never understood.
She was making it.
What I now understand
Is that even making it
Doesn’t make you
Written by my Mommy
Todays poem is dope AF, but hold up I gotta Google who Sylvia Plath was real quick 'cause I'm uncultured swine...
(Picture me furiously Googling and skimming Wikipedia)
Aight, says here she was a famous poet who commited suicide. I suppose that's sorta important context for those last lines.... kinda...
Anyway, there's a lot packed into this poem and I relate with it a lot more than the average Monday masterpiece, so you're gonna have to sit through a lengthier analysis than usual.
The opening line brings up memories of being rejected by people who meant the world to me when I meant nothing to them. For me, that's been one of the worst stings life's had to offer. That sharp pain would act as motivation to set my sights higher, to be someone better, but all that did was create a bunch shame, doubt, and self-loathing out of the pieces of broken dreams that got left over when I'd inevitably fall short of those unrealistically high expectations.
Sometimes, I feel like my whole life's been spent rambling around outside a party I'll never be invited to, begging to be let in and hating myself when I'm not. Strangely enough, I've also fantasized about making it to superstardom just to crash and burn like an episode of VH-1's "Behind the Music" exactly the way this poem says, too. All of this flowed perfectly in sync with how these thoughts play out in my head naturally; it's creepy.
The part that really gets me is the Sylvia Plath thing, though. That's something I've noticed about fame that I'm not sure most people are aware of: Not only does "making it" not change the fact that you're invisible, it makes everyone see an illusion created by your public image in place of the real you. I think that's probably worse than being invisible.
I always hear people judging ultra-famous celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams for committing suicide. People love to get all self-righteous and say those guys didn't have a right to be depressed because they were rich and famous. Whenever someone calls a depressed celebrity spoiled or out-of-touch, I can tell they've never tried to put themselves into the shoes of a superstar. Those poor souls probably have more reason to want out than the average Joe does, if I'm being honest.
Celebrities are never off the clock if they're in public or at social gatherings. Obviously I dunno what the dude's personal lives were like, but I imagine Bourdain couldn't go to a bar without having to talk about his job nonstop and placate fans to keep from looking like a dick in public. Robin Williams probably had to do Genie quotes for everyone who grew up watching Aladdin just to buy his groceries.
Making a genuine human connection is next to impossible when everyone sees you as the fictional character that is your public persona. Celebrities never know if they're genuinely loved, or if people are just telling them they are for a slice of their money and some reflected limelight.
I'm not supporting suicide, and any time someone gives up on life like that it's tragic. I've said it in other essays: Life is beautiful, and I'm a firm believer in never giving up. I still understand why some people don't feel that way though, and I definitely see how superstardom wouldn't help matters at all.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, folks. We all got demons we gotta wrestle, and there's no such thing as having it easy.
As always, thanks for the poignant observations Mommy. Cya next week!