March 11, 2013 in Features

Write It Out: If only the spotlight had been off

Ed Grim 61
 

Ed Grim plays guitar with his daughter, Molly, in the late 1970s.
(Full-size photo)

As a 20 year-old, I would have benefited from knowing that there are so many interesting genuine people living great lives of meaning without a spotlight shining on them all the time.

At times I yearned to be famous and rich and handsome and so forth – a “spotlight person.”

As I moved through my know-it-all 20s, I was waiting for me to become somebody with a capital “S.” If I just went through the motions of acting crazy, excited, studious and interesting – like that most interesting man in the world beer commercial – well, I’d actually become autograph-worthy.

But a 20-year-old cannot acquire that wealth of knowledge quickly. I should have just picked that one thing in life I loved and excelled at it.

But instead, I had to have a passion for everything to be popular and interesting with my various circles of friends.

If I played the guitar, I had to be a significant guitar player.

If I made homemade beer, it had to bring out “wows” and “bottles up.”

If I attended a church discussion group, I had to a show how knowledgeable I was on the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Sorry for dropping names, but that’s my point.

I wish I had the wisdom at 20 to reach up and turn that elusive spotlight over me to the “off” position. I would have been less preoccupied at being interesting and more focused on being genuine.


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