“We are not those characters we want to be. We are the characters we are.” – Tom Wolfe, “Genius”
I never felt comfortable, or even the slightest bit excited, with autobiographies and non-fiction books or movies. The thought that what was happening on the movie, or what was being described in a book, all happened in real life always makes me feel uncomfortable. Of the very few occasions I have witnessed such literature, there’s this question that lingers behind my mind: why is my life not as vibrant? And then it gives birth to a couple more questions that, in general, make me feel as if I am but an empty shell walking around every corner, waiting for something that will fill the black hole inside.
It’s like being alive is like having this unending responsibility to prove you’re worth the air you breathe and the pavement you’re standing on. You have to be interesting. You have to be weird in a unique and lovable way, lest you want to be the unnamed passer-by.
Am I living a life enough to take up pixels on a computer screen or ink on a paper? Will someone even care to know what I was thinking one hot evening under the street lamps and sparkling sky?
And then I realised one thing: the greatest biographies have been written to look back on someone’s life. They’re done a long time past when they happened. It is not so much as to tell the world how a genius spends his morning. It is more of the idea that you’ve done all these things that didn’t seem to make sense – but now they do. They are meant for looking back and reflecting on how far you’ve come – of how brave you’ve been for going through all those shitstorms and fucked up days. It’s about realising that one point lead you to another until the exact spot where you are right now.
We’ve all been writing our autobiographies all this time. Which path are you heading: left or right?