I have been thinking a lot about legacies lately. I have also been thinking about the impact I have/don’t have on people and in the spaces I move through. A possible reason this topic has been on my mind is because of the conversations I’ve in classes and because of the film Higher Learning.
In the film, you meet a character “Remy.” I feel like Remy is a student who is in my ways failed by the system. Yet there are moments when I clearly identified with aspects of him. I spent a large portion of my freshman year of college trying to figure out where I belonged. I joined stuff, but I did not know if I truly belonged in or to any given group. During my sophomore year, I wanted to die. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I felt like no one really cared. And while people would tell me that they cared, I didn’t believe them. I thought that people were saying things just to say them. To this day, I wonder where and if I belong. Remy, in the end, took his own life. I, on the other hand, did not. I wanted to though. I did not tell people what was really wrong then. And 4 years later, I still haven’t really told people what was wrong.
I remember asking myself would anyone care if I was gone. Or would anyone notice I wasn’t here? Would anyone miss me? I would ask myself these things almost daily. I wanted to escape, but I did not know how. In light of the recent conversations I’ve had and the things occurring around the country, I’ve been wondering what my legacy would be. What would people say about me if I were gone? What pictures would be used? What memories would people have? Does my presence mean anything? The other day, I heard a couple of people referring to a few SAHE students as brilliant. I indeed think they are, but I wonder what people say about me. Am I brilliant to them? Would I ever be recognized as an important figure by others? By my cohort? By the faculty? Would people still be talking about me and the things I’ve done after I’ve left the program? What would my legacy be? What impact would I have had on my cohort AND the SAHE program?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I can only hope. A legit life goal for me is to have someone refer to me as brilliant. For me, that is such a powerful word. It would mean that the way I think has value and means something to someone else. It would mean that something I have done or said is held in high regard. I, personally, don’t see myself as this über intelligent person. I see that in other people and try to emulate them though I can’t think the same way that they do. I did Strengths Finder recently and I do not have Self-Assurance anywhere near my Top strengths. I am not. I don’t know where people get this idea that I am super confident. I do what I love and I love what I do, but validation from others is helpful. It helps me feel like I have a place and people do notice.
What will my legacy be? I do not know, but I hope that it is a positive one.