You’ve probably heard the expression “15 minutes of fame.” Odds are, you haven’t ever been famous enough to experience it yourself. Me neither. But this week I was able to experience 15 minutes of someone else’s 15 minutes of fame.
It began in the Mississippi airport security line. Admittedly, not a location I’d expect this story to begin with.
A few of us from Central were coming back from visiting a church in Mississippi and when we prepared to go through the airport security line we had to pass through dozens of people milling around and holding signs. The signs had different variations of the phrase “Mississipi loves Skylar Laine.”
I’ll admit, I had no idea who that was. I asked one of the security officers, who had absolutely NO personality, and he dryly mumbled that she’s from American Idol. The crowd looked ready for her, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. As we walked to our gate we quickly Googled Skylar and found out that she had just been voted off of American Idol the night before and was returning home. By the time we got to our gate we saw a different crowd forming, this one of cameramen and police officers. Sklyar Laine was coming in on the plane that would take us out of Mississippi.
The buzz around her arrival was crazy. The atmosphere was electric with anticipation as people held up camera phones and crowded around her. I even realized at one point that my friend Paul, pictured below in the green shirt, had himself been swept up in the moment and was in for a closer look.
She even had this security guy just to stand with her guitar.
As I stood a few feet away trying to take all of this in, I realized that fame is such a fickle thing. She was coming from weeks in Hollywood under national media scrutiny all the way back home to Mississippi. She looked tired… but content. While Skylar already has a handful of things lined up, her future is now largely unknown. Will she rise to even greater heights or will this be the peak that she always looks back on?
It was hard not to be sucked into the vortex of hype that I experienced watching all of this. I wondered what it would be like to be in her shoes. But if experiencing 15 minutes of fame gives you perspective on life, then going through 15 minutes of someone else’s 15 minutes truly shows you that this isn’t what we should be pursuing. We must hold on to the things that matter most and invest ourselves in that. If fame comes with it, then great. But aiming for fame is a surefire way to spend your time on things that don’t matter.
I think we all want to be successful, but we might all measure it differently in our heads. From what I’ve seen (and since read) about Skylar, she seems to be someone who is sincere and who isn’t in it for the fame. That alone makes me think that this is the only the beginning for her. This week was a reminder to spend life on what matters and enjoy whatever ride it takes you on.
15 minutes can go by before you know it.