It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young single man, in possession of no fortune, must be in want of fame and fortune. I wasn’t really in want of either, setting out on the great adventure of life.When I was asked, just after getting my first real job (as distinct from tutoring work while doing postgraduate degrees), what I wanted from the job, I said “recognition”. Not the same as “fame”. I certainly didn’t want to be famous for being famous, or for performing some academic stunt, or as a result of academic patronage by those already rich and famous (though a little patronage would have been nice along the way!). No, I wanted recognition for my abilities and achievements. Was prepared to work hard for the latter. And, if some degree of fame accompanied the recognition of those achievements by my peers, well then, so be it.
The recognition didn’t happen. In spite of a great deal of hard work against great odds, and an arguably not insignificant number of achievements. At 60 you think this might still happen, might arrive in the morning’s post, but by 70 you stop checking the mail. Universal recognition not coming.