I welcomed it with a toast to myself, and to the friends I made just 15 minutes before midnight. 15 minutes beyond the birth of this new age, I was home over analyzing Jay Z’s “Young Forever.” I’m one of those people who can’t keep a straight face when walking naked by the mirror. I laughed to myself, and thought of how great this song is. “May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows” has made its way into my dinner toasts, wedding cheers and a few of my blogs and tweets blogs. “My name shall be passed down to generations while debating up in barbershops.” There is a scene in the film Troy, when Achilles goes to his mother and asks for her advice about going to fight in Troy. Thetis, his mother, says:
“If you stay in Larissa, you will find peace. You will find a wonderful woman, and you will have sons and daughters, who will have children. And they’ll all love you and remember your name. But when your children are dead, and their children after them, your name will be forgotten… If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. They will write stories about your victories in thousands of years! And the world will remember your name. But if you go to Troy, you will never come back…for your glory walks hand-in-hand with your doom. And I shall never see you again.”
I’m fighting in Troy. I’m building up, and creating legacies. That’s what I’ve done. I fear old age as I fear death; I don’t. What I have done with my life up to now is matched only by a small population of people with whom I surround myself. I did not get this far walking with losers. We fight. My mother, like Achilles’s mother, introduced me to the comforts and beauties of home, but gave me the option to fall in love with the rest of the world, knowing I knew nothing about it, but believing she did a well enough job supplying me with the weapons to become a man they are going to write about for generations. Each degree I have will hang on her wall, every book I’ve written and will write will be placed on her bookshelf, my son and every child that will follow will one day sit on her lap. This is what she’s earned because she let me go off and fight.
I’ve fallen in love with the one million people I’ve met since birth. I am the sum total of them all. Of you all. Thank you. Imagine, I’m sitting here smiling, typing this to you, drinking a McDonald’s sweet tea, holding my paycheck, laughing at a joke I shared with a friend last night, and thinking about the unknown, unplanned, but very soon-to-be memorable weekend ahead of me. This is the worst day of my life. The worst of my tomorrow.
“Let us die young, or let us live forever” – Alphaville