Learning to Form a Legacy, Not Just a Story
I have always said that my life is an ongoing story with its plot being edited with the experiences I hold and its many chapters being added on by the year. Fresh out of high school, I could conceive of a false narrative that underlined my story, preaching that the amount of titles I held above each of my chapters equated to the entitlement I would feel. The lesson of learning how to intentionally take hold of the pen instead of letting what has been scripted by the world play out was never taught to me. Walking across the stage as one of the youngest keynote speakers to hundreds of industry professionals at the Atlanta World Congress Center, a quarter-finalist at a Harvard University international debate tournament, and being selected as a high school intern for Essence Magazine, I fully expected for that long-winded narrative to hold truth when I eventually looked between the lines.
However, what I have come to realize is that at the end of all our lives, all of the accolades we have received amount to nothing unless they led to achievement for others. The title of being the “first” to do something isn't as important as ensuring that you aren’t the “last.” The miles we have personally trudged through will not make up for the lack of collective milestones in our communities. Most importantly, the paragraphs we add onto our story cannot be clearly read unless you give people the tools to turn the page.
Recently, I have come to the understanding that I am simply renting my titles everyday, for the possessions and labels I have on earth won’t amount to anything after my passing. I shall temporarily hold these titles and then strive to pass them onto someone else since the story shouldn't just end with me.
At the end of my life, I hope to be someone who is remembered for doing just that. I want to be remembered for showing the connectivity of humanity’s truth through the power of significant communication and generational continuation. My legacy will be built upon my mission statement of fortifying a platform for others to stand upon. Contrary to what society preaches, my legacy won’t be told in the autobiography I publish later on in life, the positions I held as a budding journalist, or the awards I will receive for my dedication to my craft. My legacy will be told through the narrative of someone else’s story.