I would never have been ok with working your typical 9 to 5, having a good, or great salary, benefits, paid vacations, a nice car, a house and a girlfriend who I spend my evenings and weekends with walking our dog through the park and going out to dinner and movies every other night. I would have been much better off than I am now, with much money, a good job, paid vacations, a nice car and a girlfriend, but still - I wouldn’t have been happy living that life as an “average” member of modern society.
I was young. I was probably six of seven years old, and my first thought of death came over me. Dying and never being able to come back to this world - you know that realization of death that really gets you overwhelmed and your mind begins to spin into a vortex that is hard to climb out of? That thought came over me and instead of running away from it and pretending that you don’t simply disappear when you die, I made my first long term goal - my first ever “reason” for living.
I realized that the only thing I ever REALLY wanted to accomplish in life was putting my name on the map. I needed to make sure that when I die, not only will my family and friends remember me, but this entire world will remember me. My goal isn’t to be President, or to have invented some technological apparatus. My goal is as simple as making my mark on this earth where at any moment - at many moments - in the future, people somewhere will make a decision, have a thought, speak to their friends or listen to a piece of music, that in some way could only have been done because of me. I want the name of Justin Michael Tartick to live on in more ways than a family tree and death certificate. I don’t care if it’s as simple as a student doing a research paper on a well known Buffalo, NY native who created beautiful works of art back in early 21st century. I don’t care if it’s as naive as the band I’m in to have become so famous that my name lives on in music magazines along side the other four members. Whatever it may be, the goal is simple: make my mark on this earth.
I write this to you on this day in the first few minutes of the 18th of April two thousand and twelve and say that I am not only on my way to accomplishing my goal, but I have already begun to leave some footprints on the path. There is quite a journey ahead of me, but to be able to look over my shoulder and see the starting line fade away… I know that this race will be much easier to finish.
|—||Justin Michael Tartick|