A Word on Legacy

Melyssa Ford spoke publicly for the first time since her near fatal car accident in 2018. The former video vixen (do you remember Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’ video with UGK?) spoke in detail about the accident, her recovery, and severe depression that could have ended in suicide had it not been for her close friends. She also described how the accident was a wake up call for her as a 40-something year old woman who didn’t have children and wasn’t married. It made her think about the importance of legacy.

What resonated with me the most during the conversation was Melyssa mentioning the importance of legacy. Up until that moment, it was something I never seriously considered for myself. I’d been too preoccupied with living my best life to even think or care about my impact. Perhaps my legacy will be an example of what “living your best life” can be.

Legacy signifies what a person has contributed to the world. In many cases, people use the birth of children as the establishment of their legacy – choosing to raise them with the morals and beliefs they deem is best for the future. I’m not comfortable with that idea because a parent’s purpose may not be the same as that of the child. What happens when the torch is passed and the next person chooses to go in the other direction?

A year ago I concluded I was just a speck in the universe and it didn’t matter what I did with my life because we all die anyway and this world is going to shit no matter what decisions I make. I still think this is true, but I also want to believe my life will have an impact on the world in some minuscule way.

I don’t know much about Melyssa, and I don’t know if her status as an unmarried and childless woman is by choice or circumstance. When she spoke about legacy on the show, I didn’t discern that she meant something tangible like a child or money. Her implications suggested it was more about her influence and mentorship.

In my case, it is unlikely I will have something tangible to leave when I’m gone. I am childfree, so there won’t be any children for me to instill my values. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think children are the best reflection of a legacy anyway. Also, I’m not wealthy (at the moment 😁), so I can’t leave a financial legacy to bestow upon someone or something. There won’t be any endowments or a foundation on my behalf.

I’m still thinking about my own legacy and how I would like to be portrayed. I am already building a part of my legacy through this blog. I never want anyone else to tell my story, so I am grateful to have my own platform to provide my perspective. In addition to that, I’d like my impact to be about being whole without a spouse and without children. There’s freedom in loving me, in feeling whole, in daring to be whole. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. I want to exude fearlessness and freedom. In a social media-focused world where everyone looks the same and everyone is trying to fit into society’s mold, I want to be known as someone who lived unapologetically and on my own terms.

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