A MISHEARD SONG LYRIC

  1. When I was younger, there was a song lyric by Donald Glover that I liked
    Yes, Donald Glover
  2. The line was "I'd rather die than be average and chances are I might."
  3. I misunderstood this
  4. I thought it was bland and uninteresting to possibly die from your lifestyle
    If anything, that was a lifestyle goal to me. To literally die from success just meant "success" in my head.
  5. But what struck me was the misapplied noun
  6. That he might be average
  7. That unspeakable horror verbalized. The terror that he can't escape his mediocrity, like I couldn't escape mine
    A fate worse than death in the lyric
  8. That I wasn't alone in this self loathing ambition, desperate to earn some valediction that would distinguish me as worthy of living; as, by default, my lack of accomplishment meant I didn't deserve the blessings I had
  9. But it didn't
  10. I heard a song lyric funny
  11. But it still sticks with me in troubled times
  12. When I thrash against myself in desperate loathing, terrified at my mediocrity
  13. To know, despite my obsession to distance myself from who I am chances are I'll never escape from it.
  14. That no accomplishment will ever give me the peace I talk about
  15. And that my misery is punishment, self inflicted
  16. It doesn't make it easier
  17. But it does feel clearer and calmer to know I'm not alone in that, not uniquely bad or tortured
  18. So thanks, Donald Glover, for giving my angst some words
  19. Even if I had to mishear you to hear it.